Final Oscar Challenge!
from LA Times
This Sunday, millions of film lovers around the world will come together to watch the 84th Academy Awards.
Today we review the two biggest categories with close association with each other. In the history of the Academy Awards 62 of the 85 Best Picture winners also score an Oscar for the film’s director. Let’s see how it looks this year…
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- War Horse
- The Tree of Life
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
We’ve actually made this easy and put the movies in order that we think their chances of winning.
The Artist seems to be the clear favorite in this race. It actually hardly seems like a race at all the way most are speculating.
If there is any competitor among the group, Hugo would be it. Curiously both movies have a similar concept… They both deal with a love of cinema in its early years (a subject that should pull at the heartstrings of the Academy).
We cannot complain too much about The Artist winning, since it enchanted us just as the critics. Still, there is some unease with the picture. Perhaps because the category as a whole has some lackluster options.
The worst nominee is easily Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close which is at a extremely poor 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film’s appearance in the finals may be in part due to its ample pre-launch buzz that quickly dissipated after the release.
Another nominee we thought was undeserving was Spielberg’s epic wannabee War Horse.We thought it was a decent film but it too started fast in the box office and faded fast down the stretch.
Our last complaint is The Help. This film fills the spot of “crowd-pleasing, box office champ” which has been a staple since the category was expanded. The film is completely carried by its excellent performances. But we feel the praise ends there for this uneven, under-edited, self-important movie.
The big shock in this category is for the extremely divisive The Tree of Life. It is incredibly well-crafted but certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. The recognition by the Academy was unexpected (but pleasant) considering most viewer’s love-it-or-hate-it response.
And now for the snubs: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Bridesmaids, The Ides of March and 50/50 all had qualities that we felt made them nominee-worthy but alas there can only be 5-10….
- The Artist Michel Hazanavicius
- The Descendants Alexander Payne
- Hugo Martin Scorsese
- Midnight in Paris Woody Allen
- The Tree of Life Terrence Malick
No huge surprises in this category except for Malick, which with his film’s Best Picture nod becomes less of a shock. Using the Best Picture indicator, Michel Hazanavicius is our predicted winner… but there is always a chance for an upset.
Again we’d go with Martin Scorsese if this category goes a different way. He’s obviously a highly esteemed director, and was praised for his first family-friendly film that also made good use of the hit-or-miss 3D technology.
We can’t really say that any of these directors are undeserving of their nomination, but we could have seen David Fincher get a nomination after last year’s (in our humble opinion) snub for The Social Network.
But enough about our opinions, who do you want to win Best Picture this year and take home the Oscar for Direction?