The Dream is Over

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The Academy Award nominations have just come down; big surprises include the dissing of Dreamgirls (just nominees for best supporting actor and actress), and an adapted screenplay nomination (instead of best actor) for Borat. The biggest letdowns: Major nominations for Little Miss Sunshine, which (as Gene Healy pointed out) was insultingly trite, and for Babel, which (as Steve Sailer pointed out) has almost no reason to exist except to win awards. (The academy didn't announce documentary noms at the ceremony, so it's unknown if An Inconvenient Truth will begin anew its journey to the 8:20 block of cable news debate shows.) [UPDATE: See below.]

Most people who still care about the Oscars will probably be happy with the nominations, as 1)The Departed was a huge hit 2)National Lampoon's Redondo Beach Vacation (a.k.a. Little Miss Sunshine) was also a hit and 3)black people don't watch the Oscars. But it wasn't as weak a year for movies as this list indicates. First-release cinema, more than music and much more than video games, is completely controlled by the focus-grouped whims of major studios. In 2006 the studios throttled Idiocracy while pushing scores of witless teen comedies into thousands of theatres. Children of Men got a perfunctory end-of-year release. Check out the list of the year's best-reviewed movies (which doesn't include some fantastic stuff that didn't get any U.S. release) and marvel at how many never came to your city so the multiplex could make room for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

It's all self-defeating for the studios when Oscar time comes around. The people who vote on this stuff get DVD copies of the movies; their choices reflect the great stuff that you never saw. The only way you can see these films is to wait six months and rent or buy your own DVD copies, which is what most people do, as studios struggle to figure out why.

UPDATE: The list of nominations is up. Not only is An Inconvenient Truth nominated for best documentary, its drecky Melissa Ethridge theme song is nominated for best song. Since there are three nominations splitting the Dreamgirls vote, it could win.

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  1. Most people who still care about the Oscars will probably be happy with the nominations, as 1)The Departed was a huge hit 2)National Lampoon’s Redondo Beach Vacation (a.k.a. Little Miss Sunshine) was also a hit . . . . The people who vote on this stuff get DVD copies of the movies; their choices reflect the great stuff that you never saw.

    Huh?

  2. Two of the five nominees were actually hits. The acting nominations are an ocean of great movies that got small releases. (Notes on a Scandal?)

  3. Shakespeare Behind Bars? That is one of the movies on the list linked from this post. Does anyone remember the old Eddie Murphy SNL skit about prison poets? The skit ends with “if Shakespeare were alive today, he would probably be doing time.” You just can’t do satire anymore because reality is just too bizarre to satirize.

    I thought The Queen was the best movie I saw this year.

  4. Inconvenient Truth got a best documentary nom… and you just know it’s going to win. Who’s looking forward to that speech? Anyone?

  5. “Inconvenient Truth got a best documentary nom… and you just know it’s going to win. Who’s looking forward to that speech? Anyone?”

    If they wanted to give it to a environmentally sensitive anti-corporate documentary, why not “Who Killed the Electric Car”? That is a kick ass documentary and compelling as hell. A hundred times better than Al Gore and who knows it may actually be true.

  6. Jackie Earle Haley got a nomination, only 30 years too late.

  7. Why is it that whenever Reason reviews cultural items it comes across as, I don’t know, snobbish and arrogant. I liked Little Miss Sunshine. I’m sorry it wasn’t as sturm und drang serious as you would have liked it to be, but it was a sweet little comedy that was one of the highest scoring movies this year at Rottentomatoes.com.

    With the long tail, perhaps studios will become less relevant and the Oscars will too. Until then I guess every year we will have to face people whining that movies just aren’t as good as they used to be and really good films were overlooked by the Academy. Whatever.

  8. NeonCat – I didn’t dislike LMS because it wasn’t serious enough. I disliked it because it was trite and predictable and not funny enough. Some of my favorite movies of the year were light-hearted: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, Dreamgirls, Borat, and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

  9. What? Somebody made a movie of Tristram Shandy?

  10. What parts did you think were trite and predictable? I strongly suspect that you have a limited sense of humor, so I won’t question that you didn’t find it that funny.

  11. The problem with the academy awards is that they get caught up in the moment and wind up nominating movies that while they looked good at the time, five years down the line no one is watching them and they are completely forgotten. The fun thing to speculate about is not what who is going to win, but what is this year’s Shakespeare in Love or Driving Miss Daisy? My guess is Borat is probably the most forgettable movie nominated this year followed closely by “An Inconvenient Truth”. Regardless of what you think about global warming, science will advance and events will pass the movie by making it pretty much irrelevant in a few years. As far as Borat goes, people will look back and think “we thought some guy taking a shit at a party was funny why?”

    Love them or hate them, I bet “Little Miss Sunshine” and “We Are Marshall” are watched a lot more in ten years than any of the films nominated this year eccept for maybe Dreamgirls which might have some staying power.

  12. Humor in movies is so subjective it’s almost impossible to discuss.

    And I’m probably going to sound like a snob myself, but I found Borat trite and predictable. But, if Jackass can make enough money to make a sequel, I guess Borat can be a hit too.

  13. John: Borat will be remembered, but not for its movie quality–it’s a culture war movie (specifically a British guy’s misconstruing of the American culture war), and will be brought up in every discussion as follows:

    Blue: Red-staters are ignorant morons! Look at Borat!
    Red: No, that movie just shows that we’re polite enough to humor a total idiot rather than threaten to beat him up like you New Yorkers!
    Blue: What about those frat boys who sued him?
    Red: That just shows the need for tort reform!

    But yeah, it won’t have a shelf life independent of its political overtones.

  14. Here’s a movie that should have been nominated, but snubbed: Thank You For Smoking.

    It was funny, dead on satire and kicked the politically correct anti-smking crowd to the curb. Aaron Eckhart should have been nominated for his lead role as Nick Naylor, your friendly neighborhood tobacco lobbyist. Oh well.

  15. Little Miss Sunshine was predictable, but it was still funny. Sometimes, this is harder to accomplish than being unpredictable and funny (Borat).

  16. Jb,

    Good point, but while I think the Red State versus Blue State conversation will still be going on in five years, it will have moved on to other topics beyond Borat. Yeah, maybe someone will bring up the movie “remember that movie Borat…” but no one will be watching it anymore.

    I appeal over time says a lot about a movie and is a virtue in itself. Even though I can’t stand the film, I really can’t say that the Wizard of Oz isn’t a great film because nearly 60 years after it was made people still love it and watch it. In contrast I think most movies that are forgotten are forgotten because they are not very good.

  17. – The family’s goofy quirks were seemingly assigned at random. Why did the boy’s Nietzsche obsession inspire him to take a vow of silence? Why was the gay brother a Proust scholar? There was no connectivity between their oddities and their character or character arcs.
    – The villains thrown into the story at opportune moments were cardboard and unfunny. A better movie would have done something with the grief counselor and the harridan at the beauty pageant.
    – The cop who checked out the family’s porno mags and not the dead body right in front of him? That was the best joke they could summon from the death of the grandfather?
    – The family overcomes its problems with… a big dance sequence! If that’s not trite, come on, what is?

  18. What? You mean the market isn’t letting us see all the good movies???

  19. PAN’S FUCKING LABYRINTH SHOULD BE BEST PICTURE!

    at least it picked up a lot of nominations. it should be a lock for best foreign and best makeup since the other nominees are jibba jabba.

    also little miss sunshine was a fun movie. i dont know about best picture but it was enjoyable.

  20. Nobody will believe me, but “Happy Feet” was one of the best movies of the year. I assume it was nominated for best animated film, but the movie was good enough to not be relegated to a sub-category.

    Then again, I may have like it because I had so much fun seeing it with my kids. Either way, it was at least as good as LMS (which I also enjoyed).

  21. Awards shows, by their very nature, are nothing more than ego masturbation.

    If we wanted to view this from a purely business standpoint, the metric for success should be the only one that matters: net profitability (assuming, of course, that the motion picture and recording industries could be persuaded to operate using GAAP accounting guidelines).

    Since it obviously does not, the only other function such awards can serve is to support an ego-driven industry, as well as provide a modicum of “second round” advertising for movies that, by and large, didn’t do so well in the theater or Best Buy DVD rack the first time around…

  22. clint eastwood’s “unforgiven” is the last “best picture” winner that i truly felt deserved it and has become a classic. also all the “best picture” nominees of the 70s were all pretty great for the most part except i can’t believe when i read what the other nominees were for the year “rocky” won. (taxi driver, network, bound for glory, all the president’s men) those movies were ALL better then rocky!!

  23. I’m another person who enjoyed LMS. But I’m not a movie nut, so it probably seemed fresher to me than it really was.

  24. National Public Radio Vacation, AKA Little Miss Sunshine, was crap. Arkin and Carrel had their moments, but only because they are talented enough to rise above the bland, predictable material. It’s the type of movie people pretend to like because they fear looking un-hip. It is this year’s comedy version of Crash. So it will probably win.

  25. National Public Radio Vacation, AKA Little Miss Sunshine

    Matt J wins the thread.

  26. What the fuck? LMS was amazing. Don’t bring politics into movies please. It was funny and at the end I was a little depressed. It was a family I could relate to.

  27. five years down the line no one is watching them and they are completely forgotten

    Have any of our non-gay audience members tried watching Chicago lately?
    Woof.

  28. John: Borat will be remembered, but not for its movie quality–it’s a culture war movie

    No way, Borat will be remembered most for the
    naked wrestling scene.

    And count me as someone who also thought little miss sunshine was a great movie. Laugh out loud funny…quirky characters…and not preachy. Everyone I know who saw it loved it as well. I guess we don’t all have Mr. Weigel’s refined tastes.

  29. First-release cinema, more than music and much more than video games, is completely controlled by the focus-grouped whims of major studios.

    So, David, are you suggesting the government should step in to rectify this? I’m curious to hear the libertarian-knee-jerk-capitalism-good-and-great solution to a problem that seems to be entirely market driven.

  30. Ed,

    I forgot Chicago even won a best picture Oscar. It maybe the most forgettable Oscar winner yet. At least Shakespeare in Love and Driving Miss Daisy are remembered for being terrible movies that won best picture, Chicago won’t even get that.

  31. So, David, are you suggesting the government should step in to rectify this?

    I didn’t phrase it very well. My point is that DVDs, TV, video games and music are released with no restrictions – there’s no TV show you can only see in New York and LA, for example. Surprising stuff can rise in these markets, like the DVD of Office Space or like The Arcade Fire’s first album. First-run motion pictures are released to limited venues based on what the studios think will succeed. Then they give copies of every movie to Academy voters and, voila, different stuff rises to the top. It’s just frustrating that studios don’t have any way to effectively (for us, for their bottom line) to release every movie wide.

  32. Oh stop with the “_____ wins the thread” line. I never even get to vote.

  33. Does anyone with more brains than a lamprey eel give a damn about awards shows?

    Oops, looking at the number of comments on this, that would be far too many.

  34. It’s just frustrating that studios don’t have any way to effectively (for us, for their bottom line) to release every movie wide.

    There’s many ways they could do so, they’ve just chosen not to use them.

  35. I’m amazed at all the people here who liked Little Miss Sunshine. As has already been pointed out, this glorified sitcom of a movie is trite, bland and unfunny. I grant that the acting and photography are good, but just about everything else about this movie stinks.

    There’s so much that is stupid about this film I don’t even know where to begin. How about the scene with the redneck cop? Yeah, like a policeman is going to accept pornography as a bribe – because we all know pornography is so hard to come by these days! And that redneck cop stereotype – very fresh!

    What about the scene where the family, just by chance, runs into Carrell’s ex-lover and academic nemesis in a gas station somewhere in Arizona. Sure, happens all the time! After all, the U.S. is a small country; the odds of two top Proust scholars running into each other in a desert gas station are pretty good, I’d say!

    And what about the movie’s climax, that awful, degrading strip act done by the little girl? Is this supposed to show us that she’s somehow superior to the other little girls at the pageant, who have similarly degrading, yet much more professional acts? And are we supposed to believe that the grandfather taught her this dance routine without anyone else in the family knowing about it? And given that the Abigial Breslin character is supposed to be an oddball who doesn’t fit into the slick beauty pageant world – and given that her act is so awful – how is it that she became the New Mexico runner-up in the first place?

    I could go on. Oh yeah, how about the broken car horn, one of the only gags in the movie that actually made me laugh. Notice how the horn suddenly stopped for a dramatic scene when Dwayne has his realization that he won’t be able to become a pilot? Oh, and it’s pretty realistic that he wouldn’t have realized he was colorblind until his sister submitted him to some random test.

    This is a smug feel-good movie with indie trappings and zero credibility.

  36. all this doesn’t really affect me though it could be better. all these big dumb movies are the films that get best marketing cause that’s WHAT PEOPLE WANT. this is who the big studio’s are sellin’ to cause they are the main ones who are buyin’. i work at a video store in virginia so i know what people want every week when movies come out. most people WANT will smith, the wayans brothers, “saw” sequels and superhero movies. hollywood tries to force things on us like colin farrell, who was everyone’s “favorite rising star” a few years ago but real movie stars are created by the people who want to see them. middle america wants things new, entertaining to their sensiblities, in english and fullscreen not widescreen (for some reason) and they’re gonna get it. now i like obscure, arty dark stuff as much as the next college dropout (some of my favorite directors are werner herzog, carl th. dreyer, leos carax, samuel fuller, george romero, buster keaton, vincent gallo, trey parker, clint eastwood, billy wilder and orson welles) but i’d rather watch broad comedy like “wedding crashers” over some of these overrated critics picks like “little children” or whatever.

  37. [quote] I’m curious to hear the libertarian-knee-jerk-capitalism-good-and-great solution to a problem that seems to be entirely market driven. [/quote]

    Here’s your answer. The free-market solution is already taking effect. Studios keep releasing crap, people keep staying away. Good movies get released on DVD, people buy them. As time goes on big studios will become less relevant and DVD, online streaming, and indy theaters will continue to gain market share.

    Fewer people are paying $10 for the privilege of watching shit in public, and alternate mediums and distribution channel are feeding demand. Either “big” studios will figure it out and offer acceptable product, or they’ll fail. If they fail, someone else will serve their target market.

    That’s free enterprise in action, and it’s being documented in both Variety and the WSJ.

  38. Pan’s Labyrinth should have gotten a best picture nomination.

    Children of Men was robbed.

    That is all.

  39. At the risk of sounding obvious, awards are meant to recogize quality, not box office. I think we all know that the industry gives itself awards in order to make itself look good. Let’s be grown-ups about it, huh?

    The fact that “nobody” sees many of these films (only in Hollywood is an audience of a few million considered a failure) reflects the difficulty of selling quality fare to an audience addicted to junk and pure sensation.

    BTW: I am appalled that you’d quote, much less link Steve Sailer. Geez. Every time I visit this blog, I am reminded why I don’t visit it more often.

  40. The reason everybody waits for the DVD is you can turn the subtitles on and listen to the words rather than lose them in an orgy of music and sound effects. Everything in the movie theater is far too loud.

    Even though I watched it on an airplane, The Queen was by far the best movie of the year. LMS was trite, silly and only occasionally amusing, but all the jokes were rehashed from British TV comedies. Borat was a British TV comedy.

    Same old nominees for best actress. Whose turn this year?

  41. David, the quirks weren’t really at random. Do you really not get some of this?

    Why was the gay brother a Proust scholar?

    Most likely as a gay intellectual, the Steve Carroll character probably identified with Proust at a young age (also a gay intellectual). Rather than creating original works on his own, Carroll’s character did what most academics do and threw himself into studying the writer he identified with. The fact that his is the preeminent Proust scholar is suppose to be funny because how many other Prost scholars are there. In fact, the other top Prost scholar steals his former boyfriend (and student), shows that the people that gravitate toward this scholar are ones who probably identified with Proust homosexuality.

    Why did the boy’s Nietzsche obsession inspire him to take a vow of silence?

    I don’t think it was his Nietzsche obsession that caused him to take a vow of silence, although certain of Nietzsche thoughts about goals and critics on humanity might have helped the thought along (or arguably “inspired” him). I think it speaks more to the fact that his dad is a very goal driven person, but in a somewhat superficial and clich? way. The kid hates his family and would probably rather avoid talking to them. By taking a vow of silence, he fulfills a few objectives: 1) He avoids talking to his family which he does not like (or thinks he doesn’t like); 2) He internally mocks his dad, who supports what is ultimately a meaningless show of determination and “drive”; and 3) Having grown up with his father and his teachings, part of him probably also buys into the motivation and goal-setting mindset and on some level he probably believes that he will be more focused on obtaining his goal by taking the vow of silence.

    Neither of these personality traits are “random.” You just didn’t take the time to think about what the character motivation might be. I don’t think that the flaw in LMS is with the movie as much as its with you.

    As for your problems with the rest of the decisions on the writers, I suppose that is your right. I won’t even ask you to come up with something better. Although, I will say, that dance sequence and the song choice was a complete surprise to me. Moreover, I don’t think anyone of the writers would say that the family “solved their problems” by dancing. It was just how the movie ended. There was no indication that it was happily ever after, but what is wrong with ending on a high note as that family realizes that they can be united in some situations?

  42. NPR crack wasn’t about politics. It was about sensibilities. I wish I could take full credit, but I stole the thought from the Filthy Critic.

    Far as I can tell, it’s a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation designed for the the annoying NPR fucks who listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and laugh at the non-Lake Wobegon parts of Prairie Home Companion. It’s like the movies was written in a parallel universe where the lowbrow comedy of the common man gets a few intemellectual quirks and relabeled as smart and hip.

    I read this review after I saw the movie and he hit the nail on the head.

    The whole review here:

    Pretty fucking smug.

    Filthy is by far my favorite film critic.

  43. “Far as I can tell, it’s a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation designed for the the annoying NPR fucks who listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and laugh at the non-Lake Wobegon parts of Prairie Home Companion. It’s like the movies was written in a parallel universe where the lowbrow comedy of the common man gets a few intemellectual quirks and relabeled as smart and hip.”

    God that is funny and so true. I actually like some things on NPR but God there is nothing funny about it and it is at its worst when it tries to be funny.

  44. I third the Pan’s Labyrinth comments. It’d better win everything else.

  45. John,

    If you liked that check out his archives.

    BTW. I second the Thank You for Smoking comments. That was a smart comedy that was you know – funny.

  46. At least Forest Whitaker got a nod for “The Last King of Scotland.” That’s a pretty amazing performance, charming and terrifying all at once. Hope he wins.

  47. LMS was okay, in a sort of by-the-numbers indie movie way. The biggest stumbling block for me was trying to figure out how a grandfather who was not yet senile decided it would be a good idea to teach his 7-year-old grand-daughter to dance like a stripper. Also, how said 7-year-old daughter would be almost completely indifferent to her grandfather’s death.

  48. Hey now — Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me is pretty entertaining, as far as driving-around listening goes. PJ O’Rourke is a regular guest (I know this forum has already registered dismay with the decline in the quality of his output, but he’s still pretty good with a quip).

    Now, to keep the dour, hip, contrarian edge flowing… every album by the Arcade Fire sucks.

    And will Al Gore’s Oscar be a bigger bragging point than Hillary Clinton’s Grammy?

  49. I’m thinking “The Departed” will win Picture and Director. The acting awards are all easy guesses: Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson will win partly because they, well, deserve the awards and partly because the Academy will feel guilty for shutting out “Dreamgirls” in the Best Picture category. Forrest Whitaker and Helen Mirren will win Best Actor and Best Actress without contest; they picked up almost all of the critics awards, and the Golden Globes to boot.

    “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Dreamgirls” will sweep the technical categories; “Babel” and “The Departed” will win the screenplay awards.

    And I really don’t think that even “An Inconvienient Truth,” which is a guarantee for Best Documentary, will beat that song Jennifer Hudson sang in “Dreamgirls” for Best Original Song.

  50. I’m also in the crowd that detested, “Little Miss Sunshine.” The acting and photography were very nice, but the script was something you’d expect from a high school student or college freshman with no life experience. The writing was like what you’d expect from someone who was smug enough to think he had the world figured out, but all he’s really figured out are stereotypical cardboard cutouts to dress his script up with. It’s like what you’d get if The Sims had a movie version where you can mix and match random and unbelievable characters for no apparent reason.

    It seems to me that people have come to accept good performance from actors as an excuse to overlook the fact that the material they’re acting isn’t any good. When I watched this movie, I kept being bothered by the sheer illogic of so many things. I’m primarily a fan of comedies, so it’s what I watch the most of. When a comedy tries to act “real,” as opposed to some kind of surreal silliness, it’s not funny if it violates the logic of the universe it creates. “Little Miss Sunshine” did that repeatedly. The actors did the best they could with the material they were given, but the jokes aren’t funny and the situations aren’t believable. (As examples, take the police scene mentioned in this thread, sneaking the body out of the hospital, the funeral home cheerfully taking a body from the back of a car without real questions. I’m not even going to get into specifics of the unbelievability of the characters.)

    I love comedy. I love satire even more. I’m trying to get into filmmaking myself and have made a libertarian-oriented short film (political satire) that’s been in 16 smaller film festivals. So film is something very important to me, and I think about it a lot. It appalls me that something like “Little Miss Sunshine” is considered cutting-edge comedy in our culture. It just reinforces my view that artists today have little life experience and just plain can’t write.

  51. isildur,

    Children of Men blew. “In a world where subtlety has no place…” I like how the world was silenced by the cry of a child! Beat it. That sucked. I also liked the “Homeland Security Labor Camp” signs. Oh, and what kind of society would shun a character like Cain’s! He’s so loveable…and cool! Like a grandpa I wanna hang out with! Beat it.

  52. Poor Beyonce. Eclipsed by a newcomer. An American Idol reject even! Oh, the humanity!

  53. And I really don’t think that even “An Inconvienient Truth,” which is a guarantee for Best Documentary, will beat that song Jennifer Hudson sang in “Dreamgirls” for Best Original Song.

    That song (“And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”) isn’t eligible, because it came from the original Broadway show. The three eligible songs are the Beyonce showcase (“Listen”), the Eddie Murphy Marvin Gaye pastiche (“Patience”), and something called “Love You I Do” which I don’t even remember. “Listen” is probably the movie’s best shot. (Any of these songs are better than the songs from “Chicago” and “The Producers” that were slapped into the end of those films’ credits to grub the Oscar.)

  54. The Queen was well acted and beyond boring. Well, actually it was good to see that Blair is an inherent suck up. See I thought he was only Bush’s poodle.

  55. Was “Little Miss Sunshine” the funniest movie I have ever seen? No.
    Did it alter my world view in any way? No.
    Do I need to watch it again? Not sure.

    But it was a good bunch of characters that are not really random so much as real. I mean why does every character’s personality have to symbolize something greater in society. They were just a family who was fucked up in different ways and put in a traveling situation for some stupid talent contest.

    I am not sure there was any big statement to this film – except for a middle finger possibly to the whole kiddie pageant scene. It was just funny acting and well done – not fantastic, just humorous. If anyone went looking for something more profound than that, that was a mistake. It wasn’t enlightening or earth shattering – was it supposed to be? But it was hardly as terrible as I am reading here and in other places. Admittedly not sure it needed to get any oscar nods?but if a movie so trite and contrived like “crash” can win anything, then who can predict?

  56. Funny is surely subjective. Except, of course, when it isn’t. The Office is funny. Arrested Development was funny. 30 Rock is Funny and Extras is funny. Yes, they’re all TV shows. TV does funny much better than movies. Why? Because of late movie funny breaks down into two categories: stupid and pretensious. I think that maybe we suffered through so many years of stupid funny that the smarty pants writers decided to show the world their, uhm, smarty pants. So they started writing pretensiuos drivel. And where does this get us? Well, it gets us a spectacular cast, but an unfunny movie in the form of Little Miss Sunshine. Of course, I’ll take a LMS any day over the stinking piles of commercial shit that people flock to year after year: Fockers. Wedding Crashers. Too many to name. It’s just too depressing. I think we have at least one, maybe two, generations that simply don’t know from funny. I blame SNL, but that’s another story.

  57. I would like to thank Matt J for exposing me to the Filthy Critic.

  58. Glad I could be of service.

  59. I find your comments irritatingly snide and half-cocked. Briefly on your comment on the african american audience: what about five black actors and actresses out of 20 in the best actor-actress and supporting categories (also a japenese woman and two hispanics). Seems like one of the most diverse groups every. And as far as Little Miss Sunshine being “insultingly trite.” Give me a break, it’s a freakin comedy. You want Tolstoy? It might not be my best picture choice, but I thought it was very funny and a good picture. Alan Arkin was a gem. If you don’t like it, why can’t you just say it’s not your taste instead of having to get up on a high horse and act all offended.

  60. Evan, by your logic, nothing artistic can be criticized, because it’s all just a matter of taste. Art criticism IS subjective, but that doesn’t mean that critics don’t make the case for or against individual pieces of art (or commerce, as the case may be).

    If you want to think “Little Miss Sunshine” was a funny movie, that’s your business, but it WAS insultingly bad to many of us. I’m not offended that you liked something that I consider drivel. Why are you insulted that some of us think it was artistic junk?

  61. How the f*ck did Wahlberg get nominated for The Departed? Because everyone likes Entourage?

  62. I am so happy to see that there is a lot of disparagement of Little Miss Sunshine. The best words to describe it are “not funny enough.” If Steve Carrell wasn’t in the movie I never would have rented it. Also agree that Aaron Eckhart should have been nominated as best actor for “Thank You for Smoking” and Sasha Cohen should have been nominated for “Borat.”

    Personally, I think musicals are extremely overrated and should never be nominated. Outside of Eddie Murphy, I was not impressed by “Dreamgirls” and it was nowhere in the top 10 movies of the year, so I’m glad it wasn’t nominated.

    Also, I think Mark Wahlberg got Jack Nicholson’s nomination for “The Departed.” If he wins, he will have the shortest on-screen time of any supporting actor in history. What, was in a grand total of 20 minutes out of a 2hr 20minute movie?

    I am just hoping the Academy finally gives Scorsese his Oscar. Unforgivable that he is 0 for 5.

  63. All you folks who claim LMS was funny: do you mean “funny” as in “I laughed out loud?” It was definitely “quirky,” but I didn’t get one chuckle out of the whole thing. And what was with all the highway overpasses?

    You want LOL funny? Try Idiocracy. I got at least ten BIG laughs out of it.

  64. I am just hoping the Academy finally gives Scorsese his Oscar. Unforgivable that he is 0 for 5.

    When the Academy gave the nod to Dances With Wolves over Goodfellas I was done. There is no justice in world where Costner scoreboards Scorsese on Best Director Oscars.

    Idiocracy was uneven as hell, but funny as shit. The opening sequence alone deserves an award.

  65. I seem to have forgotten: just why do we care about this shit?

  66. We care for multiple reasons. First, some of us enjoy art and entertainment (which are sometimes the same thing, but not always). Second, movies represent the dominant culture and where it’s going today. If the movies aren’t as influential in shaping culture as people assume, they are at least reflective of the culture.

  67. Just the other day I read a Weigel column, and I was thinking to myself “What, no Steve Sailer mention?” Way to get the % up.

  68. Yah, Little Miss Sunshine. Such suck. I’m so glad I saw it on a plane and did not waste my dollars and time seeing it in a theater.

  69. 3)black people don’t watch the Oscars?

    I’m pretty sure you are the last person on Earth that is qualified to make that assertion.

  70. 3)black people don’t watch the Oscars.

    I don’t know, they may want to see Forest Whitaker win best actor, Eddie Murphy win best supporting actor, or Jennifer Hudson win best supporting actress. Whitaker and Hudson are very heavy favorites, and Eddie Murphy merely an ordinary favorite.

  71. 3)black people don’t watch the Oscars.

    And you know this how?

  72. 3)black people don’t watch the Oscars.

    He’s referencing a Chris Rock joke. When Rock hosted the Oscars his best bit was going to a Magic Johnson Cinema and asking black people if they had seen any of the nominated films. The heavily edited consensus was that Big Momma’s House was snubbed.

  73. ok

    did not apreciate the comments about blacks not watching the Oscars. Are you serious? If so then the comment is just bullshyt. I have watched the Oscars every yr since age 12 or so. In fact I have had an Oscar-themed partay, yes par-tay every yr with my mostly black friends.

    you really need to widen your social circle of friends.

  74. Sam Jones:

    Please read the message right before yours. The comment that you’re taking offense to was making a reference to a Chris Rock joke. See Matt’s post right before yours for details. There’s no racist intent.

  75. Can we just all admit that Hollywood has lost it and move on? TV is now better than Hollywood in every aspect. In drama I’ll put The Wire up against any movie you’ve seen this year and The Wire will kick it’s ass. For action I’ll take 24 or The Shield over any retread Hollywood drive-and-shoot with a pumped up sound track. In comedy The Office is much funnier than LMS and with much better writing – and 30 Rock is definitely moving up not to mention It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who make Hollywood’s attempts at SciFi look completely pathetic. Even when I get DVDs these days I find that watching great shows I missed the first time around, like Arrested Development, is almost always preferable to watching a Hollywood movie.

  76. “TV is now better than Hollywood in every aspect.”

    *slapping forehead and groaning*

    You do realize that this makes no sense. As someone who works in “Hollywood” (there is only one major studio in Hollywood proper btw), I can tell you that most TV is produced and created in “Hollywood” (Greater Los Angeles). Movies are produced all over the world; Australia, Canada, Mexico, England, Japan, etc. But I’d venture to say 75% of what you watch on T.V. is “Hollywood”.

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