I'd Like to Thank the Academy for This Thread

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The 80th Academy Awards already seem like the least relevant in history: Even if the fate of the bloated, overwritten telecast wasn't dependent on the resolution of the strike, the individualization of pop culture and rise of home (and on-the-go) entertainment got even starker this year.

Still, eh, that's a whiny and old story. Here's the list of nominees. I see that the moody-but-pointless corporations-will-kill-your-family potboiler Michael Clayton (with a "powerful" final scene that plays like a weak homage to the final scene of The Long Good Friday) is recognized in multiple categories but I'd be surprised if it won any of them: Javier Bardem (Supporting Actor) and Cate Blanchett (Supporting Actress) have to be the favorites for their awards, and I wouldn't call George Clooney the favorite over Viggo Mortensen or Johnny Depp. I'm surprised "Falling Slowly" from Once got nominated: Great song, but it appeared back in 2006 on another album by the movie's stars, and I expect Disney to drop some bodies if it wins. Michael Moore's Sicko is now an Oscar-nominated film, as is Norbit, but The Simpsons Movie is, sadly, not.

Praise? Gripes? Predictions? Thread 'em out.

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  1. My prediction: An Oscar telecast without writers will be the least tedious Oscar telecast ever.

  2. The Oscars? They still have them? Why? Wouldn’t it be more productive to hire a bunch of fluffers, get all the nominees in a room, and service them? It would be cheaper, faster, and much less of an ordeal that what goes on now, and the result would be the same.

  3. “Falling Slowly” from Once got nominated: Great song, but it appeared back in 2006 on another album by the movie’s stars,

    That’s BS, especially considering they refused to nominate the musical score for The Two Towers and Return of the King because it wasn’t “original” enough, ie, a few elements of it had appeared in Fellowship of the Ring.

  4. David, you might have pointed out Norbit got its nomination for makeup, which is certainly plausible. I got my ire up for nothing.

    You’re right about The Simpsons movie omission, though.

  5. How much more interesting would Micheal Clayton have been if the movie had been set in a crooked plaintiffs’ firm. The title character could have been a A.J. Jamal type who finds out the firms lucrative lawsuit is based on junk science, is enriching no one but the lawyers and a few crooked chronies posing as clients and is about to put a family run business into bankruptcy and put 100s of people out of a job.

  6. Once seems as if it is nothing but that tedious, boring, indie guitar shit with none of the energy that makes musicals good. Am I off base or I am I missing something by not seeing this movie?

  7. Nothing for Zodiac. My prediction is that it will age as well as any movie made this year. It is wildly entertaining and interesting. Watch for it to assume the Shawshank Redemption spot on the TNT/TBS loop in the coming years. Also, it is the most libertarian movie made in a very long time. It is a movie really about due process. Shame it was not nominated.

  8. Here are the Razzie nominations.

  9. I had my fingers crossed for Rob Zombie as best director. Oh well.

  10. The 80th Academy Awards already seem like the least relevant in history

    Since the 79th Academy Awards you mean.

  11. For those who poo poo the relevance, perhaps you should get out of your own heads.

    Oscar nominations result in dollars at the box office. It’s why they do it. It’s an industry award. I’m shocked that hardcore capitalists seem to miss out on this.

    And for the Micheal Clayton haters, save the Ayn Rand stuff for another time. I know you don’t mean to suggest that there’s no such thing as an evil corporation, do you? LOL

    As for the whiney old story, it is. And grow up. Can’t we rise above the na-na-poo-poo level of new media arrogance? Yes, we know all about the internet and what it means. Yes, we know that people watch movies at home. What’s the point of the complaint? You make it sound like the movies themselves are a problem. The losers in the game of capitalism are NOT morally inferior. Please get off the high horse.

  12. “Oscar nominations result in dollars at the box office. It’s why they do it. It’s an industry award. I’m shocked that hardcore capitalists seem to miss out on this.”

    Hardcore capitalists are also less likely to buy into BS sales pitches like the Oscars. And I believe, instafaggot, that it’s “pooh pooh.”

  13. And for the Micheal Clayton haters, save the Ayn Rand stuff for another time. I know you don’t mean to suggest that there’s no such thing as an evil corporation, do you? LOL

    Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation. I can’t think of one.

  14. The Muppet Movie was highly complimentary toward large Hollywood production firms.

  15. “Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation. I can’t think of one.”

    The Laugh Factory in “Monsters, Inc” ended up being pretty friendly.

    Instabrokeback seems awfully cranky.

  16. Jonathan Hohensee,

    Re: Once, if you like The Frames chances are pretty good you’ll like this movie. It’s a fairly quiet, very naturalistic movie with non-actors who, to sound a little fey, are really quite charming. It’s not a musical, although half the run-time is performance.

    My favorite scene was when The Girl’s cd player conked out and she had to go get batteries. Sounds lame, but it was effective for me. The ending was a nice non-Hollywood ending for a “love story.”

    If you have a boho-type BF / GF, you will definitely get laid if you rent this movie.

  17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

  18. Bring on the ad hominem attacks. (and assorted and sundry fallacies)

    Ayn Rand wouldn’t have it any other way!

    I love the smell of right wing political correctness in the morning!

    You guys are as partisan as a Women’s Studies course or the Clinton White House Press Corps!

  19. (crosses fingers for War Dance over Sicko)

  20. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

    [harsh, negating buzzer sound]

    Wonka was evil for sure.

  21. If you want to have an idea of what liberals see in their head when they imagine libertarians, go see There Will Be Blood.
    Daniel Day-Lewis as a turn of the century, atheistic, ubermensch oilman is brilliant.

  22. Re: Once, if you like The Frames chances are pretty good you’ll like this movie. It’s a fairly quiet, very naturalistic movie with non-actors who, to sound a little fey, are really quite charming. It’s not a musical, although half the run-time is performance.

    My favorite scene was when The Girl’s cd player conked out and she had to go get batteries. Sounds lame, but it was effective for me. The ending was a nice non-Hollywood ending for a “love story.”
    Sounds like it combines the worse of indie cinema (where having nothing ever happen is considered poignant) and indie music. I think I’ll go back to watching West Side Story. You know what my favorite scene was in that? When a character got stabbed.

  23. Wonka was evil for sure.

    Clearly a hard-core chocophile.

  24. “Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation.”

    I guess every film where the person’s job isn’t an issue, yet the protagonist has a nice house and presumably a decent income?

  25. “Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation.”

    Team America: World Police

  26. When a character got stabbed.

    Was there finger-snapping too?

    Is your favorite song “I Feel Pretty?”

    ;-}

  27. Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation. I can’t think of one.

    SABRINA:

    Making money isn’t the main point
    of business. Money is a by-product.

    – What’s the main objective? Power?

    – Ah! That’s become a dirty word.

    What’s the urge? You’re going into
    plastics. What will that prove?

    Prove? Nothing much.

    A new product has been found,
    something of use to the world.

    A new industry moves into
    an undeveloped area.
    Factories go up, machines go in
    and you’re in business.

    It’s coincidental that people who’ve
    never seen a dime now have a dollar
    and barefooted kids wear shoes
    and have their faces washed.

    What’s wrong with an urge
    that gives people libraries,
    hospitals, baseball diamonds
    and movies on a Saturday night?

    Also CASH McCALL and OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY are both capitalist friendly, if not specifically corporate positive.

  28. I just saw Juno last night. Cute flick.

    Is it a sign of the times when the Oscar race for best pic comes down to “No Country for Old Men” (as creepy a movie as I’ve seen this year), and “Juno” (so sweet you might catch teh diabetes)?

  29. “Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation.”

    Pretty Woman. At least at the end…

  30. Pretty Woman . . the most uplifting of hooker films.

  31. Ahh yes, it’s Romeo and Jezebel.

  32. Not really. Poor comparison. I shouldn’t have posted that. Or this.

  33. Glengarry Glen Ross (first prize was a Cadillac!)

  34. I just saw Juno last night. Cute flick.

    I actually thought it was more like “Garden State – The Sequel.” It was the most cliche indie film of indie films I’d ever seen.
    Everyone else liked it though (except the people I went with), so *shrugs*

  35. Somemthing calling itself “instafaggot” comments on glittery movie awards. Perfect.

  36. Anyone else think the Simpson’s Movie just plain sucked? The show never recovered from losing Conan.

  37. Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation.

    “War of the Worlds”? (The TomCruise? version.) Which is probably about the only redeeming factor in that gawd-awful drek.

  38. What corporation was mentioned in War of the Worlds?

    Are you talking about Tom’s job at the port?

  39. The thing to remember about Michael Clayton is that as a piece of fiction, it is ultimately nothing more than a fable, and as such, can be viewed as nothing more than a polemic of the views of the writer. If one really wants to get riled up about something of this type, try Erin Brokovich, which deliberately twisted facts to this exact end to vilify the corporation, when the real story was far more nefarious on the end of Ms. Brokovich.

  40. After I saw There Will Be Blood my first comment was “That’s one of the best scores I’ve heard in a film in a long time.” My second comment was “I bet it doesn’t even get nominated for best score.” Not surprising really…Bernard Hermann and Danny Elfman never won oscars either.

  41. Peter,
    You need a dictionary. Micheal Clayton is not a fable. A fable is objectively defined and Micheal Clayton doesn’t fit the definition. It’s also not a polemic for the same reason.

    As for Erin Brokovich, I’d say the corporation in question was plenty evil and got what they deserved. End of story.

    I think it’s apalling the way that people run to the defense of the defenseless. Apalling.

    (And keep up with a non-sequitors and ad hominems, folks! I’d be disappointed if you weren’t fallacious!)

  42. Fallacious, fellatio, it’s all the same in Hollywood.

  43. I found “Once” to be tedious. The songs were all so similar they ran into one another. You heard one you heard them all.

  44. Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation.

    I thought The Aviator also seemed “capitalist friendly, if not specifically corporate positive.” The overall plot, of a brave entrepeneur fighting against government interference, could practically have been an Ayn Rand novel (though Rand would have included more sex scenes).

  45. I agree with Rhoads, Johnny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood was sensational, in my opinion a masterpiece. I’ve read about 25 reviews for the film, and all praised Greenwood’s score, even those that criticized the film. I’m shocked it didn’t get a nomination.

  46. Bernard Hermann and Danny Elfman never won oscars either.

    Hermann does nothing for me, and I’m amazed at the adulation he receive(d/s). I find his scores intrusive and unpleasant – I almost stopped watching Taxi Driver because I found the music so hard to bear.

  47. Name a Hollywood film that has suggested there is such a thing as a non-evil corporation. I can’t think of one.

    Secret Of My Success, Working Girl, and, uh, that’s about it…

  48. Tucker: The Man and His Dream – at least IRT the Tucker Corporation.

  49. The Laugh Factory in “Monsters, Inc”

    It was a non-existent fantasy corporation.

    “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

    Ditto.

    Daniel Day-Lewis as a turn of the century, atheistic, ubermensch oilman is brilliant.

    Was it anything like his atheistic, ubermensch gang leader in “Gangs of New York”?

    Team America: World Police

    Parker and Stone are definitely not H’wood.

  50. My prediction: An Oscar telecast without writers will be the least tedious Oscar telecast ever.

    Unquestionably. Imagine the possibilities for real entertainment for a change as the unscripted presenter-celebrities and winners are permitted to blather to their hearts content! What fun!

    FWIW, my 2007 Best Picture take here.

  51. InstaDOUCHE

    FABLE – A narrative intended to enforce a useful truth

    POLEMIC – An argument made against a particular doctrine or institution

    I was an English major, and also in regards to Anderson vs. PG&E. The U.S. Department of Health had already determined that chromium ingested via drinking water was not harmful to humans. The entire case was rounded up by Masry and Vitoe in order to get the big commission from private arbitration. You see, PG&E had already panicked regarding the discovery of the leak, regardless of any evidence as to sickness, which there actually wasn’t in reality, and in order to cut their losses, they offered to buy the land of the farmers who’d had the “contamination”. Because they settled on such a high price, the farmers got suspicious and called the arbitration firm, and in the end, the firm got rich, and the farmers, who’d hoped to pillage PG&E and make out like bandits, got practically nothing.

    I’ve been working in law for quite some time, and now in California, and I know several people who worked for Masry and Vitoe.

  52. Allegedly, “Falling Slowly” was written and filmed for “Once,” and then cut separately on an album when it seemed likely that the film was going to go unreleased; the album got released before the film, but the Academy’s rules supposedly allow this sort of thing. Now, as to why Zodiac got shut out, I have NO idea…

  53. What corporation was mentioned in War of the Worlds?

    None really. The fact that Spielberg and Co. didn’t take a gratuitous swipe at corporations or just capitalism in general counts for something.

    I’ll take it where I can get it.

  54. Peter,

    I am told a few of Brockovic’s boyfriends and chronies got rich off of the deal to. Even if you buy the fact that they had a case, which they didn’t, the money never went to the people who were sick, it went to the lawyers and a few connected plaintiffs. There is a special place in hell for Brockovic and her ilk. I don’t know how the woman sleeps at night.

  55. Re: corporations as villians

    wasn’t the part of the plot ‘twist’ of i robot ‘oh the villian has got to be the ceo of the corporation, but, suprise he’s not.’

  56. Has there ever been a movie based on Poul Anderson’s “Harvest of Stars” series? In it, the good guys are all part of (almost the last) corporation, Fireball enterprises.

  57. and not a movie but, paraphrased:

    “I’d like to introduce you to General Frickin’ Motors. Look at you, you’re on horses. What the frack were you thinkin, for god sakes.”

  58. Peter,
    was the namecalling really necessary?

    I’m an English major too. Which is irrelevent in both cases. LOL

  59. It was a non-existent fantasy corporation.

    Aren’t they all (as depicted by Hollywood)?

    Thought my (high school aged) kids would like Juno but they saw through that hipster b.s., too. They loved Sweeney Todd. They have a rather unhealthy fixation on Johnny Depp.

  60. “Parker and Stone are definitely not H’wood.”

    Paramount Pictures isn’t Hollywood? Parker and Stone live in L.A. and produce their TV show and movies there.

    It seems that many people define “Hollywood” as a those in the movie industry with certain political beliefs (lib…lib….liberal!) and those with opposing views are “outsiders.”

  61. Weigel, Michael Clayton is an homage to Three Days of the Condor–it even has Sydney Pollack in it, for Christ’s sake. Do I have to explain everything about films here?

  62. Slightly off topic, but Heath Ledger was found dead. That’ll make watching the upcoming Batman movie feel a bit strange.

  63. I’m surprised “Falling Slowly” from Once got nominated: Great song, but it appeared back in 2006 on another album by the movie’s stars, and I expect Disney to drop some bodies if it wins.

    The film actually showed at a couple of film festivals in 2006, so the song could have been written for the movie, appeared on the album, and become eligible for the Oscar for 2007 when the film was wide-released.I think.

    The one song I really liked was the delicate song the girl was singing accompanying herself on the piano. Unfortunately when they turned it into a song for the album they buried it in strings and ruined it.

  64. I don’t understand the Academy’s Simpsons shaft. Do they normally only permit three animated nominations? Would it cripple the show to have a fourth? I mean, I don’t think it deserves to win, but it certainly deserves a nod.

    And though I haven’t seen it yet, I’m pulling for Ellen Page from Juno if only because she was on one of my favorite TV shows when she was younger: Trailer Park Boys (she played Ricky’s daughter Treena for a couple seasons).

  65. There is a special place in hell for Brockovic and her ilk. I don’t know how the woman sleeps at night.

    Agreed. I always found it strangely appropriate that a leech like Brokovich would be portrayed on screen by the living embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the Hollywood system.

  66. What a bore, you spoiled Michael Clayton for me before I had a chance to see it and judge for myself. Thanks for nothing!

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