Movies

The King's Gritty Network (Or: Oscars Ahoy!)

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I love trash.

This year's Oscar nominees were announced today; if you want to talk about them, this is your thread. The Social Network, a.k.a. the Facebook movie, is widely seen as the frontrunner to take Best Picture. I won't be surprised if it wins: It's a movie about the alleged evils of a rival form of entertainment, a well-trod path to praise in Hollywood. The other leading contenders are True Grit, which has the advantage of being a genuinely good movie, and The King's Speech, which may well be a good movie—I haven't seen it—but its more substantial advantage is that it's about English people with titles. The Academy eats that up.

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  1. The King’s Speech, which may well be a good movie — I haven’t seen it

    You’ll see the live version tonight if you have your TV on. I won’t.

  2. I believe The King’s Speech both a) got the most nominations and b) is considered the strongest frontrunner

    1. You are correct about (a), and I’ve corrected the error in the post. But most of the speculation I’ve seen about frontrunners has put Social Network in the lead. We’ll see.

      1. The King’s Speech won the producer’s guild awards which is generally a better predictor than the Golden Globes. Possibly because the producer’s guild is less corrupt than the HFPA*.

        * But then again, who isn’t outside of the FIFA World Cup committee and the IOC.

    2. But, but… NAZIS!!!!!

  3. I’ve seen 9 of the 10 nominees for Best Picture, and I’d rank them as follows:

    1. Winter’s Bone
    2. The Social Network
    3. True Grit
    4. The King’s Speech
    5. The Fighter
    6. Toy Story 3
    7. Inception
    8. Black Swan
    9. The Kids Are All Right

    I hope to see “127 Hours” within the next few days. Based on what I’ve been told by people I trust, it should crack my Top 5.

    1. I’ve only seen Inception and Toy Story 3. The rest didn’t make it to my Redbox yet.

    2. Winters Bone finished at the start of the third act. Would’ve made a couple of good episodes of cable TV though.

      Carlos was by far the best film of 2010.

  4. Remember when a movie that fans actually enjoyed won best picture? It shouldn’t be hard, as it’s only happened once as far as I can remember.

    Not only are the Oscars a gathering of pompous assholes who congratulate other pompous assholes, but nobody gives a rat’s ass anymore because the whole world knows that only pompous assholes are going to win.

    1. There have been some blockbusters that have won Best Picture…ROTK and Titanic come to mind. But it is rare.

    2. This is a b.s. argument. Since 2000, two blockbusters have won Best Picture, Gladiator and Return of the King. Avatar probably would have joined them were Cameron not a massive prick.

      1. OK, so 20% of the time (using a very generous time scale, as Gladiator won in 2000) a popular movie wins. That’s not a great argument for relevance.

        1. But it’s never been the case where blockbuster’s consistently won. And since when does popular = better. An egregious case of popular winning over better was Forrest Gump beating Pulp Fiction. Though I would guess that Pulp Fiction has far more fans than Gump. If you’re just going to reward popular crap with the awards, just rename the Oscars “The Movie Grammys”.

          This is not to say that I think that the Oscars are great at picking the best movies. However, I at least like that they try to reward under the radar quality.

          1. The Oscars have always been a “prestige” marketing event for the CA/US film industry. I can’t understand why anyone expects them to be more (or less) than that.

            See the Chandler article linked below.

          2. The Oscars have always been a “prestige” marketing event for the CA/US film industry. I can’t understand why anyone expects them to be more (or less) than that.

            See the Chandler article linked below.

          3. Unfortunately, I think that argument is undercut by the fact people make “Oscar movies.” The King’s Speech is one such creature. If the Oscars were really about discovering quality wherever it might be, it would be practically impossible to make Oscar bait films. Which are made with boring constancy.

            The Oscar oscillate between rewarding obvious pandering to their well-established tastes and medium-crappy popular films to desperately keep up the illusion that they are not in fact doing what they are doing on the years they don’t pick a Titanic or Gladiator.

            Winning an Oscar has as much validity in recognizing objective quality as being elected high school student body president.

            1. Yeah, and the foreign language noms are generally the epitome of middle-brow tedium.

              1. Awards shows are about making money. Period.

            2. But the Oscar bait pictures win just as often as the blockbusters do. I wouldn’t put the Hurt Locker, No Country for Old Men or even Slumdog Millionaire in that category. I definitely wouldn’t put the Social Network in that category.

              I think the relevance of the Hollywood awards is demonstrated by how people react. The winners a almost universally happy to win them, compared to the classic Cobain/Eminem reaction to the Grammys, and the winners get a significant revenue bump.

              I agree it’s bullcrap that something as simple as changing when your movie comes out effects your chances. But recency effects are just something you have to deal with.

              Though if we went by box office popularity, we’d get similar tedious formulas. It would just be cheesy rom coms and action movies instead.

            3. Or sports awards.

        2. Absolutely true that there have been few “popular” movie winners in recent years, but it’s not really true generally.

          That movies like Hurt Locker, Crash and Slumdog Millionaire have won recently is, I think, indicative of the increasing gulf between small “important” movies and mostly mindless blockbuster fare. There’s almost nothing in the middle any longer. Very rarely is a summer movie anything like what is generally considered Oscar worthy – e.g. something like “Raider’s of the Lost Ark.”

          Historically, popular movies that passed the “good enough” bar are nominated and often win, sometimes at the expense of better movies. Besides the few mentioned elsewhere: Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, Shakespeare in Love, Braveheart, Unforgiven. All of these did well at the box office. Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas perhaps entirely because it was more popular. It certainly wasn’t because it was better.

          1. I’d say Braveheart and Unforgiven were good enough to at least deserve the nod. I don’t remember what they were up against, but those are a couple good movies.

            Forrest Gump & Dances With Wolves were/are seriously overrated. But in addition to their popularity, the first had a character who didn’t go full retard, and the second had a character who got back to the land and became all Earth-mother-lover. For Hollywood types, either of those are like candy.

            1. Agreed. I didn’t mean to imply that all of those weren’t deserving of nominations or even wins. Just pointing out that highly popular films are nominated and win pretty regularly. Or at least did up until a few years ago.

              Unforgiven actually beat some pretty Oscar-baity crowd-pleasers – A Few Good Men and Scent of a Woman. But then I guess it had the ultimate Oscar bait – Clint Eastwood.

              Always bet on the actor as director. Actors like voting for their own and they make up by far the largest voting bloc for Best Picture.

    3. Though I recall pretty much every Hollywood “insider” saying that Lost In Translation should have beaten ROTK that year.

    4. Remember when a movie that fans actually enjoyed won best picture?

      Looking at the list of Academy Award winners from the past 20 years, I see exactly two that weren’t box office successes: “Crash” and “The Hurt Locker”.

  5. Whatever your opinions, I think we can all agree that it’s important to accurately distribute awards among entertainers, our otherwise-unsung national treasures.

    1. Hollywood is politics for beautiful people.

  6. GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN. Where’s my gun?

  7. Iron Man 2 didn’t make the list? Farging bastiches…

  8. You know who else had film awards?

    1. Kodak?

  9. The King’s Speech is a fantastic movie, one of the best acted movies that I’ve seen in years.

    I watched The Social Network last night. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a classic. If it wins, it’ll be one that we look back on as undeserving in 5-10 years.

    True Grit is a good movie, but has the fact that the John Wayne version was better holding it back. The girl definitely deserves the best supporting actress award, though.

    Toy Story 3 is just happy to be nominated. Worth a mention, but not really a contender.

    I’ll watch Inception and The Fighter soon before making a judgement, but as of right now, I’d give the Wesley to The King’s Speech.

    1. You should see “Winter’s Bone”. Incredible movie.

    2. I suspect that “The Social Network” will ultimately be viewed as a better-directed, better-acted version of “Reefer Madness”.

      Honestly, if you are familiar with social networking sites and the internet in general, the movie will make you giggle.

  10. OT:

    WAR ON COPS!!!1ELEVENTY!!

    Dogs and wrong address homeowners beware. Motorists, please keep both hands on the wheel with your license, registration and proof of insurance clamped in your teeth.

    1. So now they’re even more likely to just shoot anyone who looks at them crosseyed. Wonderful.

  11. “The King’s Speech, …its more substantial advantage is that it’s about English people with titles. The Academy eats that up.”

    I recall Roger Ebert years ago commenting on Hollywood’s anglophilia. There’s always a Dame up for Best Actress, so the American actresses should up their odds by acquiring a title. Dame Reece Witherspoon would be a shoe in.

  12. Posts which use the first person singular should have bylines.

    1. It appears to be Herr Walker, as he responded to a comment up above.

    2. It is Walker. It had a byline earlier. The squirrels must have eaten it. Reason should hire the actors that played the programmers in The Social Network. They couldn’t do any worse, and I doubt that their door will be beaten down for more acting work.

  13. I didn’t like True Grit that much, but how the heck is Jeff Bridges up for lead actor, but the girl who played the main character of the story is up for supporting actress? I’m pretty sure the answer is “she hasn’t paid her dues yet” but that’s crap.

    1. but the girl who played the main character of the story is up for supporting actress?

      Good point. She was the lead. The first quarter of the movie doesn’t even have Bridges in it.

      In fact i can’t think of a scene that does not have her in it.

      She was even the fucking narrator at the beginning and the end of it.

      I think the academy doesn’t even understand Movies or stories for that matter.

  14. I really don’t like the 10 nominee system for Best Picture. They’ve basically created a sci-fi/fantasy slot, an animation slot, etc. in addition to the five movies that actually have a chance to win.

    Toy Story 3 isn’t even the best of the Toy Story movies, let alone worthy of consideration for BP.

  15. Calculon: I told you I want an Oscar.

    Bender: Then maybe you should act better.

    Calculon: The Oscar isn’t about acting. It’s about earning the respect and admiration of the creative community.

    Zoid: How ’bout we rig the awards?

    Calculon: That’s fine too.

    1. “That’s what I wanted you to think, with your soft human brain.”

  16. Obligatory Raymond Chandler article post:

    Oscar Night in Hollywood

    1. Dude, awesome link.

      I am a Chandler junkie.

    2. Not only is the motion picture an art, but it is the one entirely new art that has been evolved on this planet for hundreds of years. It is the only art at which we of this generation have any possible chance to greatly excel.

      Apparently Chandler has never heard of video games.

      I hate poeple who comment on culture yet don’t even know of the existence of huge swaths of it.

      1. Are you seriously dissing Chandler?

        1. Are you seriously dissing Chandler?

          YOU DIDN’T FRIGGIN TELL ME HE WAS DEAD 50 YEARS AGO!!!

          1. Yeah, he didn’t get to play much Double Dragon.

            1. Hypothetically he could have played “Tennis for Two”.

              Perhaps he did in 1958 and died a few months after because the experiance shattered his understanding of art and conception of the universe.

              1. I think he spent his final years in La Jolla, but he might have made it up to NY.

      2. Apparently Chandler has never heard of video games.

        Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 ? March 26, 1959

        MOTHER FUCKER!!!

      3. At the top of it: March 1948 ATLANTIC MAGAZINE

  17. The Social Network, a.k.a. the Facebook movie, is widely seen as the frontrunner to take Best Picture. I won’t be surprised if it wins: It’s a movie about the alleged evils of a rival form of entertainment

    I realize that was Sorkin’s intent, but so what? Can anyone honestly say that by the end of the movie that you hated or even disliked the Facebook guy?

    In fact i had worse feelings for the facebook guy’s adversaries then i did for him.

    His ex-girlfiend who did break up with him, over reacted to mean things said on a blog that no one reads but his friends…What he isn’t going to talk shit about her to his friends anyway?? Who doesn’t say mean things to their friends after they get dumped?

    His partner who does not help and he fired for not helping despite the facebook guy begging him to help.

    And The frat dicks who where frat dicks.

    If these were his victims they were not very sympathetic.

    He made a huge company and he looked good doing it. That is the movie I saw….even if it wasn’t the one Sorkin wrote.

  18. Hey Reason, go fuck yourself! Anyways . . . The Fighter was pretty damn good. Social Network was just ok and not worthy of Best Film. Black Swan gets the nod due to strange boner appeal. That’s all folks!

  19. Shakespeare in Love winning over Saving Private Ryan was all the reason anyone needed to stop taking the Oscars seriously.

    Social Network is interesting, if only as a commentary on those who produced it. It makes IP law look like a farce, and is so transparent a hatchet job that Zuckerberg is the only sympathetic character left at the end.

  20. Congratulations to all the Oscar Nominees they all have worked very hard at mastering their craft for all of us to enjoy. I wish them all the best and say ” Thank You All for sharing your Art.”

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