It's Time To Argue About This Year's Oscar Nominations

There's a big gap between the blockbusters that people pay to see and the movies Hollywood awards itself for making.


Academy Awards

It's Hollywood awards season again, and this year's Academy Award nominees were announced this morning, so let's argue about them!

The biggest fights are going to happen in the Best Picture/Best Director categories. Eight pictures landed the coveted Best Picture nod this year: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.

Several of these nominees are almost certain to be out of the running, leaving a three-way race between Selma, Birdman, and Boyhood. I put Richard Linklater's Boyhood, a time-lapse coming of age story short over 12 years using the same actors, at the top of my own best-of-2014 list, so I would be happy to see it take the statue.

Selma's nomination is already generating a lot of discussion, as is the exclusion of Selma director Ava Duvernay from the Best Director category. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'll leave that argument alone except to note that it's always a little bit weird to see a movie nominated in the Best Picture category but not in the Best Director category, as if a film could be the best movie of the year but not also the best directed. You can imagine a case for the distinction, of course, but the Academy's voting and nomination patterns don't make that case.

The weirdest inclusions on the Best Picture list are Clint Eastwood's American Sniper and Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game.

Sniper is a just-okay movie based on a memoir by Iraq War sniper Chris Kyle that glosses over complications with Kyle's life story, takes an awful lot of storytelling shortcuts, and spends too many scenes explaining and declaiming its themes rather than illustrating them. Bradley Cooper's performance as Kyle is quite good, and Eastwood's direction is frequently solid, but the movie is far too hamstrung by its honorable intentions and its unwillingness to trust the audience.

The Imitation Game is, similarly, a just-fine biopic with a strong score and a great central performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as pioneering computer and cryptography researcher Alan Turing. It's fine, just fine, and Keira Knightley's performance as Turing's closest friend is wonderful, but it too takes historical liberties with its story, and the script and direction are far too pat. 

The biggest omission from both categories, meanwhile, is David Fincher's Gone Girl—a darkly funny, flawlessly directed thriller with a killer script by Gillian Flynn, adapted from her own best-selling novel. Bizarrely, Flynn was not even nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. It's also, as Sonny Bunch argues, a culturally relevant film, and not just a twisted thriller.

Putting Gone Girl on the Best Picture list would not only have been the right thing to do from an artistic perspective, it also would have given this year's top award category some commercial appeal.

Right now, that's something the list doesn't have. As the good folks at Box Office Mojo note, the total combined domestic gross for all the best picture nominees is just $203 million. The average is just $25 million. The highest grossing film of the bunch is The Grand Budapest Hotel, a delightful but distinctly precious film from Wes Anderson that brought in $59 million. That's a strong showing for a Wes Anderson movie, but it's not a big hit. 

The point is that these are not widely seen, popular movies that a lot of people care about.

Gone Girl, in contrast, earned $167 million at the domestic box office. It's a movie that a lot of people paid to see, and it's easily the best of the 2014's big box office winners.

I obviously don't think that the Academy has an obligation to nominate box office hits for big awards, but it would have made sense in this case, especially since the expansion of the Best Picture category, which used to be limited to five movies, but now can include up to 10, would have allowed Gone Girl to be nominated without bumping any of the other films.

Either way, though, the general lack of hits represented in this year's crop does suggest the gap between what Hollywood does for audiences and what Hollywood does, well…for itself. There are hits, and there are Oscar movies, but there's basically no overlap between them.

The expansion of the Best Picture category in 2009 was supposed to remedy this issue, allowing for a bigger field and thus the inclusion of more populist entertainment. But six years later, the divide between the summer blockbusters that lots of people see and the awards-season films that Hollywood congratulates itself for making is as wide as it's ever been. It's the lowest grossing set of nominees since the category expanded. And the exclusion of Gone Girl suggests that the Academy is not terribly interested in closing it.

Arguing about movies is half the reason to see movies, so, please, tell me where I'm wrong in the comments. 

NEXT: Larry Flynt Fights to Shed Light on Missouri's Mysterious Death Penalty Drugs

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  1. I watched Gone Girl this weekend. A fairly good adaptation of the book and perfectly comprehensible to those who have not read it.

    1. I found it perfectly competent–I would expect nothing less from David Fincher–but as a dramatic story I found it pointless. I just didn’t give a fuck. I gave more of a fuck about seeing Emily Ratajkowski’s tits than I did about the plot. Really, I just couldn’t see why I was supposed to care. At all.

      1. The scene where that guy gets his throat cut open is fucking sweet though.

        That’s the Fincher I love – drowning people in blood to a Trent Reznor soundtrack.

        1. And heads in boxes. Don’t forget heads in boxes.

          Fincher has wanted to make Rendezvous with Rama for years but just can’t make it happen. Now that I would love to see.

          1. Would never fly. Not enough pew-pew and evil alien miners bent on extracting earth’s resources.

            1. I’m not saying it would necessarily make money (which is probably part of why Fincher has had such trouble making it happen), but I know I would enjoy it. I loved the book.

              If I recall correctly, he’s been trying to do this since the late 90s.

            2. A series of 4 movies in which everyone losses all interest by the end of the 2nd?

              1. There were 4?

                I had no idea, as I was bored pretty stiff (and not the good kind of stiff) by the end of the second.

      2. They really were world class.

      3. I actually enjoyed Gone Girl. It reminded me of Hitchcock with more blood and much more carnal.

    2. Are you freaking kidding? That movie sucked giant donkey balls. The plot was more hole than plot. “I’m suspected of killing my wife and there’s a shed full of incriminating evidence at my sisters but by God I’m not going to move it, I’ll just let the cops find it”. Ridiculous.

  2. Arguing about movies is half the reason to see movies, so, please, tell me where I’m wrong in the comments.

    Paying attention to the Oscars is your first mistake.

    1. He didn’t judging by some of his comments.

    2. Paying attention to the Oscars is your first mistake.

      Winner. Big waste of time.

    3. Offhand, I can’t think of anything I care less about that self-congratulatory entertainment industry wankfests.

  3. The weirdest inclusions on the Best Picture list are Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game.

    a three-way race between Selma, Birdman, and Boyhood.

    Suderman is a idiot.

    1. No one thought Selma was actually the best movie, which is why it got only one other nomination.

      People just put it on their ballot because they feel like they had to.

      1. For the same reason they voted for Obama.

        1. Selma might deserve best film if the only other contender was a Mitt Romney biopic.

          1. OK, you made me laugh.

      2. The film might be great but all I’m hearing about it is that it has an Important Message, is about Martin Luther King, Jr. and is directed by a Black Woman so it deserves Oscar love.

        1. Those are always red flags. When no one can tell you what’s great about a movie other than that it’s Important it is very rare it’s actually a great movie.

          Then again, 12 Years a Slave was actually very good. It got far more Oscar nominations though, so this movie doesn’t seem to have the same degree of love from the academy.

          12 Years a Slave also had Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor so it really couldn’t miss.

          1. 12 Years a Slave reminded me of Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan, where it was great because it forced you to confront the graphic reality of something we tend to try to avoid dealing with because it’s so horrible.

            All of those films left me feeling almost physically exhausted when they ended.

            1. No. Just no.

              1. I’m curious what you meant by this.

                (For the record, I didn’t see 12 years a slave, and it’s been a long long time since I’ve seen either of the other movies).

                1. That was supposed to be a reply to Suthenboy, not Stormy.

      3. “Selma” is just this year’s “12 Years A Slave”. Vote for it for Best Picture or you’re a racist.

  4. The big problem with the Oscars and awards groups of their ilk is that they can’t decide between being populist or high-brow. Either way they’ll get criticized. They get criticized for being populist by snubbing arty flops like Citizen Kane and awarding hits like The Greatest Show on Earth or Around the World in Eighty Days or for awarding stuff no one has seen, like their recent choices.

    1. Of course their recent choices aren’t as arty as what the film snobs want.

  5. No Ben Affleck movie should ever be rewarded.

    1. Gone Baby Gone is a pretty solid movie.

  6. No best animated film nomination for Lego Movie? Academy you suck!

  7. What about Interstellar?

    1. It was worth seeing for the effects and atmosphere, but other than that, it’s basically a less effective version of 2001: A Space Odyessy.

    2. I think it and “Gone Girl” should round out the 10 nominations, but it probably wouldn’t win. In addition to the effects I thought it was great acting and a captivating story, but maybe it’s just cuz I’m a new dad.

  8. I put Richard Linklater’s Boyhood… at the top of my own best-of-2014 list

    I watched this last night; I thought the movie was good (not great) and was probably a good argument for getting director’s nod and not getting a best picture nod. I thought a lot of the acting was uneven.

    Personally, I thought The Grand Budapest was significantly better.

    Haven’t seen most of the others.

    1. I have yet to see “Birdman”, but as for the other noms, “Grand Budapest” was by far the best, IMHO.

  9. Birdman was my favorite this year. That was one awesome crazy film, and its ability to poke fun at actors and their pretentiousness was quite original.

  10. It’s Time To Argue About This Year’s Oscar Nominations

    Um, no. No. It’s not.

    1. And yet here you are, arguing.

      1. He’s arguing about the need for the argument. An argument I often have with my wife.

      2. This isn’t argument, this is abuse!

        1. “Antique! Antique!”

          1. “More! More! Dammit, I said more!”

        2. Also known as “Bo-ing up the thread”.

    2. I didn’t see any of the films that were nominated. Argument over.

  11. I don’t know how anyone can watch these circlejerk awards shows. They’re only slightly more entertaining than Presidential speeches.

    1. Who said anything about watching it?

    2. I think it is sort of like watching bad movies for fun (which I also don’t generally do). You drink a lot and comment about how stupid it is.

  12. Let’s see, movies RBS saw in 2014:

    How to Train Your Dragon 2
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Mockingjay Part 1
    The Lego Movie
    X-Men: Days of Future Past
    Expendables 3

    1. movies I saw in the theater? none.

      Not a fan of popcorn eating slobs rattling bags of candy and slurping away on a bucket of soda. And the quality of movies is lacking making my consumption of (mainstream) fare pretty low.

      1. I agree a great deal LH, and I recall every once in a while an obnoxious couple talking as well.

        I was given movie passes about six years ago and still haven’t used them.

        I might go see the final Hobbit movie just to see the battle with Smaug on the big screen, but I haven’t decided yet.

        1. I might go see the final Hobbit movie just to see the battle with Smaug on the big screen

          Boy are you going to be disappointed.

      2. With today’s technology (electronic and couches), I can’t imagine why anyone would want to cram into a movie theater with a couple hundred other people.

        1. Somebody’s got to spread the flu.

        2. 8-dollar popcorn and 5-dollar sodas?

  13. John made an interesting comment that the Oscars should be retrospective. There is some merit to this as it is hard to predict what will stand the test of time. Citizen Kane was a flop in its day and while it was acclaimed at the time it didn’t get its lofty reputation until the 1950s. Film Noir was ignored in its day but is more remembered than their contemporaries. Sometimes populist fluff is forgotten sometimes it isn’t (i.e. Star Wars).

    1. It would certainly be more interesting and less of a self-congratulatory wank fest if they did it that way.


      Except that Citizen Kane was nominated for 9 Oscars and won Best Original Screenplay.

      How Green Was My Valley is also the movie which beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture, and How Green Was My Valley has 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.8 on IMDB.

      It isn’t as if Citizen Kane was overlooked and it didn’t lose to a bad movie.

      1. No point is that Citizen Kane still lost and there is quite a bit of vitriol directed at How Green Was My Valley for beating it.

        The other point was that Citizen Kane was a flop at the box office so one time the Academy did go populist and ignored a flop that nobody saw that get criticized.

    3. Citizen Kane was one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. It took four attempts to get through it without passing out, and no, I don’t really give a fuck about the incredible camera angles or whatever reason you give for it being the greatest movie ever made.

      I’ve seen the Godfather, I don’t know, 30 times? I care about the characters, I care about the story. I will watch it another 30 times before I die.

      You tell me which is the better movie. Ball suckers.

      1. The Shawshank Redemption.

        Cause any movie that has Tim Robbins getting repeatedly raped is a-ok in my book

        1. +1 Rita Hayworth

  14. I don’t think I saw any movies (can we stop calling them films now that they mostly are distributed digitally?) that came out in 2014.

    So I will take this opportunity to complain about the Reason hat I got as a prize for giving them some money. First of all, it is way too small. The tag says “one size fits most”. Do most people really have such tiny heads? It doesn’t cover my ears and it squeezes my head.
    The embroidery is also very stiff and abrasive. If I wear it for any length of time, I’ll end up with a big red mark on my forehead.

    1. Now some poor orphan is going to lose a hand.

    2. You’re supposed to wear it ‘ironically’.

      The big red mark on your forehead is the most ironic part.

    3. My hat was too big. But I wouldn’t wear it anyway because it seems like a crappy hat, and I have better ones.

      1. Maybe we should trade. Or do you have a tiny head? Except for the embroidery, I thought the hat was of decent quality.

  15. So are you guys looking forward to the butthurt of an all-white Acting Line-up, an all-male writing line-up and the snubbage of an MLK movie about Selma that is accused of being mean to LBJ?

    1. Looking forward?

      Like this isn’t already happening.…..scars-snub

      “Selma was snubbed because the average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man”

      “1) The Academy is really old, really white, and really male

      As I said in my piece about how it still helps to be a movie about a white man if you want to win an Oscar, the Academy is old, white, and male. It’s made efforts to diversify, sure, but a 2012 survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times found it was still 94 percent white and 77 percent male. The average age of an Academy member is 63. (Need further proof? Every acting nominee this year is white.)

      Certainly, those demographics help in cases where a film deals with recent history (like Selma does), but they also hurt films that shift out of the white, male perspective, or films that play around with nontraditional storytelling styles. (The latter may be why fans of the movie Nightcrawler are also licking their wounds this morning.)

      The Academy is diversifying, and that has led to bolder choices in recent years. (Movies like 12 Years a Slave or Her would never have won Oscars even 10 years ago.) But it’s a slow process, and that’s reflected in the artistic conservatism of this year’s nominees.”

      1. (Need further proof? Every acting nominee this year is white.)

        How is that proof of anything?

        1. RBS, blinded by his white male privilege.

      2. Is Selma eligible? What is the cutoff date?

        1. It was eligble and it got nominated.

          Selma’s problem was that Paramount campaigned for Interstellar and sent out few screeners for Selma.

          1. My main problem with it is that the writer rewrote some of Dr. King’s speeches, which I find inappropriate.

            “The Sounds, Space And Spirit Of ‘Selma’: A Director’s Take”:

      3. the average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man

        Somebody doesn’t know what “average” means.

        Because there’s no way the average person in any group can be a man, unless every member of the group is a man.

        1. So the average academy voter is a transexual?

        2. Actually, you are thinking of the mean. There are other kinds of average. The mode for sex of Academy members is in fact male. If you take a random sampling of sex among members, male is the value which is likely to come up most often. Technically, I think male would work out to be the median value for the sex of academy members as well.

    2. Mean to LBJ? You can’t parody these people.

      1. Supposedly it depicts a conversation between King and Johnson inaccurately.

        1. You could give Johnson a Hitler mustache and goose step and it wouldn’t be “mean” to that SOB.

          1. Bonus – you “Godwin’d” a deserving target.

            1. Oops – I thought you meant LBJ was the SOB, which is who I meant was the deserving target.

              1. That’s what I meant

                1. You know who else had a Hitler mustache and goose stepped?

                  1. “You know who else had a Hitler mustache and goose stepped?”

                    Franz Liebkind when no one was looking?

                2. I’m glad to read that.

                  1. Sheesh.

                    “That’s what I meant” – SN

                    “I’m glad to read that, Scruffy.” – me.

  16. Why are there winners? I thought everyone was a winner! These awards are unfair!

  17. “The highest grossing film of the bunch is The Grand Budapest Hotel, a delightful but distinctly precious film from Wes Anderson that brought in $59 million. That’s a strong showing for a Wes Anderson movie, but it’s not a big hit.”

    Haven’t seen them all, but this one was a delight from beginning to end. Certainly my favorite this year.

    1. Mine too!

      Also, the only one on the list that I’ve seen, and I think the only new movie that I saw in 2014 at all.

      1. Agreed. Amusing story and impeccably shot by Anderson. Each scene was like a painting.

  18. Downside of Oscars: hagiographies, backpatting, Spielbergitis.

    Upside of Oscars: leaked screeners of all nominated films. Even less need to go to your local sticky-floored theater according to someone else’s schedule.

  19. Is Selma as much an ahistorical hagiography as I assume it is?

    The real MLK Jr. is as interesting and salacious a personality as LBJ, FDR, Rand, or any other big-time narcissist of the mid-20th century. I don’t see the appeal of turning someone we know so much about, particularly his foibles, into a fictional character anyone with access to the internet knows to be false.

  20. I haven’t seen any of these movies (and I’m in no rush to) and I don’t care much about the Oscars. But I confess that I’d like to see American Sniper win solely for the butthurt whining and salty tears of the proggies.

    1. But I confess that I’d like to see American Sniper win solely for the butthurt whining and salty tears of the proggies.

      I don’t quite recall that happening a few years ago when The Hurt Locker won.

      1. The Hurt Locker is about an emotionally scarred narcissistic adrenaline junkie who prefers the rush of almost being blown up in a warzone to spending time with his own family.

        It isn’t exactly a positive view of the military.

        1. IIRC The Hurt Locker was directed by some woman who was some sort of darling of the Left. The progs are still sore at Clint for his “empty chair” speech slamming the Dear Leader Obama.

          1. darling of the Left

            At least until the torture controversy over Zero Dark Thirty,

      2. Gun control fanatics are already whining about the movie.

        No, that doesn’t make much sense. It’s happening nonetheless.

  21. Has Salon been hacked by The Onion?

    Was this Oscar’s worst snub?

    The Academy dropped the ball all over this year, but ignoring “The Fault in Our Stars” was inexcusable

    1. The actual biggest snub was ignoring Essie Davis for best actress.

    2. Well, yes, of course the kind of people who frequent Salon WOULD think ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ was the best movie of the year.

  22. You do realize that the studios pay for their films to be nominated. The more money the studio gives to The Academy, the better it will fare in collecting Oscars.

    In other words, Oscars have absolutely no correlation to the merits of a film or performance. It is just Hollywood creating a fake event to market films.

    1. I don’t believe they engage in outright bribery but there is quite a bit of money spent on campaigning.

  23. 1. American Sniper is mediocre at best. The Academy, being made up mostly of progressive statists, LOVES military pictures. It’s probably going to win Best Picture.

    2. How in the nine hells did The Lego Movie not get nominated for Animated Feature? It’s one of the best animated flicks in decades.

    3. Grand Budapest Hotel was awesome and should win Best Picture. It won’t, but it should.

    1. It’s probably going to win Best Picture.

      No it won’t, they snubbed Clint. Boyhood or the Imitation Game will win.

    2. #1 answers your question in #2. The Lego Movie had a pretty libertarian message to it.

      1. Lego Movie was probably snubbed because the animators thought it was a toy commercial.

        1. Every animated movie (and every action movie) is a toy commercial nowadays.

          1. I saw people using that rebuttal too. At least they nominated some obscure foreign movie I’ve never heard of, right?

            1. Nominating Kaguya is quite an achievement, as it is a very Japanese story that, I’d think, most viewers wouldn’t bother watching all the way through. But then I assume animators vote for the animated films, and it is gorgeously animated.

          2. Or a comic book adaptation.

      2. Didn’t see Lego Movie. What exactly was the libertarian message?

        1. Crony business and the government are drowning society in regulation by making sure people only build legos “according to the rules”, but a guy who wants to build his way takes them on and eventually wins everyone to freedom to build the way they like.

          The Lego Movie was to The Fountainhead what Iron Man 2 was to Atlas Shrugged.

          1. Er, not.

            The villian is called “Lord Business”. He’s a guy wearing a suit that looks like the kid’s dad.

    3. The trailer for AS turned me off.

      1. The commercials make it look maudlin and tedious.

        1. I’d rather eat a bottle of ketchup.

        2. Whilst off to war, I ran into some maudlin and a whole bunch of tedious.

          1. Are you guys talking about John Kerry?

    4. The studios choose the category for a movie I think. So did the Lego studio take a chance and put it up for Best Pic rather than Best Animated Pic?

  24. OT.
    So I was looking through the Paul Roberts site and one thing lead to another and I ended up on Daily Kos reading an article about a Montana cop who has twice killed and unarmed person during a car stop.
    Pretty chilling video ( )in the article.

    Thankfully most of the comments condemn the cop, but it didn’t take long to get to this:

    * [new] And don’t forget, Montana is a state of (0+ / 0-)
    gun nuts. It is ridiculously easy to get a concealed carry permit. Guns are literally everywhere. So assuming that a person who is suspected in a shooting owns and carries a firearm is not particularly unreasonable.

    by MTdem95 on Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 06:15:42 PM PST

    1. That explains why Montana’s homicide rate is so high.

      ^ Oh wait, they had a homicide rate less than half the national average last year.

      That’s weird.

    2. * [new] You forget the whole “he was reaching out of sight (0+ / 0-)
      issue. Morrison presumed that he was armed, and waiting until he pulls out a weapon is not really going to decrease risk to the officer.

      by MTdem95 on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 08:15:13 P

      1. presumed that he was armed

        Presuming the worst, the bedrock of American justice!

      2. waiting until he pulls out a weapon is not really going to decrease risk to the officer.

        Certainly would have decreased risk to the unarmed victim, no?

        1. Unarmed victim hillbilly pepper probably hiding guns in his car


          1. Prepper *

  25. The Oscars involve more masturbating than the AVN Awards, but of a less gratifying nature. No reason to care enough to argue.

    1. The Oscars probably involve more venereal disease, as well.

      1. Certainly more syphilis.

    1. Well, it’s the Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies department(s). At what university isn’t such a thing a joke?

      1. There’s a difference between keeping a cackling crazy-pants aunt in the attic and letting her roam the streets. Rutgers needs to put this nut back in her shell.

        1. Once the nut is out of the ballsack, NutraSweet, it’s basically impossible to get it back in.

          I hope that makes as little sense to you as it does to me.

          1. Been humping a belt sander again?

            1. I’ve been seeing a therapist about it, OK? I’m working on it!

              1. Are you there God? It’s me, Episiarch.

                1. No, NutraSweet. Are you there Zod? It’s me, your humble servant Episiarch. Please smite NutraSweet with your laser eyes.

                  1. Noooooooo

                    1. ZAAAAAAAPPPPPP

            2. Been humping a belt sander again?

              You might try a lighter grit. Remember: higher is better.

    2. I’ve always laughed at Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers.

    3. She just knows what Common really wanted to say but couldn’t because WHITE PEOPLE.

      1. And–as a bonus–someone in the comments calls the black actress playing Coretta Scott King a “yellow foreigner.” Since it is Salon, I don’t think it is satire.

        1. Those damn high yellas…

          No racists there, nosirree

          Next up there will be a comment concerning the tone of their gums.

      2. I had to read that bit multiple times to realize it wasn’t a typo:

        “I was struck by the audacity of inclusion in Common’s remarks and reminded that this is precisely the kind of racial discourse that we don’t need.”

        This woman is mentally ill.

        1. So am I missing something, or is she saying that we need more racism, division and hate? That sure seems like what she is saying.

          1. She’s saying that it was too deferential to white people. Never forget that blacks are the real victims and whites are the oppressors.

          2. Oh my god, it gets even more insane (I need a break between paragraphs of that shit). Apparently, anyone who is upset about Charlie Hebdo and who is interested in that now is just doing it to distract from the fact that black lives matter.

          3. That is exactly what she is saying. She is denouncing inclusion and wishing that Common had ranted like a loon just like she does.

          4. She’s saying that Common really wanted to be a shithead racist like her, but that he felt he couldn’t because Kanye was an asshole to a white girl at an awards ceremony or something. All I know is that she’s probably a gay fish.

            Do you like fish sticks, Zeb?

            1. I like fish dicks, does that count?

              1. No! That’s not the joke! Joke ruiner!

            2. Just reading the bits about it here make the article sound insane.

              1. It is unusually insane, even for Salon.

    4. “Nobody mentioned my favorite hobby horse!”

  26. On the pretentiousness of the Oscars, Roger Ebert once observed that there always seems to be a Dame nominated for best actress. His advice to American actresses was to get a British title. For example, Dame Reese Witherspoon would have been a lock for best actress for Legally Blonde.

    1. It’s part of the American weakness for assuming that anything British is automatically better and more sophisticated.

    2. An American can’t get a British title. They can get an OBE but not a knighthood (or whatever the female equivalent is).

      1. Non-Commonwealth people can get honorary knighthoods which means they can’t be called sir. Bob Geldof, Bono, Guiliani and Bill Gates have received them.

        1. “Non-Commonwealth people can get honorary knighthoods which means they can’t be called sir.”

          Yeah, like they could stop me from telling people to call me Sir.

          Fuck off, royal slaver.

          1. It more has to do with it being honorary rather than substantive. Though Geldof is called sir occasionally.

      2. An American can’t get a British title

        Pretty sure Ebert was making a joke.

      3. Some of you seem to know suspiciously much about the specifics of british nobility and titles. Fags.

        1. Hey, my teeth are perfect!

        2. I don’t smoke.

          1. Your mother. I banger and mash.

            1. Does your father like Spotted Dick?

      4. Canadians can. Like Conrad Black.

        Suck it Yanks!

        1. Well, we can use whatever titles we want, whether the Queen likes it or not. You may address me as “Sir Viscount Earl Zeb”.

        2. Didn’t he have to renounce his Canadian citizenship for that?

          1. Possibly. Dunno. Don’t care.

            1. Ok. Here’s what I found out. Canadians ‘can’ be knighted but Canadian law forbids it. In order to get one, you have to renounce your citizenship which is what Conrad – now Lord Black – did.

              You are correct.

              I guess he didn’t think much of being Canadian.

              1. + 1 Nickle Resolution

              2. Seems a bit odd that Canada would worry about honors for citizens being undemocratic, but keep the constitutional monarchy.

  27. Whiplash had great performances, especially J.K. Simmons. Almost as hateful as when he was Vern Schillinger.

    1. Well Simmons is the favorite to win Supporting actor so there’s that.

  28. Also I love the Progs arguing over their two conflicting desires over Selma: Their love of LBJ and their dislike of films about black issues focusing on whites.

  29. Who cares about the Oscars? The Razzies are where it’s at.

    1. Yawn, the Razzies are pretty boring now. Appropriate though as they are literally the bad movie equivalent of the Oscars.

      1. It’s still better than bloody fellating your industry for hours.

        1. Not sure seeing a bunch of internet folks patting themselves on the back for mocking Kirk Cameron, Michael Bay and Nic Cage is much preferable.

          1. I mean there was a time where they nominated Stanley Kubrick and Scarface?

  30. I say no more white or black themed movies.

    That way there will be no more hate or horrible Salon articles.

    1. And the trees will all be made equal….

      It’s the only way.

      (Aside from nuking the site from orbit)

  31. American Sniper – didn’t see – looks like something I’d wait for netflix.
    Birdman – Great acting, smart script, awesome directing – I was reluctant since it was ‘Actors, acting hard at being Actors!’. But really good.
    Boyhood – not bad and had some great moments, but ultimately a gimick movie.
    Grand Budapest – a really fun movie.
    Imitation Game – a conventionally structured, scripted and directed film. Interesting story and some great acting – all ahistoric of course – but not exactly a movie for the ages.
    Selma – haven’t seen – looks like netflix material.
    Theory of Everything – looks like chickflic with science – I’ll wait for it on netflix.
    Whiplash – never heard of it.

    My favorite movie of the year – Guardians of the Galaxy!
    Gone Girl was good too.

    1. Whiplash was the villain in Iron Man 2. But I thought they came out a few years ago.

  32. Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater receiving Oscar Love. Never thought I’d see that. I mean it was obviously going to happen this year but I never thought I would see that year.

  33. All of the issues that the proggies shriek about are grievances. Racism, environmentalism, inequality, feminism etc.
    The root causes of those issues have largely been solved and whatever portions of them haven’t will be in time, they will heal all on their own. Consequently the left tries hard to keep those causes alive or have us believe they are to have a reason for being. Many of them pine for the days when those problems were real and serious.

    Selma, in my opinion, is nothing more than an effort to do just that; keep racism alive in the mind of the public. They are trying to recapture the glory of the past when there was a good fight to be had, to remind us who they are. I am not buying it. Its a fucking propaganda movie to pave the way for another progressive president.

    The problem is, with regards to this issue, proggies were actually the villains back in the glory days they pine for, and their heroes today are still the villains. Were it not for people like Sharpton, Jackson, The Chocolate Jesus and their ilk we would be miles further down the road to a post-racial society. We are where we are in spite of the fuckers.

    I will not be paying money to see Selma. Besides, the movie has been made before. I saw it already some forty years ago.

    1. In so much as Selma is a good historical movie, I’ll watch it. The problem lies in the left’s inexplicable inability to differentiate between harm that happened decades or centuries ago and harm that occurs today. Micro-aggressions and unequal outcomes do not equal Jim Crow and slavery. Institutionalized racism is largely a relic of the past.

    2. I think that says it all rather well, Suthenboy. They seems to see activism as a good in itself, which is very silly. Eventually you have to deal with the fact that you won and get on with life.

      1. I am reminded of the timing of the release of Zero Dark-thirty.

  34. Completely agree about Gone Girl. Great movie.

    Out of those nominated, I would probably pick The Grand Budapest Hotel, Which was rather charming.

    But back to Gone Girl, I thought it was a wonderful commentary on contemporary American ideals of femininity. The way the female protagonist flips from her more genuine self to acting the part of the ideal woman, and the way in which that bargain, to pretend to be someone she’s not, is the basis for all of her sexual relationships, was fascinating.

  35. Also, The Theory of Everything can’t win because it’s the most absurdly Oscar Bait-y thing one could imagine. And Stephen Hawking isn’t even dead yet.

    It’s got a guy in a wheelchair, dying of a degenerative disorder, which forces him to drool on himself and talk through a speech synthesizer, being really amazing at math and science.

    It’s like Rainman crossed with A Beautiful Mind, plus wheelchairs.

  36. my co-worker’s mom makes $75 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired from work for ten months but last month her paycheck was $13904 just working on the laptop for a few hours. use this link………..

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