Monday, January 30, 2012

My Opinion Is The Only One That Really Counts

I've changed my mind about watching all of the movies nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award for two reasons.

1)  Several of the nine nominated movies are just not interesting to me.  There are a few I'd like to see (Moneyball, the Artist, the Help) but there are a few that don't appeal to me (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, War Horse), and then there's one that was made by a person who took naked photographs of his adopted daughter and later married her, and even if he wasn't ever convicted of raping the poor girl it is obvious to me that bad things happened.  I'm not making a political statement by boycotting his movies, I just think having knowledge of that amount of ickiness would stay in my head and distract me.  Last year I was excited to see nearly all of them (Black Swan and 127 Hours in particular), and this year things just seem a lot less compelling in general.

2)  I read an article about a nun. This article:  It's about a young woman who had a promising acting career, including co-starring in a movie with Elvis (she was his first on-screen kiss) but then left Hollywood in 1963 to become a nun.  She's been living in a convent in Connecticut ever since.  From the article:  "Mother Dolores is still a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, receiving copies of movies to watch in her small room -- or cell, as they're known in the order -- to help select yearly Oscar winners."  Wait, what?  This elderly nun is one of the people who selects the Academy Award nominations?

I poked around on the internet, and apparently, this is a frequent complaint about the Oscar process, that so very many votes are given to people who were in the movie industry decades ago, but now appear to be, to at least some degree, out of touch.  At the very least, a lot of the voters are people who don't have much in common with me.

My desire to see every one of the Best Picture nominees was based on the idea that the nominees represented the very best in the art of moviemaking, and now I'm not so sure that is actually the case.  There are many types of movies that are historically under-represented anyway, such as horror films.  The Shining is one of my very favorite movies, and it was not even nominated for any Academy Awards.  That year, Kramer vs Kramer won Best Picture.  I've seen both movies, and Kramer vs Kramer had many fine qualities, but I wouldn't put it on the same level of memorable movie art as The Shining.  Guess what other movie was at least nominated for Best Picture that year, but lost?  Apocalypse Now.

So screw the Academy, I'm just going to focus on the ones that appeal to me, and the ones that get good reviews from people that I feel have tastes similar to mine.

Here's the list of the major categories, the only two I've seen out of all the major nominees are The Girl With The Dragon Tatto (nomination for lead actress) and Bridesmaids (nomination for original screenplay). 

How many are you interested in?

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Demián Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy "
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"

Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life

"The Descendants," Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon; Jim Rash
"Hugo," John Logan
"The Ides of March," George Clooney; Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
"Moneyball," Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

"The Artist," Michel Hazanavicius
"Bridesmaids," Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
"Margin Call," J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen
"A Separation," Asghar Farhadi