Oscar History

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Que Sera Sera, Whatever We'll Link, We'll Link

Roger Ebert delivers his top ten list with Argo up top. Ebert's always been a fairly mainstream Oscar-Friendly voice so it's no surprise to see three of the (presumed) top six Best Picture nominees at the very top. But it's nice to see lesser discussed titles like End of Watch and Oslo August 31st getting their due.
In Contention details a prestigious win that I didn't know about for the French film Farewell My Queen, one of my favorites
IMDb the most pirated movie of 2012 was... Project X. Huh. 

NPR ooh, I missed this interview earlier in the year. Doris Day reflecting on her life and career 
The Guardian here's a fun top ten list if you're feeling that new holiday weight: the best onscreen personal trainers from Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid) to Pai Mei (Kill Bill)
/Film Test footage for animation/live action hybrid crimes against my childhood: Hong Kong Phooey and Marvin the Martian 

Les Línkables
Vulture Kyle and Amanda argue over Les Misérables with a side of Disneyland
Kelli Marshall pummels considers Les Miz of which she is (previously) a fan
The New Yorker on the consistent greatness of the property and "a continuity of culture" in which the old stories can still be the best
Guardian looks back on Tom Hooper's career. I always forget that the much-loathed director (at least on the internet) made so many wildly acclaimed TV films before moving to the big screen
International Business Times reports that the soundtrack is selling briskly -- I received mine yesterday (thanks Universal peeps!) -- and looks back at the most popular film soundtracks ever. Speaking of which...
Atlantic Wire the music is stuck in our heads forever... again.

Pretty soon everyone will be humming "One Day More" or "Master of the House" and will not be able to stop, and there will be nowhere to escape it. We will all become Les Mis zombies like it's the '80s or something. It might be fun for the first few days, communal and all that, but after a couple of weeks, we'll all be wishing for the same sweet sickness that sent Fantine to heaven.

It's true. Just yesterday I sang the most amazing Les Miz MegaMix in the shower.

Click on the photo if you missed my earlier post on Zero Dark's screenplay

Today's Must Read
Salon Andrew O'Hehir has written the piece on Zero Dark Thirty I've been longing to read. This provocative essay looks at all sides of the argument and the confusing evasions of Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow, and doesn't retreat to the frustrating polarized agendas we've been reading like "it's Reifenstahl-level evil and totally pro-torture!" or "people who think so aren't paying any attention" (Subtext: it just can't be pro-torture because I've already expressed my love for it and what does that say about me?!?)

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Reader Comments (18)

Finally caught Les Mis! Very very pleasantly surprised by it! All of my fears about it being an anti-musical musical were proven wrong. I had been afraid the live singing was a sign of a larger focus on realism over emotion, and i was happily and completely wrong about that. Weirdly even though I thought it was the most ineptly shot movie I've seen all year, I thought it was perversely watchable, one of the most fun times I've had at the movies this year.

Also saw Farewell My Queen. Absolutely loved it. Still finding new things to think about in it. Definitely helped that Lea Seydoux and Diane Kruger were outstanding.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I don't know where to put this...but for anyone who has seen Django, what was up with the white chick wearing the bandana? She was highlighted a few times, but what was the point? An abandoned plotline?

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Re: ZDT naysayers, $&@% 'em. When they decry gun violence/vigilantism in movies as pro gun violence, then they can rest credible on principle.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

"The music is stuck in our heads forever... again."

Funny, I only just tweeted this morning: "It's two days later and I'm still humming selections from #LesMisérables. Like I wasn't George Costanza enough already."

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

By-y-y Men-nen.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Someone should make an SNL sketch about me titled Guy At Party Who Reminds People That Tom Hooper Was Once Beautiful Because He Directed The Damned United.

Although I forget sometimes because people deride then way he frames his movies. That Guardian slideshow reminds me of my unabashed love for that movie and made me see that it bridged the intimacies of his TV and film aesthetics.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

Bia -- yes. that was... odd. definitely an editing problem there. it's not intriguing enough on its own to be a purposeful mystery (at least i hope not). DU just feels like such an unfinished film.

December 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

That was Zoe Bell.

And what was unfinished about it? Aside from some rough cutting and the content there was nothing rough or unpolished about the movie from a technical standpoint.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

rough cutting and content is enough :)

December 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No one can replace Sally. She has her own rhythms and shorthand with Tarantino. The short window to edit would mean nothing to her because she knows him well enough to get it on the earliest go around's — I think he should have hired another female editor but maybe he didn't want to bond with another woman again under the reminder of why Sally is no longer there.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Just returned from seeing Les Mis! Quick thoughts:

It's a bit of a hot mess. Quality, lovable hot mess, but the ADHD camera angles and endless swoops and lens was really kinetic and Baz Luhrmann-ish, which to me isn't a good thing, but maybe that's partially why Nathaniel is so into it?

The reaction to it is truly fascinating. Half of my Facebook feed is just people posting statuses about Les Mis -- talking about going to see it or how meny times they've seen it or quotes or thoughts or whatever. And these arent movie pundits on my feed. These are like, typical college kids. I'd have to take a couple years back, to maybe Avatar or TDK or whatever, to see this level of awareness and excitement around a movie. Granted, most of the kids I know are in New York, where exposure to musicals is highest, but everyone is just so excited for it, straight, gay, male, female. Half of me is super psyched that people are this buzzed about a movie that doesn't involve superheroes or aliens, and that people love it (my screening received applause at the end) and that most of the credit has to go to Hooper, naturally, and the other half wonders if Hooper could have achieved the same success (or more!) with more integrity. populism and quality are obviously not exclusive but Les Mis is SO over directed. It was so distracting. I found myself going, "weird
choice of angle" or "why does hathaway's neck look three feet tall in this shot?" instead of paying attention to the lovely singing. I'll give Hooper this though -- his actors are the saving grace of everything he makes.

Finally, thanks for the ZDT torture points. Its not evil, but it's not innocent either. Even Sasha Stone, the most biased and manic of movie fans, admits that ZDT is perhaps slanted and not totally objective in its view of torture. Sasha Stone! I've literally seen tweets from various people arguing, "the fact that the movie's successful and intelligent heroes are pro-torture don't mean a thing!" Um.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

Les Mis megamix? Please share!

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Hooper did an outstanding job on the John Adams miniseries, but even then I wondered what the deal was with all the wide angle lenses and awkward close ups and dutch angles. Haven't seen Les Mis yet, but it's nice to see him sticking with the visual style that brung him to the dance.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

1. Very happy to see Ebert picked A Simple Life in his top 10. More people should see that one.

2. I too didn't realize Hooper directed Damned United. That was a wonderful film. It is strange how being Oscar nominated/awarded makes people like an artist less.

3. Are you not going to continue your p.12 of screenplays series? I thought it was really interesting, especially for movies that I have already seen (like Dark Knight Rises).

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkin

One of the best Les Miz articles is in Slant by Rachel Maddow. She talks about her obsession with the show and it's appeal to teens of both genders.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

"Bia -- yes. that was... odd. definitely an editing problem there. it's not intriguing enough on its own to be a purposeful mystery (at least i hope not). DU just feels like such an unfinished film."

I really thought I had missed something or that she would pop up to help Django at the end. Whatever. I enjoyed the film overall.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

My bad. It's not Rachel Maddow who wrote this interesting Les Miz piece on teens and their love for Les Miz, but another Rachael entirely:


December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

kin -- i meant to but things got crazazy

December 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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