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« Final Oscar Nom Predictions: Part 1 | Main | The 2nd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To... »
Tuesday
Jan142014

The Year of the Hero. And Other Links

The Wrap all time lows for unemployment for women in the movie biz. what the what now?
Veteran Fan Girl on Frozen's groundbreaking depiction of mental illness (depression) in a Disney Princess movie 
Variety Johnny Depp might be our Doctor Strange. Which would be awesome news if it weren't 2014 and his eccentricities didn't yet feel like a factory-produced cans of name brand Quirk

Terry Richardson for some reason the internet seems surprised today that Jared Leto posed mostly naked for this controversial photographer. Doesn't the internet know that they're friends and this happens pretty regularly? C'mon internet, catch up
The Wire an Oscar completist's prayer: please don't nominated these movies
BuzzFeed why Emma Thompson was the best part of the Golden Globes 
Awards Daily final Oscar predictions 
MNPP a fun retro poster for the new horror flick Cooties 
Pajiba provocatively predicts the biggest flops of 2014 from Pompeii to Transcendence to Jupiter Ascending without calling it predictions 
Vulture speaking of provocations... David O. Russell really put his foot in it comparing Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games contract to 12 Years a Slave 

...and by now you may have heard that Oscar has picked his theme!

like my photoshop?

They've announced that the 2013 Oscars (WE'RE SUPPOSED TO CALL IT BY ITS FILM YEAR. EVEN OSCAR KNOWS THIS THOUGH SOME WEBSITES DON'T!) to be held on March 2nd, 2014 will be "The Year of the Hero". This sounds like another lame ploy to win the demographic that just doesn't care about them since it's not like they're going to nominate Man of Steel or Thor or Iron Man 3 for anything (okay maybe Iron Man 3) and it's not like anyone wants them to, either! (Besides Marvel and Warner Bros) Can't it be enough that other demographics care about the Oscars?

If they mean this in a less lame way than a "please love us, fanboys!" ploy, then this is good news for Captain Phillips, which is basically the only film in the running that plays like a hero's journey. A more appropriate theme for this year in cinema might be the Year of the Survivor with Gravity, All is Lost, The Butler, Nebraska, and 12 Years a Slave and more factoring in but I guess that doesn't have as much of a kick to it since surviving is kind of exhausting and nobody producing the Oscars probably wants you to think about exhaustion until, like, the 180 minute mark on Oscar night.

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Reader Comments (18)

“I’ll tell you what it is about that girl — talk about 12 years of slavery, that’s what the franchise is. And I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying that.” - David O. Russell on Lawrence's Hunger Games commitments.

Just when you thought he couldn't get any worse...

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Those are some ugly tattoos.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Tyler, did Russell really say that? Wtf

His behavior at Bafta last year was classless too but not like this.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm not sure why so many persons seem either angrily dismissive or greatly annoyed by the "hero" theme of the Oscars, unless they know something I don't. I mean, looking at your suggestions for a "survival" theme, Nat, I don't feel the two are necessarily disparate themes. Hero is such a wide concept that survival, for me, suggests aspects of heroism.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

With films like American Hustle, Wolf of Wallstreet, Blue Jasmine, and Inside Llewyn Davis is more like the year of the antihero.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

@brookesboy: Yeah, unfortunately: http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/01/david-o-russell-compares-hunger-games-to-slavery

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

brookeboy -- he really said that. i forgot to link to the vulture piece but i did link it earlier on twitter

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm not a fan of Russell's films and I'm definitely not a fan of the man himself.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I love Emma but she's done the barefoot thing before. Evolve my dear.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

...do not engage...do not engage...Vulture can call me when they start employing black writers...do not engage...hell even covering black filmmakers...do not engage...do not engage...by all means tell me about your David O. Russell outrage the day after you kicked Armond White out of your critics group...DO NOT ENGAGE...do not engage....

Just my thoughts on this morning's news cycle, don't mind me.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

TB: Um...what Armond White did was UNDEFENDABLE. No matter what race he was, someone does that and they DESERVE to get kicked out.
Nat: Um, Doctor Strange ISN'T a Jack Sparrow or Mad Hatter style can of quirk character. No, it's just that it's his ACTUAL NAME. Dr. Stephen Strange. (Sigh) Yes, Marvel expected us to buy that that was someone's real name.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Russell is at a certain level of 'Separate man from the art'. I enjoy his films and like his clearly informed references and influences (from screwball comedy to John Waters and Almodovar), but he is a jerk. That said, this is low on his offending moments list, believe it or not. How about you talk about that time with his niece instead? I think people are waiting for him to get in his own way for Hustle's Oscar chances and it surely didn't help to reference the competition, but I don't know. With him I expect worse.

I prefer to call Llewyn Davis a Byronic protagonist than an anti-hero. That's just me. Let's not act like he did something on the level of the characters in those other films.

Thank you Nathaniel for pointing out the Richardson-Leto relationship. At some point Daniel D'addario of Salon has cracked from The Dallas Buyer's Club and seems to have a vendetta against any associates of the film (which is strange because of how not progressive D'addario's writings are on the film's depiction on trangederism that he constantly conflates with homosexuality). I mean, I'm not in on the performance, actor, or film but I've given up finger-wagging Terry Richardson the moment Gloria Steinem had a photo shoot with him.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

On that Pajiba article: I entirely buy five of those ELEVEN (seriously, did they accidentally become The Nostalgia Critic for a second?): Expendables 3, Blended, The Legend of Hercules, Edge of Tomorrow and Pompeii. Jupiter Ascending is probable (Whatthebleepowskis for the box office loss), but it would still be kind of heartening if the public embraced them again. Need for Speed, Transcendence and The Equalizer could go either way. NfS because The Fast and The Furious could use a smarter, scrappier sparring partner, Transcendence because I don't fully buy the general public is THAT sick of Depp to hand him a total bomb yet (they are close, though) and The Equalizer because of The Wolf of Wall Street's massive publicity boost. Noah and The Rock's Hercules? NO WAY they bomb. The reason The Fountain bombed was because it was a weird attempt at a lush, New Age version of a blockbuster. Noah is based on something Judeo-Christian, a FAR easier sell for the American general audience. And Dwayne Johnson is too much of a charismatic selling point for a traditional blockbuster with him in the lead role to tank.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

@Volvagia--I'm not defending Armond White. I agree with you that what he did was indefensible, and I was shocked to hear about it. But I am saying that NYFCC doesn't have a leg to stand on in that situation. This behavior is not new. This is the third year in a row he has been reported heckling, and it's only the first time he's had to face disciplinary action. They didn't care when he dissed Fincher at the microphone before introducing him, they didn't care when he heckled Michael Moore last year, and frankly judging by the buzz, they didn't care when he was heckling Adele Exarchopoulos with sexual comments this year. But when he focuses on his opinions as a black man about race in the critical community? That's a step too far? Please.

So it's a gross situation, but this is a bed NYFCC made, and their response has been pretty revealing in a pretty unflattering way. Was it the right thing to do? Sure. But kicking him out after years of ignoring the behavior only proved his point.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

TB: Should he have been rebuked this strongly for those first two things? Probably. Would the outside press have been reactionary and called their action "racially insensitive" for doing so? Also probable. The Exarchopolous heckling? It's POSSIBLE that, if the McQueen/Belafonte thing HADN'T happened, that they would taken the risk and leaked that (because now they're dealing with sexism as well), but I'd still say it's a bit unlikely. Sorry, but any "black person heckling a white person" thing is racially unbalanced and too sensitive to call out that strongly and the outside press was possibly still going to call them on it if they gave the Exarchopolous thing as their "reason." It's not that it's a "step too far" (in fact, they probably viewed ALL those things as steps too far, but COULDN'T DO ANYTHING due to the needles of racial sensitivity), but that it's the first step he's taken at one of these ceremonies that's NOT against someone white. Armond FINALLY gave them an absolutely airtight justification and they took it.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Nat: Marvel Studios WILL be getting in the Oscar race at least once, in a BIG WAY. Probably soon. (ESPECIALLY with the expanded "6 to 10" system.) The Warner Bros. DC Comics adaptations? It's going to take a MIRACLE for them to even stay financially worthwhile, let alone worth any sort of critical discussion.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

TB -- but how do you know what racial background the vulture's writing staff is? anyway, i was relieved when i read the armond thing mostly because i've wanted it to happen since the 2010 situation and have been really embarrassed for the NYFCC that they keep allowing it to happen and thus basically sanctioning it. I mean it is beyond the pale to invite someone to your home (which is essentially what this is) and then abuse and humiliate that person.

You can only get away with that if you're in an Edward Albee play and get all the best lines but White doesn't even have great lines -- he's just being a dick. But yeah, it is weird that it was this year and not some other than finally prompted them to do something about it. Maybe it was just momentum?

Volvagia -- i wonder what makes you so sure. The Avengers didn't even make a dent and that was pretty beloved. and given the ubiquity of the superhero genre i'd say it' smore likely than not that critical respect is going to start falling. anything reeking of assembly line eventually brings the knives out (think how peter Jackson could once sweep the oscars and now, though his films still make a billion, nobody reallyrespects them)

CMG -- i cant even with so many gay journalists about DBC. They have been so weird and touchy and approaching toxically angry about it all season. I'm not sure where it's coming from exactly but the aggressiveness has a really strong whiff (to me at least) of not understanding what a relief/ triumph it is after so much global damage and loss of life that people no longer automatically equate AIDS to being gay. That people viewed AIDS solely as a gay disease was a huge contributing factor in how bad the situation was allowed to get in the first place and that did no one any good... I just don't understand why it's so bad to have one story about it that's focused on a straight person? It doesn't erase the great gay art that's been made about AIDS. (and certainly DBC isn't even a patch on a true masterpiece like Angels in america or a moving drama like longtime companion or a passionate labor of love like parting glances or or or... but i mean, it's better than Philadelphia! ;)

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nat: There's Guardians of the Galaxy this year and Ant-Man the next and...Who knows what, in terms of launching points, in 2016. If it doesn't happen in the next two or three award cycles, though, I'll agree it (probably) won't happen at all. The Academy was NEVER going to get into a big crossover style event with oodles of interconnectivity and continuity pulsing through it like The Avengers, but the sub franchise launching points are, in my view, the relative fair game.

January 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

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