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Entries in Oscar Snubs (30)

Sunday
Jan272013

Three Reasons Why "Argo" Became the One To Beat

You can't always know how the future will treat each year's awards recipients. Will their strengths will come into sharper focus as time erodes the particulars of the movie culture and conversation they arrived into or will that erosion grind a movie or performers appeal down with it? What will we make in five year's time of this moment when Hollywood threw awards at Argo instead of, say, Lincoln? That's what happened again last night at the Producers Guild Awards when Ben Affleck's 1970s CIA rescue tale took the top prize.

We don't have to wait for hindsight clarity when it comes to Argo's sudden rise in the previous deadheat Oscar race.  I'd say that three things are responsible, two of which no one could have predicted.

1. I'd been saying from the very start that Argo's narrative subtext, embedded into its truish story of a fake movie being used to rescue Americans from a hostile regime, that 'Movies Save the World!' feel would be irressistible to the back-patting awards season mentality in much the same way it was for the documentary The Cove some years ago.

The other two factors were not things anyone could have predicted though....

2.  Zero Dark Thirty emerged to somewhat reductive "so much better than Argo!" laudatory soundbytes (they both involve CIA meddling in the Middle East so they must be compared incessantly!) and for about a week it looked like The Real Oscar Deal but what happened next with it was very kind to Argo. Zero became the media's most slobbered on and teared at rag doll with everyone tsk-tsking and fuming and eventually subtly equating the making of it with condoning torture. By extension voting for it felt unpleasant to some, too. Suddenly the "better than Argo" conversation died and was replaced with just "...Argo", a rebooting if you will of where the Oscar conversation had previously been. Sometimes opening early helps and it's more than helped Argo.

3. The last, and most shocking turn of events was Ben Affleck's omission from the Best Director lineup. I'd long been predicting him to win that statue even though I hadn't viewed Argo necessarily as the future Best Picture champ, suspecting that we were in for a split year. The best thing that ever happened to Argo in terms of its Best Picture prospects was Affleck's "snub". And conversely, that's the worse thing that happened to Lincoln. Whatever one makes of the quality of the Best Picture nominees (have you voted for your favorite here?), Lincoln previously had the strongest narrative arriving as it did in this historic year of President Obama's reelection and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Affleck's over-mourned "snub" (people keep conveniently forgetting how strong the Best Director lineup is without him!) handed Argo an underdog narrative in a season where the narratives -- those tricky hooks that make a person or movie so irresistible in the Story of the Year's Entertainments -- weren't all that strong even if the movies were.

Reason no. 3 is in some ways the most understandable now that it's happened and the most baffling. If you really step back for some perspective Ben Affleck is an enormous waste of a Sympathy Vote. He's already an Oscar winner. He's an Oscar nominee even when he's snubbed (he'll win the Oscar if Argo wins Best Picture since he produced) - fancy that. He has a happy Hollywood marriage. He rose to fame with his best friend who is still a huge power player in Hollywood, too. He's risen from the ashes of a weirdly shaky leading man career to become a respected director and a... uh... leading man again. He's super handsome and aging well. He's made only three films all of which received Oscar attention, the latter two of which were big big hits. If anything he's a true golden boy of showbiz with a hugely enviable career and awards run and yet, you'd think he were dying! To this Awards Season he's suddenly treated like the Fantine figure in Les Miz on her death bed; the one to cry over "if only life weren't so cruel!", the one to promise everything to in order to make amends.

And all because he missed out on an expected Best Director nomination?

Mrs. Affleck at the PGAs. Oh, you know she makes this pose at home while mock scolding BenTHE WINNERS

Outstanding Producer, Film: Ben Affleck, Grant Henslov, George Clooney for Argo
Outstanding Producer, Documentary: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn for Searching for Sugar Man
Outstanding Producer, Animated: Clark Spencer for Wreck-it Ralph
Outstanding Producer, Longform TV: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong for "Game Change"
Outstanding Producer, Episodic TV (Drama): Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm for "Homeland"
Outstanding Producer, Episodic TV (Comedy): Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker for "Modern Family" 
Outstanding Producer, NonFiction TV: Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy,Julie Sacks for "American Masters" PBS 
Outstanding Producer, Live TV: Meredith Bennett, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell,Jon Stewart for "The Colbert Report" 
Outsanding Producer, Competition TV:  Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo for "The Amazing Race"

Outstanding Sports Program: "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel"
Outstanding Children's Program:  "Sesame Street"
Outstanding Digital Series: "30 Rock: The Webisodes" 

 

 

Saturday
Jan262013

Seven Link Paths

Pop Matters excellent piece about the Oscar snubs - were they just "body blind" this year? 
Pajiba 30 brain bleaching moments from Movie 43 that you can't unsee -- i'm so glad I read a third of this post so that I know that i'll have to avoid this like the plague despite it having so many great stars in it that I've otherwise been a completist about
Daily Mail oh so Jessica Chastain speaks sign language too with adoring fans? Will her wonders never cease? 

In Contention Kathryn Bigelow continues to defend Zero Dark Thirty, this time on the cover of "Time"
Playbill Phantom of the Opera celebrates its 25th birthday TODAY on Broadway. Will it ever close? That is too long for a show to hog one theater!
Awards Daily the costume designers in the Academy finally get their own branch
Carpetbagger The Weinstein Co would like to pull a Streep for Robert De Niro's third Oscar.  I doubt this "living legend who hasn't won in 30+ years" thing is going to work for him though. If you compare what he'd been doing for those non winning years to what Streep had been doing in hers. Yeesh. You sure you wanna go there?

Sunday
Jan202013

Podcast Nom Reactions Pt 1: Snubs, Squeals, Questions

A couple of days after the Oscar Nominations, I rang up Joe Reid, Katey Rich and Nick Davis to discuss the Academy's big reveal. In pt 1 of this hour long conversation we discuss:

1) The snubs that hurt us most.
2) The moments that made us squeal with delight.
3) Reader Questions. Thank you to the handful of people who were brave enough to ask them. 

Pt 1 is mostly focused on the "big eight": Picture (Amour & Beasts of the Southern Wild !), Director (Benh Zeitlin  - yes!, Ben Affleck -???), Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress (Amy Adams & Jacki Weaver mostly), Supporting Actor, and the Screenplays.

But high profile categories aside the masterful but snubbed Animated Short The Eagleman Stag gets a shout-out. And I promised I'd link up to it in this post, so here ya go. Watch it!

The Eagleman Stag. Absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately snubbed.

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post. 

 

Squeals, Snubs, and Sass from Oscar Nomination Morning

Friday
Jan182013

Re: Ben Affleck

I would like to go on record... as saying that this hideous idea of a "write-in" vote for Ben Affleck which is making the webrounds should not be humored by any Academy member or Oscar pundit who respects that the votes are what the votes are come what may. We all have disagreements each year. I mean I think it's ludicrous / embarrassing / etcetera that Crash won best picture but I haven't demanded a recount or a retroactive do-over. The Oscars are what they are: a historical document of a given moment in time and what an elite group of people in Hollywood in those fields valued at the time. 

To deny the directors their ability to choose the five Best Directors is tantamount to overthrowing the entire system in which the nominations come from their own branch of expertise. What's next, actors being able to choose which 5 sound engineers should be up for awards? Documentarians choosing which 5 costume designers should be nominated because, they themselves understand so much about character and clothing?

If I were Ben Affleck I would shut this down immediately somehow. No one likes a sore loser. 

Wednesday
Jan162013

10 Things I Link About You

Deal Central Anne Hathaway will star in a modernized version of Taming of the Shrew. Good luck besting braying fab Elizabeth Taylor, Anne. 
Movie|Line Michael Haneke is actually aware of that lolz twitter account in his name. Too cool or perhaps too Haneke to care.
AV Club Mike D'Angelo on the art of compression in Moonrise Kingdom (the letter sequence is my personal favorite in the film)

Vulture attends a slew of parties and eavesdrop on Jennifer Lawrence (who loves Kara Hayward from Moonrise Kingdom) and Damian Lewis who does it gangnam style... no really.
Pajiba on new television series in the works including a Heathers adaptation and a new drama from... Cher (!)
A Blogwork Orange on the director blame game regarding Oscar snubs
Movies on Demand has a ton of  nominees for your instant renting perusal. I almost didn't link to this because their press release was so condescending. Why yes, Movies on Demand, I do actually know just how Quvenzhane Wallis made history this week. Duh!

GLOBES MANIA
Jane Fonda recounts her red carpet weekend 
Stale Popcorn Glenn appreciates a gorgeous raven-haired threeshot of Lucy Liu, Marion Cotillard, and Salma Hayek. And the Globes surrounding it.
Nicks Flick Picks valiantly live-blogged the whole Globes experience (unlike myself who tried to go mobile and failed) in his usual entertaining way. Abilify!

Thursday
Jan102013

10 Big Surprises of Nomination Morning: From Batman to Ben

Before you can ever delve deep into the nominated fields, you have do the requisite double takes to process the surprises. Herewith the most shocking turns of events this morning. If I haven't included something you found truly eyebrow-raising and faith-shaking ('how can I ever turst the pundits again?!') make sure to share it in the comments. 

 

 

10 The Supporting Actor List is All Previous Winners
In the entire history of the Oscars, I can't recall any acting category having been composed entirely of men or women who already had Oscars. At least one newbie always manages to join the celebrated. Other than that it's not a surprising list really given that all five of the men had precursor support (typical) and two are leads masquerading as supporting (typical) and all are veterans (typical). This is the kindest category to acting veterans and the most impervious to actual excitement. Year in and year out, it's the dullest major Oscar category even when the field to choose from is brimming with electricity. And to think we could have had a rising star playing an android, a rising star singing and crying his heart out, a rising star shaking what his mama gave him while stoned in Mexico, an A list reaching a career peak with nothing but a G string and a great great performance, and a baker turned actor among the dozens of possibly more thrilling choices.

The Legend Ends... and so do Batman Oscar Dreams09 The Dark Knight Rises with Zero Nominations
It's a beautiful symmetry. Batman f***ed Oscar over by sending them into a tizzy of low-confidence voting rule changes after the infamous 2008 snub (presumably to include more populist choices in Best Picture) and now Oscar has f***ed Batman over by ignoring The Dark Knight Rises altogether -- this despite the series being very popular with voters since long before Chris Nolan took over.  

Eight more increasingly startling morning alarms after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan102013

Oscar Nominations Announcement

[DRUM ROLL PLEASE] 

8:03 The nomination announcement begins in half an hour. My synapses are firing wildly, the coffee is brewed, and in a failed attempt to feel like a sane normal person going about one's daily routine a load of laundry was started. This was perhaps a bad idea since I'm likely to forget said laundry exists in 1/2 an hour. Once again, to borrow Tiffany's sound advice from Silver Linings Playbook I warn myself "Calm down, crazy." 

8:05 If you're as touched as I am in the head by those 13 ½ inch gold men you're up watching this

COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES AND MORE EARLY MORNING FREAKOUT AFTER THE JUMP (BUT HERE'S A VISUAL CHART INDEX IF YOU'D PREFER... AND HOW I PERFORMED PREDICTIVE-WISE and the TEN BIGGEST SURPRISES )

Click to read more ...