Your one-stop shop for Oscar miscellany


Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

Related Post Roulette

53 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I’ll be shocked if Best Picture isn’t Lincoln.Report

  2. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Lincoln, DDL, Jennifer Lawrence (really? yes), Tommy Lee Jones, Amy Master (in part because JP and PSH are shut out!), Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi.Report

  3. Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark says:

    Can I put down $20 on “I don’t give a shit?”Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Get your nominees here:

    So I find that Django is the only movie on any of the lists that I’ve seen.

    And I look back and think about how, in the past, I’ve seen at least two, if not three, of the various ones.

    And I feel old.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      No, that’s just the Academy being idiots. I’ve seen more movies in the theatre this year than I think I ever have before, and I haven’t seen most of the nominees.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        What movies do you think they should nominate? I think all of them are decent to good for the most part.

        I’ve heard it argued that box-office success should be one of the factors considered or the strongest factor considered but I am not swayed by the argument. The Academy Awards are meant to reward artistic merit and excellent, not popularity. This is not to say that popular films cannot be artistically excellent but the awards go for different things.Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW says:

          Looper should have some nominations – at the least, it had a more original plot than a lot of the nominees. Chronicle – a low-budget movie about teens who get superpowers – was also very well-done and had a lot of emotional power. Safety Not Guaranteed was a cross between a drama and a science fiction story, about a few reporters for a small magazine who go to interview a guy who claims he’s hiring people to go back in time with him – it’s got a surprising number of commonalities with Silver Lining Playbook, and is just as good while being more original. The Hobbit should have been nominated in more categories (especially costume design and cinematography and score). Fassbender should have gotten a Supporting Actor nomination for Prometheus, where even people who hated the film agreed that he did a great job. If it wasn’t for his only being in one scene, I’d say Andy Serkis should have had a nomination for his work as Gollum, too – he did a splendid job there.

          It’s not that the nominated films are bad, it’s just that anything good that falls outside the Academy’s oeuvre of “drama (preferably history, biography, or about a current social issue)” generally gets ignored, and that was particularly glaring this year.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            I’m with Katherine! Chronicle was incredible.Report

            • Avatar KatherineMW says:

              Yay, someone else who saw it!

              Oddly, in a year of some pretty good big-budget superhero flicks (I really liked both Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man), Chronicle was by a good margin the one with the strongest emotional impact and best depth of characterization. There’s a lot of films in that genre where the hero and villain used to be friends, but few of them manage to make things so painful.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I bet I am going to enjoy this whole shebang for the first time ever!Report

  6. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Predictions (plus the movies/actors I want to win – regardless of whether they were even nominated – in square brackets).

    Best Picture: Argo [[can’t decide, but not Argo]]

    Best Director: Spielberg, for Lincoln [[Tom Hooper, for Les Mis]]

    Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo [[Beasts of the Southern Wild, or Les Mis]]

    Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained [[Looper]]

    Best Leading Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, for Lincoln [[Hugh Jackman for Les Mis]]

    Best Leading Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, for Silver Linings Playlist

    Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, for Lincoln [[Michael Fassbender, for Prometheus]]

    Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathawy, for Les Mis

    Best Animated Film: Brave

    Cinematography: Life of Pi [[The Hobbit]]

    Costume Design: Anna Karenina [[The Hobbit]]

    Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man [[5 Broken Cameras]]

    Film Editing: Argo

    Foreign Language Film: Amour

    Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit (seriously, if it doesn’t get this then it’s the lass fragment of proof needed that the Academy’s all gone senile)

    Best Original Score: Life of Pi [[The Hobbit – seriously, how is it not nominated?]]

    Best Original Song: Skyfall

    Production Design: The Hobbit

    Sound Editing: Skyfall (wild guess)

    Sound Mixing: Les Mis (wild guess)

    Visual Effects: The HobbitReport

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      The Hobbit wasn’t nominated for best original score because it is pompous sixth-rate pseudo-Wagner.

      All of the soundtracks for epic fantasy movies are way too melodramatic and on the nose. They are telling you how to feel at very moment.

      Blergh…no me gusta.

      A soundtrack/score should complement a film, not dictate emotional reaction to the audience.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I absolutely love all the Lord of the Rings soundtracks, and The Hobbit is no different. And leitmotifs in general. I’ve seen films where I felt the score overwhelmed the movie in some place (the latest Chronicles of Narnia movies do that), but never in Lord of the Rings – the score feels like part of the setting. It’s epic because it’s part of epic films.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        And I would point out that all the scores that are remembered and loved are the powerful ones that stick in your head – Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, James Bond.Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Huh, Beasts of the Southern Wild wasn’t an original screenplay? I had no idea. Assumed it was.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Leave Christoph Waltz alone. He’s dreamy.Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Paperman won for animated short, so batting at least .500.Report

  10. Kinda risque to go from a Jewish joke to a Nazi joke.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The thing is, he would have been a great Margaret Thatcher.Report

  12. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    I’m fine if members honestly thought Argo was the best picture, but if a critical mass was just swung by this Director-nod-snub backlash propaganda campaign on behalf of Affleck I’ve heard about, (and I liked Argo – it’s one of maybe two or three of the BP nominees I’ve seen – but I think it’s rather clearly not the best picture, if reactions to Django were at all reasonable, and with Lincoln in the field, which, despite the historiographical issues, was just a more fully realized film than Argo), well then, man, that just makes me want to finally be done with this sham once and for all (since I’m annoyed and embarrassed with myself for not having gotten that done five or ten years ago now as it is…).Report

  13. Avatar Kolohe says:

    MacFarlane missed more than he hit, but when he hit, it was for extra bases. I am pleased at the fact that he was willing to take risks.

    The technical aspects of the show were some of the worse I’ve ever seen. Especially considering the theme of ‘music at the Oscars’ ,the sound mixing was god-awful and the wisdom of keeping the orchestra in a remote location was extremely questionable.

    Also, I am far from an expert, but it seemed to me that Tatum made quite a few misteps in the dance number, and Theron just didn’t have the skill level to make up for them.Report

    • I definitely agree with your first two paragraphs. I think MacFarlane made it, at least, more interesting and a bit edgier. That said, I think the Shatner bit stunk up the joint (and you could tell that the audience members in the background agreed).

      I couldn’t tell if, for example, Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy were dying on stage, or if you just couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter. (Their delivery was actually pretty good.) I don’t think they’ve gotten the sound right since they moved to their current venue.

      I’m no judge of dancing, but I’m on record as having loved the Theron/Tatum duo. It may have been my single favorite part of the show.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      I tuned in here and there, but found the whole spectacle to be offensive when it wasn’t merely boring. The boob song pissed me off (is this kind of low grade, juvenile stuff really necessary?) I switched off after Best Supporting Actor, and when I returned it was to a bear and some actor whose name I can’t remember doing a shtick about how you have to at least pretend to be Jewish to get anywhere in Hollywood.

      Maybe I’m getting old and curmudgeonly, but what I saw struck me as pretty damned tasteless.Report

      • Oh, you certainly caught the lowlights. I had kinda blocked the Jew humor from my memory. MacFarlane has a thing with Jew humor (at least if “Family Guy” is any indication), so maybe I’ve grown somewhat inured to it. Which is hardly the same as being willing to defend it.

        What mmmmmmmmaybe salvaged the boob song was that so many of the actresses he referenced were willing to play along a bit. (The ones they cut to were obviously giving their appalled reactions in prerecorded snippets.) Or am I being too forgiving?Report

        • Avatar Michelle says:

          I saw how the whole thing fit into the Shatner bit, and I did think the actresses were playing along, but I still thought it was tacky. Then again, the last few Academy Awards shows have seemed really forced, as if they were trying too hard to amuse. I’d rather they cut down on the hoopla and focus more on the awards, the acceptance speeches, and what everyone is wearing.Report

          • I am totally with you there.

            Frankly, the Oscars have gotten less fun to watch than the Golden Globes (boozy fun! great hosts this year!) and the SAG Awards (glamorous self-congratulation without the filler!).Report

            • Avatar KatherineMW says:

              Out of curiosity, who have been your favourite Oscar hosts? I loved the two times Jon Stewart did it – it felt like he was playing to the viewers, not to the celebs, and was willing to poke some fun at the whole process. But the celebs seemed less happy with it, maybe for the same reason. I’d love to see him do the Oscars again.Report

              • The trouble is that nobody has been consistently great. The best in that regard was Billy Crystal, who was reliably funny and hit the right tone. But he got musty and too reliant on shtick, and he was just plain past his prime when they dragged him back last year.

                The one who did it absolutely perfectly was Steve Martin in his first go-round. Just absolutely perfect. Funny and sharply witty, with just the right amount of insidery pique. His second time was much more ho-hum, but his first was marvelous.Report

  14. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Not an Oscar thingie, since I didn’t watch, but I have been wondering…

    Since Quentin Tarantino writes great dialogue, and George Lucas can’t actually write anything resembling dialogue, how awesome would Star Wars have been if Tarantino had written the dialogue?Report

    • There would certainly have been a significantly higher gore quotient.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      I think riddling it would expletives would have been very jarring.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        “Which lightsaber is yours?”Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Years ago I wrote a long essay on Star Wars that inserted Pulp Fiction dialog into the scene where Mace Windu confronted Anakin and Emperor Palpatine.

        The path of the righteous Jedi is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of the Sith. Blessed is he who, in the name of the Force, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost younglings. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am a Jedi when I lay my vengeance upon you.

        I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you shoved a light saber up his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. Light Saber here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the Chancellor that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the chosen one, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Anakin. I’m tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd.

        Instead we got, well, I don’t really remember what we got. Some babbling, then “Help me Anakin” and then Mace got zapped by Force lightning and fell out of a window. But compared to his love scenes, at least the Windu/Palpatine rose to the level of Beavis and Butthead.Report

  15. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    My local movie theatre (an very neat-looking old heritage one) was doing a big Oscars party, so I went to that. Great fun – way more than watching it at home!

    I really didn’t expect Life of Pi to get Best Director, but Ang Lee’s very talented, so congrats to him. I think I’ll go see it, so that I’ll at least be able to have an informed opinion on whether it lives up to the hype. I read the book and liked it, although I don’t remember much except the tiger, and the ending asking about how much of the story was true.Report

  16. Question: Obviously Life of Pi isn’t the only Oscar winner based on a novel, but has there ever been a winner based on a plagiarized novel before?Report

    • I remember all the hoo-hah about that back when the book came out. It struck me then (and now) as weak tea. While I’ve not read the Brazilian book, by all accounts the two are very different beyond the basic premise. If we accept the heavy borrowing that happens in, say, music, I’m not sure why there was such a hubbub over this instance (readily admitted by Martel) in literature.Report