27 February 2011
  final pre-show thoughts
25 minutes to go. honestly, i am kinda more exhausted than usual with the buildup to this year's oscars, and i'm more or less ready for this to be over. here is what i would like to happen:

1. darren aronofsky miraculously walks away with the best director award

2. the social network loses best score. (bonus: a.r. rahmann surprises with the win for 127 hours)

3. dogtooth wins best foreign language film. or, at the very least, incendies loses.

4. best picture: anything but the social network

now, that being said, here's what's going to happen

1. the king's speech wins just four awards for actor, screenplay art direction and costume design

2. the social network wins screenplay, cinematography, editing, score, sound and picture (6 total)

3. hailee steinfeld wins best supporting actress (i'm getting more and more sure of this) the only award for true grit.

4. the show itself will suck painfully.

let's see how my predictions work out.
26 February 2011
  best picture showcase today
going to the movies all day. going to give inception one more chance. going to be annoyed by the social network's score in surround sound. going to try to limit john to one large popped corn.
25 February 2011
  oscar predictions. . .

it's really just smoke and mirrors, but somehow, what once everyone expected to be the simple reading of long-anticipated names at this sunday's oscars, has suddenly become something a little bit more dramatic. i give credit for this to sasha stone and other social network diehards who a) wanted to make this awards season a little more interesting and b) wanted to make their chosen movie into an underdog in a well-played attempt to garner even more support for the film, while at the same time creating a nice back story for when it finally goes home on sunday with the year's biggest film award (à la last year's similar hurt locker faux underdog drama). that being said, for the first time in a few years we are going into an oscar ceremony with several major categories that are not entirely foregone conclusions-- most notable the races for picture, director, supporting actress, documentary, foreign language film and adapted screenplay. here are my final predictions:

supporting actor:
will win. . . christian bale is one of those actors who has been delivering fine perfomances for years and is finally getting his due, for one performance as much as for his entire career. however, unusual in these sorts of oscar scenarios, bale actually will win for the best work he has ever done. there is an outside chance that geoffrey rush could upset here, but it isn't going to happen.
should win. . . christian bale not only gave the best performance in this category but perhaps the single best performance of the year. bale isn't my favorite actor, and his tabloid fodder personal life gets on everyone's nerves, but i have to give the man his due.
my five. . . christian bale, john hawkes, sam rockwell (conviction), bill murray (get low) and pete postlethwaite (the town)

supporting actress:
will win. . . um, hailee steinfeld? honestly, i wouldn't be surprised if any of the five nominated women win this category. first of all, the oscar voters tend to make off the wall choices in this category perhaps more than any other, which makes me think jacki weaver has a shot. at the same time, they also like to nominated women here for the larger body of work they have done in their career, which leads me to think helena bonham carter has a shot. then there is melissa leo who seemed to be a lock until she revealed some unsavory elements of her personality, so i think she is most likely out. everyone loves amy adams, and she gives some of the best work she has ever done in the fighter, so she definitely has a shot. in the end i am going with steinfeld who i think might possibly have a slight leg up.
should win. . . at the same time, i can't really decide who my favorite in the category is either. i like hailee steinfeld, but her performance is clearly true grit's lead. i like melissa leo's performance in the fighter, but i can't say that i am looking forward to seeing her on the podium. i think if i had a vote, it would go to jacki weaver for her haunting work in animal kingdom.
my five. . . jacki weaver, melissa leo, amy adams, dale dickey (winter's bone) and keira knightley (never let me go)

will win. . . colin firth. this year's best actor race is the most sewn up one of the year at this point. i am not exactly sure why his performance is the single thing that everyone seems able to agree on this year, as it doesn't excite me nearly as much as it seems to excite everyone else, but i don't have any problem with him winning for his fine performance. still, i wouldn't completely rule out a shocker upset by jesse eisenberg if the social network has the mini sweep i expect.
should win. . . jeff bridges is nothing short of outstanding in true grit. it really is a shame that he won best actor last year for a far inferior performance, because his work in true grit is really the oscar-worthy one. my favorite acting performance of the year, hands down.
my five. . . jeff bridges, colin firth, ryan gosling (blue valentine), robert duvall (get low), leonardo dicaprio (shutter island)

will win. . . natalie portman has all the support in this category this year. there is the distant outside possibility of an annette bening upset, but it just isn't going to happen. it's portman's year.
should win. . . natalie portman. i want to see bening win an oscar as much as anyone, and it really does seem that this could be her last shot (i hope not), but natalie portman was simply, undeniably better in her much better role in her much better film. what portman shows in black swan is that she is a truly fearless actress, willing to take huge risks in the hope of yielding extraordinary results. i never thought so until seeing black swan, but i really do think she has the potential to be the next julianne moore or nicole kidman.
my five. . . natalie portman, nicole kidman, michelle williams, jennifer lawrence and hailee steinfeld

original screenplay:
will win. . . this is one of the few awards i expect the king's speech to take home on saturday, along with actor and maybe one technical award.
should win. . . along with supporting actress, this is one of the two hardest categories for me to pick a favorite this year. i love black swan, but i have to say that the melodramatic screenplay is probably a slightly weak element of this film. if i had a vote, it would go to david michod for his screenplay for animal kingdom, simply because he managed to artistically elevate a genre that has really been done almost to death. runner up for me, chris provenzano for get low
my five. . . animal kingdom, get low, black swan, hereafter and biutiful

adapted screenplay:
will win. . . aaron sorkin has snowed everyone with his trite, overwrought screenplay for the social network. i hope he takes it home and goes back to writing for television shows.
should win. . . last year the coen brothers produced the year's best writing for the screen with their clever, intricate screenplay for a serious man. this year they have produced the year's best screenwriting with their work on true grit. they have pretty much proven themselves to be the best writers working in hollywood today. my runner up, alex garland's screenplay for never let me go.
my five. . . true grit, never let me go, shutter island, winter's bone, rabbit hole

will win. . . david fincher, who i will say flat out right now is absolutely one of the worst working filmmakers, will win the oscar for a film that, is completely flawed from a directorial level (fake breath anyone?) that it will go down as one of the worst best picture winners of all time.
should win. . . darren aronofsky is one of my favorite directors, and he has put out some of the best work he has ever done this year. he has taken tremendous risks in making black swan, and the result is a brilliant, studied look at sexuality, female identity, art and celebrity. it isn't a seamless work of filmmaking, but nothing that takes so many risks could or should be perfect.
my five. . . darren aronofsky, the coen brothers, tom hooper, clint eastwood (hereafter) and mark romanek (never let me go)

will win. . . this is going to be one of those years where the social network wins nearly every award it is nominated for (think lotr:rotk) and voters simply see the film listed on their ballots and put a check next to it without even reading the category they are voting on. hence, its bizarre, unjustified win here.
should win. . . i was really taken by the interesting camera work on 127 hours. however, i also thought there were some spectacular shots in black swan, and i think my single favorite camera shot of the year was that one at the end of the ghost writer. still 127 hours gets my vote here.
my five. . . 127 hours, black swan, the ghost writer, true grit and shutter island.

art direction:
will win. . . this will probably be the third of the king's speech's three wins on sunday (along with actor and original screenplay), in part because the social network couldn't pull off a nomination here.
should win. . . maybe i don't understand exactly what constitutes good art direction, but i don't get at all why black swan wasn't nominated here. it should win the category. the king's speech would be my runner up.
my five. . . black swan, the king's speech, true grit, never let me go and the ghost writer

will win. . . *sigh* other than mike leigh's nauseating screenplay nod for another year, the one nomination that irritates me more than any other is the one for the social network's score. yes it is going to win. no competition.
should win. . . i am torn between two this year, but i have to ultimately go with a.r. rahmann's film-sustaining score for 127 hours. the best thing about the movie. runner up, rachel portman's score for never let me go.
my five. . . 127 hours, never let me go, black swan, hereafter, winter's bone

best picture:
will win. . . i don't care what sasha stone says, the social network has and has always had this one in the bag.
should win. . . there were quite a few great movies this year and quite a few other that at least contained elements or moments of greatness. in a very competitive year, black swan stands out above the rest.
my five (using the power of positive thinking to bring the category back to its rightful number). . . black swan, never let me go, animal kingdom, true grit and winter's bone
23 February 2011
  my top 10 of 2010

last year, the first one in which the academy decided to have ten best picture nominees, was incredibly difficult for me to create a top ten list, because i simply didn't think there were ten films deserving of spot on such a list. this year was exactly the opposite. so many terrific films were released this year, and i really had a hard time narrowing down the field. i really hit a wall when it came to comparing well done mainstream fare (e.g. the king's speech) to exceptional, if somewhat experimental, indie work (e.g. blue valentine). in the end, there were quite a few honorable mentions this year, and i am not sure that this list precisely summarizes the best work of the year, but at the very least here are ten exceptional films that i really enjoyed this year:

10. blue valentine. . . this is not a perfect film. i had a lot of difficulty understanding the actions of a cast of characters who consistently behaved irrationally. dean and cindy are so epicly bad for one another, that i just can't understand why they are making any effort at all to stay together. however, the fact that this movie made me think so much, combined with the exceptional acting of michelle williams and ryan gosling, made this movie one of the year's best.

9. hereafter. . . clint eastwood simply can't make a bad movie. unfortunately, and quite confusingly (to me at least), it has become fashionable of late to dump on his work. this is really a shame, since this is probably eastwood's best film since million dollar baby. i think a lot of the bad reviews of this movie stem from the fact that many critics missed the central point of the film. too many people came to this movie looking for a spooky thriller about a man who can speak to the dead, when what eastwood created was a pensive drama about the daily connections humans make with one another in society. (added bonus- the introductory tsunami scene showed that eastwood can master special effects as well. who knew?)

8. rabbit hole. . . john cameron mitchell really came out of nowhere with this wrenching drama about parents dealing with the death of their son. a fan of the directors' two previous films, i never would have expected his third to look anything like this-- so polished, quietly introspective and carefully crafted. knowing that this was a passion project for nicole kidman, one has to wonder how much of a collaborative effort this was between the film's director and star. maybe it's time for kidman to step behind the camera?

7. get low. . . this film really came out of nowhere for me. having read a few reviews of the film, i expected a pretentious, somewhat stodgy drowsy religious drama. what i got was a smart, funny, relatable film punctuated by three masterful performances. casting bill murray as the funeral home director was an inspired move. no other actor could have delivered this character's lines in such a hilariously dry way. and robert duvall really only missed out on a best actor nomination, because he disappears so wholly into his character that you forget you are watching acting. a consistently great work all around.

6. shutter island. . . i held out hope until the very last moment that scorsese's latest would pull out a best picture nomination. lesser work of his (the aviator) has garnered far more praise. unfortunately, for reasons which are beyond comprehension, the film's march release date dumped it in an awards season black hole that made it all but impossible that it would be noticed come voting time. that being said, the theme of diving into our own subconscious to uncover the true reality of our existence was a popular one this year, and this was the single best effort to engage it.

5. winter's bone. . . there is nothing flashy about this film- just simple, well done storytelling. debra granik's film is perhaps one of the year's most watchable. this drama about a teenage girl in the missouri ozarks searching for her drug manufacturer father unfolds gradually, always keeping the viewer glued to the movie's twists and turns. one of the best surprises of this year's oscar nominations was john hawkes supporting actor nod. but jennifer lawrence and dale dickey are equally deserving of the awards attention they have received this year. i can't wait to see more work from these actors as well from granik herself.

4. true grit. . . the screenplay for true grit is something like a tone poem. it is a lyrical work that keeps the viewer interested as much in the language of the film as in the story itself. it's hard to imagine any other screenwriters capable of such deft cinematic artistry. this is really a very simple story, much less ambitious than some other recent westerns of note. but it is the careful writing, superb acting and studied direction that makes this movie stand out as probably the best result of the recent renaissance of the genre. i for one am somewhat shocked that the academy took so warmly to this film, but more than that i am surprised that it was so successful at the box office, as this is really one of the year's smartest movies.

3. animal kingdom. . . on the one hand, we have ben affleck's the town, a masculine fantasy of elite white boy gangsters who somewhat miraculously manage to stump an entire city worth of law enforcement officers, all the while making themselves irresistable to the opposite sex. on the other hand, we have animal kingdom, a realistic portrait of some very flawed individuals, struggling against local law enforcement with varying degrees of success. in the town, the bad(ass) guys win (with almost no competition). in animal kingdom, nobody wins. there are no superheroes, just real people on both sides of the law. and no matter how invincible the gangsters in the film think they are, the director shows how the real mastermind behind their efforts is the little middle-aged woman at home they they call mom. without a doubt, animal kingdom is the far better film in this comparison, and one of the year's absolute best.

2. never let me go. . . there are these shots in never let me go that just sort of seem to go on for far too long-- where we are looking at a character just sitting, thinking, walking, listening to a song, etc. what mark romanek has done is crafted a movie that not only impresses but enables the audience to ponder mortality. he leaves these moments throughout this film where the viewer is drawn into the characters' pensiveness, where the lack of action for a moment allows us to take a second to think about what is going on, to imagine what these characters are experiencing. without a doubt, one of the year's superp, if understated, directorial accomplishments.

1. black swan. . . about halfway through this movie, i actually said under my breath that i was completely over darren aronofsky. after watching his last movie, the wrestler, i started to wonder if maybe this may doesn't respect women too much. then, watching this film, i began to be assured of that fact. however, there was a moment somewhere in the film's second act where a lightbulb went off and i really understood what this movie was about. aronofsky isn't attempting to exploit womens' sexuality in this work, but rather he is plumbing that exploitation. he is showing how the hypersexualization of women in contemporary art has created this situation in which successful women in this field are compelled without choice to sell sex. this is a fascinating film about women, sexuality, art and society. also, it is beautifully crafted. the best film of the year.
22 February 2011
  the good thing about bad movies
even though i wish less were made, i am thankful for bad movies, because they make us appreciate the good ones a little more. at the same time, i am also thankful for bad movies, because they provide fodder for hilarious skewerings by reviewers like entertainment weekly's lisa schwarzbaum, who, shall we say, was not a fan of this weekend's new release i am number four. her indignant review of the movie, which can be read here, totally cracked me up.

i think it was in contention's guy lodge who, in listing his least favorite movies of the year, admitted that he wasn't including a lot of wretched mainstream fare in his list, because he couldn't bring himself to sit through them. i more or less fall into this category as well. but i forget that film critics working for major publications actually are pressed to sit through these works, so i guess it makes sense that after a while you might just get plain angry that this stuff keeps getting made. anyways, at least it seems that schwarzbaum was able to amuse herself writing this piece.
18 February 2011
  my beef with the faux documentary trend

this year three separate acclaimed documentaries have been accused in various ways of being unreal. i finally got around to watching one of them, banksy's oscar-nominated exit through the gift shop, last night, and i have to say i was extremely underwhelmed with the work as a documentary. i think the major problem for me with this movie emerged almost instantly as the film started rolling, as it seemed utterly impossible to me that anyone could possibly watch this movie and believe it were really happening. here's the (somewhat complicated problem) with the film, as best i can explain it:

the viewers of this film are told that we are watching the gradual unfolding of a film made by accidental documentarian-cum-street artist thierry guetta. in the beginning of the movie, guetta is just haphazardly filming street artists at work with no intention of using the film to make a documentary. it is only later that he actually decides to turn his work into a documentary about street art. NOW, why then is someone filming guetta filming street artists in the beginning if there is no intention of making a documentary at this point? later, after banksy is critical of guetta's filmmaking he ditches the camera and goes out to create a sort of ramshackle street art bazarre in an abandoned television studio. meanwhile, banksy stays behind, allegedly unaware of what guetta is up to, while he finishes the documentary himself. okay, then who is the one filming guetta while he is on this new mission? and how is it possible that banksy is surprised at the ultimate scale of guetta's "show?" it's allegedly HIS movie, so how could he not have known? how could he not have been the one filming? i mean, i think you absolutely HAVE to view this movie as the fictional work of some third party filmmaker who basically created the character of thierry guetta/mr. brainwash and either got someone to play the character of banksy or possibly got the real artist to portray himself. exit through the gift shop is simply/confusingly a mockumentary about the making of a documentary. that DOES NOT make it a documentary.

strangely i had a lot of the same problems with exit through the gift shop that i had with another of 2010's critically lauded documentaries: catfish. granted, i did actually really enjoy catfish and found it to be a much more entertaining work than gift shop, but i watched both films in complete disbelief from their beginnings. in catfish, viewers are told at the outset that the schulman brothers are making a documentary about nev's facebook friendship with a michigan family. it is extremely unlikely that the filmmakers would have wasted their energy on such a boring piece of subject matter. then, surprise, everything suddenly gets very interesting. either this was just an absolutely serendipitous turn of events for these young filmmakers or at least some aspects of the "documentary" were contrived.

now, why does any of this matter? i mean, is it really important to differentiate true documentary filmmaking from the faux variety? i would argue that even though the singular act of faking parts of a purported documentary does not automatically ruin it (and might sometimes, as in the case of catfish, elevate it) doing so and not revealing it could be ultimately damaging to the larger field of documentary filmmaking. that is, i think filmmakers like schulman brothers and the true unnamed director behind gift shop are treading a slippery slope by contributing to a growing culture of skepticism among viewers of documentaries. whereas there was once a time when documentaries were really respected for their ability to expose in a literally visual way certain sociopolitical truths that might only have existed up to that point on the black and white pages of newspapers, from here on out any film that seems too good, too revealing, too probing, too unbelievable to be true will automatically be questioned by its viewers as potentially made up. this will create problems for future documentarians who will have to choose whether or not to include footage in their work that might evoke skepticism from viewers but which are in fact simply brilliant and revealing pieces of filmmaking. i hope that this isn't necessarily the case, but i predict a shift, albeit perhaps a subtle one, in the kinds of documentaries that are released in the coming years. at the very least, i predict a shift in the way i watch documentaries.
17 February 2011
  2010: a groundbreaking year for oral sex on film

i remember a time when those seeking out a good oral sex scene really had to go out of their way to sift through some of the indy-er, more esoteric work out there like john cameron mitchell's shortbus and vincent gallo's the brown bunny. and, even then, the sex depicted almost always focused on the servicing of the male genitalia. in 2010, this all changed. for the first time in film history, afficionados of cinematic mouth love, and in particular sex acts of the cunnilingual variety, have had a veritable slate of movies to choose from.

strangely enough, having watched a collection of memorable oral sex scenes throughout the year, i hadn't put it together that this subcategory of genital stimulation has actually been a prominent 2010 film theme until just a few days ago while watching dogtooth, the greek nominee in the best foreign language film category. in a lot of ways the act of oral sex is the central metaphor in this allegory about protecting our children's innocence in the face of a too-rapidly maturating society. the basic message of this film is that in protecting ourselves from perceived societal dangers, we run the risk of creating socially unviable adults. in dogtooth, this message is ultimately conveyed by the siblings' inability to properly eat vagina. the father of the family introduces christina, an outsider, to the household, with the intention that she will sexually satisfy his son. unfortunately for everyone, it becomes apparent that the son is so cloistered that he really has a complete inability to find enjoyment in sex. when he simply refuses to orally pleasure christina, she tricks his younger sister into eating her out instead. however, she also finds the act more or less incomprehensible and, later, when trying to replicate the act with others, manages to put her tongue everywhere BUT on another person's genitals. the point of all of this: if you totally isolate a person from discussion and practice of sexuality from birth, you are left with an individual that can't properly experience sexual pleasure later in life and, especially unfortunate for christina, can't get another person off with their mouth whether they want to or not.

of course even though dogtooth may represent the most studious effort by a filmmaker this year to plumb the social significance of cunnilingus it is far from the most renowned. that honor obviously goes to darren aronofsky for the slurp-tastic ecstasy-fueled meeting of natalie portman and mila kunis. this is probably one of the most talked about movie scenes of 2010, and many probably sought out the film solely due to word of mouth surrounding the hot lesbian xxx action. but in the long run, i think a lot of people really missed the point of the scene. on the one hand, there are those that were simply titillated by seeing mila kunis snout deep in snatch. on the other hand, there are those that see the scene as aronofsky's juxtaposition of sexuality and creative thrust. however, i think both of these schools of thought are missing the educational content of the scene. i can't imagine that anyone watching this movie didn't learn a thing of two about orally pleasing a woman from watching mila kunis' studied work in this field. for one thing, there's a whole lot more lip smacking involved in good pussy eating than i would have imagined. who knew?

when it comes to the recent groundbreaking efforts of filmmakers and actors alike to bring lesbian cunnilingus in all its glory to the silver screen, you'd be hard pressed to find a more dedicated artiste than julianne moore. moore appeared in not one but two films in 2010 which featured same sex vaginal spelunking. in the more popular of the two, the oscar-nominated the kids are all right, moore represents the tongue in the equation, orally pleasing annette bening while the two enjoy some good old fashioned man porn. however, being the dedicated actor that julianne moore is, she simply wasn't satisfied stopping at a single act of cinematic oral love. she simply had to show that she also had the ability to believably receive the favor as well. hence her participation in chloe, where she gets brought to orgasm by the lovely lips of a lovely psychotic prostitute played by amanda seyfried. it's really hard to say which of these two performances that i enjoyed more, but i for one am simply happy that julianne moore chose to dedicate her talent to a righteous cause.

still, not all of the oral sex seen at multiplexes this year involved multiple women. there was at least one well done male-on-female vag licking scene as executed by ryan gosling and michelle williams in blue valentine. the scene where gosling works on williams in the futuristic blue hotel room was perhaps the most controversial oral sex scene filmed this year, seeing as it almost netted the film a bizarrely unjustified nc-17 rating. the rating would have been bizarrely unjustified simply because the scene was so agonizingly banal compared to the above-cited scenes of lesbian cunnlingus. gosling's drunken efforts to pleasure williams with his mouth were so awkward, unsexy and uninformed, he left me wanting to show him kunis' scene in black swan. maybe he would have taken away some helpful pointers. needless to say, in a year like 2010, one simply full of movies about oral pleasure, after watching blue valentine, and no matter how much you like ryan gosling, you gotta think that you are much better off being eaten out by a woman.
11 February 2011
  what were you thinking, melissa leo?

okay, imagine that you are an oscar nominee in the only acting category that isn't completely sewn up at this point. you have won the golden globe and sag award and are definitely the one to beat for the big prize, only a couple weeks away. what do you do? i know-- take a couple incredibly tacky photos of yourself, paste the mysterious word "consider" on them and send them out to a bunch of online publications. umm, yeah. . .

i really want to defend melissa leo for her absolutely bizarre self-funded oscar campaign, but i am finding it difficult. these photos show such a complete lack of taste, tact and common sense, that i really wonder about her as an acting professional. i mean, there is no doubt that her performance in the fighter is outstanding, but all of a sudden there is a kernel of doubt as to whether or not this is the kind of person we want to award with an oscar.

obviously oscar voters shouldn't be voting for actors that they like, but rather they should be focusing on what performances are most deserving. unfortunately, this just isn't entirely realistic. the problem for me is that the best supporting actress lineup is really competitive this year, and there are several ladies that i would like to see win this category. on the one hand, i really want to see melissa leo win an oscar (even though i'd like to see her win it for frozen river) but at the same time i really want to see amy adams and helena bonham carter win one as well. my point is that when there are several deserving performances and several actresses voters would like to see win, doing something completely reckless like leo has done can be the thing that tips the scales in another actor's favor.

frankly, i don't know exactly what i want to happen here at this point. i had been in leo's camp for a while, as i do legitimately admire her performance, but also her larger body of work. however, now i am thinking that any of these five nominated ladies could possibly win the category and i would probably be satisfied regardless of who wins. i mean, hailee steinfeld is definitely the lead actress in true grit, but she is fantastic, she is 14, and wouldn't it be cool to see her take home the statue?
10 February 2011
  shut up sasha stone.

i preface the following by stating that i really love sasha stone, and her site awardsdaily is my favorite oscar blog. i also enjoy her other self-titled and non-film themed blog. i find her writing generally witty and entertaining and sometimes insightful. and overall i think she has good taste in movies. that being said. . .

shut up sasha stone.

we get it. you like the social network. but the way you have droned on over the past few weeks regarding the movie's oscar chances when pitted against the king's speech is unbecoming, immature and strange. here's a recap:

january 30 "in a year of grand and visionary cinema, it will go down with a conventional winner taking probably all of the top awards"

january 30 "the king's speech set to sweep oscars"

january 31 "the oscar race is over: the king's speech will be named best film of 2010"

january 31 "harvey Weinstein is, was and will always be a powerful dude. this oscar coup de gras will go down as one of the greats, no doubt about it."

january 31 "it wasn’t until i actually saw him speak that i realized what an ace up their sleeve the king’s speech campaign had in screenwriter david seidler."

february 1 "the oscars are going social network-y. no, not in the way that you think."

i'll stop there, even though stone certainly hasn't. this is just a handful of posts she has written over the past couple weeks lamenting the fact that the social network didn't win the academy award and cynically and facetiously applauding harvey weinstein for engineering a win by a far inferior work. several things are wrong with this:

1. the oscars aren't happening for another two weeks. sure, the king's speech won the pga, dga and sag awards. but the social network has won literally dozens and dozens of critics (and industry) awards as well. the oscar race is FAR from over. i still very strongly feel that the social network is far out ahead in this race and will win in a landslide. i actually think the king's speech brief surge is in the social network's favor as a lot of oscar voters are probably slightly more apt to vote for a movie they see as in danger of not pulling off the win. i don't get why stone is SO convinced that the oscar race is over at this point. calm down and wait for the ballots to be counted.

2. there is nothing wrong with the king's speech. it is a fine movie, and everyone has been saying so for months. it's only now that the movie is collecting a few notches in the win column (at the expense of another) that people are clamoring over one another to tear it apart as an inferior and old fashioned film that nobody will remember in a few months except as a blight on the history of the academy awards. i don't care how much you love the social network, you can't deny that the king's speech is a fine movie as well.

now, i admit that there is little chance that i will convince stone of the veracity of either of the above statements. still, there is a third fact of which she and everyone in her cohort absolutely must be reminded.

3. it's the oscars and the best film of the year (almost) never wins! i suppose the math goes something like: 5% best picture winners great; 90% best picture winners fine; 5% best picture winners terrible. everytime i get irritated by best picture winners i just can't get behind (i.e. the hurt locker) losing out to what i see as outstanding, groundbreaking, artistically and/or technically visionary work (i.e. avatar) i just remind myself that forrest fucking gump won best picture and pulp fiction didn't. simple as that.

let's all take a pill and realize that it's basically just a big fun game, that everyone has their own taste, and that, in the end, not winning the oscar doesn't make a film any less important, entertaining or influential.
Luke and John talk about movies

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