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Thread: Oscar Academy Awards 2006

  1. #16
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    Great stuff Chris.

    That Dargis bit is priceless.

    My gut feeling is that the Academy is (for the most part) right this year.

    But without having seen the major films I'm not really in a position to say anything.

    Crash winning best picture is definitely a surprise.
    I've gotta check that film out.
    There's an awesome picture of Haggis & Jack Nicholson in our paper today.
    I clipped it out- Jack looks like he was having a great time.

    Congrats Reese. My favorite film of hers is the Oliver Stone produced Freeway. If anybody here hasn't seen that then rent it ASAP. It's a modern twist on "Little Red Riding Hood" with Kiefer Sutherland as the wolf.

    How was Jon Stewart?
    Working for the man prevented me from seeing the show.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #17
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    Oscar Bombs!

    What the hell kind of broadcast was that last night? On the one hand, you've got the Academy trying to promote film (attendance is down) by showing clip after clip of how great they used to be; followed by Jon Stewart slamming them with "I think we're out of clips. Can anyone send us clips? We'll take anything, even Beta-max will do." That wasn't very funny to most of the people in the crowd. It may be funny to fans of Jon Stewart (I happen to like his "Daily Show") but from the opening monologue, he bombed, big time. The only thing funny about the opening was seeing Billy Crystal and Chris Rock in a tent together. They have to bring Crystal back. This is ridiculous.

    Several people warned (during the pre-show) including Joel Siegel at ABC predicting correctly that Crash would take best pix when everyone else predicted Brokeback. The critics are having a field day, comparing the choice of Crash with the 1952 Best Picture "Greatest Show on Earth!" (about the corniest film ever made this side of Iowa).

    The only movie that Oscar snubbed last night appeared to be Munich. This is the second time Speilberg has been shut out with a nominated film (the first being The Color Purple, nominated eight times and winning none). He wasn't smiling very much. Nor was anyone else in the front section. I'm afraid that Stewart will go down with Rock and Letterman as the horrible three that ruined the telecast for those of us who used to be fans.

    While I was pleased to see Kong win some technical awards, I was rather puzzled with how the Academy jumped from film to film. There were no clear winners and yet, every film had something to claim. No surprises in actor, direction, or animation; Clooney was a good choice, seeing he nearly died for his part. Reese seems a bit too schmaltsy for her own good. When asked backstage if she would do another "Blonde" movie now that she is a serious actress, she replied: "No one's asked!"

    The best line from Stewart all evening was "6 pack, Oscar one; Scorsese, zero."

    The best Oscar moment was seeing Robert Altman win his recognition long over due.

    Being able to see the AA in high definition was cool. (That adds the Olympics and the Superbowl to the big three in high def this year). I highly recommend the service.

    The best Oscar commercial? Clearly the M. Night Shyamalan American Express commercial where he experiences the "Twilight Zone" type luncheon, seeing the bizarre and weird in everything.
    Last edited by cinemabon; 03-06-2006 at 04:56 PM.
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  3. #18
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    Well time for the self proclaimed authority to weigh in on the broadcast.

    I missed the first two hours or so, so only found out after the fact who won for animated, as well as the supporting acting Oscars. Few surprises ever come in those categories. Nick Park won yet another Oscar (what is that 12 now?) and as Clooney said his Oscar for acting was to shut him up for his other categories, but did anyone really think Good Night and Good Luck would win?

    I adamantly disagree with the Academy's choice of Hoffman for best actor. For far too many years now the Academy just awards actors immitating someone famous, and I never thought Hoffman's performance was anything more than an immitation. Nothing like the "real" acting he did in Happiness, Magnolia, or Boogie Nights. Of the nominated actors Heath Ledger was by far the best, and if nothing else his performance deserved an Oscar for just for what a tremendous year he had.

    I completely agree with Witherspoon. She was my pick for best actress a long time ago, and despite strong work from Kiera Knightley (in a much better film) and Naomi Watts (unnominated), I still opted for Witherspoon.

    The director race I really didn't care about. How boring was it to have the same five nominees as the best picture category. I didn't feel strongly about any of the choices, but I don't object to Ang Lee's Oscar. He did an admirable job. As for the final award, I am most enthusiastically surprised. I didn't think Crash had a chance of winning, but it WAS the best film nominated, and aside from a duo of personal (completley unnominated films) it was my favorite film of the year.

    Overall decent work from the Academy. And congrats to Three 6 Mafia, who may have changed their song for the performance, they still were more exciting than every other extremely boring acceptance speech.

  4. #19
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    Twenty years from now, young film buffs will be scratching their heads wondering how such a contrived, schematic movie won two major Oscars over the likes of Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and others that weren't even nominated. Dargis' comments are welcome. I used to think the Academy couldn't sink lower than giving best picture to A Beautiful Mind. Think again.

  5. #20
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    Oscar--wow!--I couldn't agree with you more. I too was really horrified by the adulation lavished on Beautiful Mind. That at least tugged at the heartstrings. Trash--I mean Crash (even the title isn't original at all!) is derivative and frankly, hard to remember.

    wpqx--liked what you said about Heath. He did have a wonderful year. The whole issue of "actor-y" acting in films is a big one--film acting ought to be understated. Hoffman's performance in Magnolia might have been hammy but it had a lot of genuine feeling and realness in it that Capote didn't. Others strongly disagree, but I don't theink the direction in Capote was so good, so I'd rate Brokeback over it on that score. But even Brokeback was very conventional, even though I loved it and am deeply moved by the story.

    The best movie of the year? It probably wasn't one of those.

    For me, more original filmmaking can be found in The Beat That My Heart Skipped, 2046, or Caché.

    But for personal reasons, Brokeback Mountain is my emotional favorite and it's also a landmark film and a fine one.

    I just can't remember Crash very well at all. I can remember Short Cuts....

  6. #21
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    I don't understand the Crash hating. I loved the film when it came out, and thought most of the members here were in a similar esteem. Crash had a stronger emotional impact on me than Brokeback. I do believe A Beautiful Mind was a worthless best picture choice as well, but Gladiator was far worse. I do agree there were more original completely unnominated films this year, but that always happens. I say count it as a plus if the Academy nominates one film from your top ten, and even a greater blessing if that one film actually wins. This was the case with Crash, so overall I'm happy.

    Personally though, I wish The Squid and the Whale would have gotten the best original screenplay Oscar, I thought it was the best written film of the year. Ironically the best original screenplay category is usually better than the best picture race, such was the case last year with the Eternal Sunshine win.

  7. #22
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    Charlize Theron's Absence

    I missed Charlize Theron's 2003 Oscar performance in Monster partly because of the subject matter (woman serial killer), I wasn't interested in seeing it. Reese Witherspoon's acting as well as singing performance combined with the politically correct, non-controversial role of sympathetic partner, wife, supporter of Johnny Cash it seems like an unbeatable presentation on screen. Yet, for all the screen time, the focus of the movie really appeared to be Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and June Carter almost had more of a strong supporting role rather than the major, primary performance as Charlize Theron did in her recent 2005 starring role in North Country . For a pulling out all the stops, dramatic gritty performance, Charlize seemd to really present a brilliant piece of acting, even more so than Reese Witherspoon and her acting/singing.

    With Reese Witherspoon, I'm reminded more of Julia Roberts win for Erin Brockovich (2000) or perhaps Sally Field for Places in the Heart (1984). Even the sensitive and subtle performance of the Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang as a Japanese Geisha in Memoirs of a Geisha clearly was a performance feat of high value and difficulty worthy of a best actress award.

  8. #23
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    I understand your personal bias to those films and therefore their performances, but I wasn't particularly moved by Charlize Theron's performance, and her accent that seemed to fluctuate in every scene. As for bad accents let's not mention Geisha. As far as acting in that film goes, Gong Li should have been up for a supporting actress Oscar (she was certainly better than Frances McDormand in North Country). Ms. Theron was much better in Monster, and even if I wouldn't have her as my pick for 2003, I certainly am not disappointed by her selection.

  9. #24
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    Accents

    wpqx posted:

    I understand your personal bias to those films and therefore their performances, but I wasn't particularly moved by Charlize Theron's performance, and her accent that seemed to fluctuate in every scene. As for bad accents let's not mention Geisha. As far as acting in that film goes, Gong Li should have been up for a supporting actress Oscar (she was certainly better than Frances McDormand in North Country).
    I'm fasincated by your focus on accents. While I believe I have a decent hear for accents, I've never really been challenged on the topic and I don't boast of having any background or experience with accents. I can understand how an apparently false accent could ruin an entire movie. Yet, I didn't really pick up any obvious or off-putting accent problems in either of the two movies you mentioned, especially, Geisha, which personally I feel I would have some real experience knowing someting about. Could, if you please, expand on what your background and qualifications are in terms of picking up accent variations in movies. Curious.

  10. #25
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    My ear's honestly. There is a distinct pattern of speech for people in Northern Minnesota. People talk very similarly in Canada as well, just as people in the South have a very distinct vocal quality. Ms. Theron fluctuated between a neutral American midwest accent for some scenes and a Northern accent for others. It made the performance uneven at parts. I think she did have a very emotional role, and she did her job well enough, but accents are an all or nothing job so if you do it, do it right. I personally found the film too contrived and manipulative though and would rather like to dismiss it entirely.

    As for Geisha perhaps it was more a complaint of broken English. Zhang Ziyi speaks in the film like she can't speak English and had to learn all her lines phoenetically (spelling?). There is none of the vitality and beauty of her words that she carries in many of her Asian films. Then again I heard that many people in China complained about her Mandarin in Crouching Tiger, so perhaps I'm not a particular judge. I recognize that we each have our personal tastes, but I'm sorry to say that two of your three favorite movies of the year I would say were two of the weakest I saw. Then again you may very well say the same about Sin City, Serenity, or Pride and Prejudice films that I particularly loved and felt deserved more Oscar attention (although I can't say I'm surprised Sin City and Serenity were ignored).

    btw I'd like to pat myself on the back for pointing out the merits of Reese Witherspoon's performance long before she became a favorite for an Oscar.

  11. #26
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    I would agree Theron did well emotionally but the movie was too simplistic, making all the men creeps at the begining so their transformation at the end was not prepared for. Not one of the best of the year in my opinion either. I also would agree that although I disliked Sin City, it might have had Oscar attention because if the intensity of its visuals and its effects. I don't know what nominations it got if any. Can't comment on Geisha but would have gone if at least more than one major critic had liked it, but that was not the case. I think there were many Chinese complaints about Crouching Tiger. I thought it over-rated, not really beter than a lot of other marshal* arts movies that came berfore; he just got the mainstream American attention because the time was ripe and the promotion was good.



    *Sorry, martial. Thanks, wpqx.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-31-2006 at 04:55 PM.

  12. #27
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    Well took awhile to get back, but a few quick comments.

    Sin City had no nominations of any kind.
    I couldn't find a favorable review of Geisha either.

    and since Chris has so frequently pointed out my misusing the word its, then I should say its "martial" arts not marshal. Just repaying you in kind.

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