If I Ran the Oscars

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This may be the year the Oscars get out of their ratings slump. The expanding of the Best Picture category from five to ten was a smart move. Its big enough to include red state crowd pleasers (The Blind Side), fan boy fare (District 9), the biggest movie ever (Avatar), and at least one ballsy art house choice (A Serious Man). But even after this some of the most important films of the year (35 Shots of Rum, Still Walking, Summer Hours, Two Lovers, House of the Devil) still didn’t stand a chance. For one reason: Most academy members simply haven’t even heard of them much less seen them.

After looking at the box office returns the weekend after the nominations anyone can see they have very little effect. Crazy Heart was the only film that saw a significant increase. After millions spent in Oscar campaigning you wonder why studios would go through all the trouble for such modest returns. The films that would truly benefit are the ones who can barely afford the distribution. The Headless Woman has only little over $88,000 in Box Office Returns, a single nomination would be a miracle for that film financially.

I’m not in any way against populist films to get nominated, just as long as they take chances and are at least technically innovative. Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, Up, and District 9 fit the bill perfectly and they It wouldn’t kill them to have spots open for some deserving films (Summer Hours, Two Lovers). Look what happed to the unexpected nomination of the animated film The Secret of the Krells. It was almost completely unknown outside of Ireland and with its recent nomination tons of buzz has built on the film with movie buffs and industry insiders. It wont make 100 million dollars but its creator is a big new name in animation.

In the acting categories How can the Media not want a success story? The media would have a full batch of new success stories with unknowns (Alycia Delmore, Peter Capaldi, Tom Hardy, Maria Onetto) thrust in the spotlight. Fresh new faces keep things from being boring.

The Oscars are all about exposure. People want to see their favorite films get their due and they want to be exposed to films they have never head of. And I think just about everyone is sick and tired of Oscar bait (Invictus, Nine, Up in the Air). They simply take their mediocre scripts and spread the sheen of prestige over the production. The latest Oscars are a step in the right direction but they still reflect the tastes of the America’s over 40 demographic. They need to start reflecting other kinds of cinema movements from right here and around the world.

The blind side just doesn’t cut the mustard

Here are my picks:

Best Picture
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
District 9
The White Ribbon
Where the Wild Things Are
A Serious Man
Summer Hours
Two Lovers

Best Director35-shots-of-rum_poster
Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds)
Clare Denis (35 Shots of Rum)
James Grey (Two Lovers)
Kathryn Bigalow (The Hurt Locker)
Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell)

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Colin Firth (A Single Man)
Tom Hardy (Bronson)
Sam Rockwell (Moon)
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton (Julia)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Abbie Cornish (Bright Star)
Maria Onetto (The Headless Woman)
Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist)

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)
Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)
Christian McKay (Me and Orson Wells)
Peter Capaldi (In the Loop)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)

Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds)
Monique (Precious)
Alycia Delmore (Humpday)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Two Lovers)

Best Animated Feature
Fantastic Mr. Fox
A Town Called Panic

Original Screenplayrevanche_ver2
Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective)
Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
Roy Andersson (You the Living)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds)
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar)

Adapted Screenplay
Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Armando Iannucci; Harold P. Manning; Ian Martin; Jesse Armstrong; Simon Blackwell; Tony Roche (In the Loop)
Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers (Where the Wild Things Are)
Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man)
Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!)

Best Foreign language film
Dogtooth (Greece)
A Prophet (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
Mother (South Korea)
The Maid (Chile)

Best DocumentaryBurma VJ Reporter i et lukket land (2008)
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
The Cove
The Beaches of Agnes
Burma VJ
Of Time and the City

Best Cinematography
The White Ribbon
Inglorious Basterds
The Girlfriend Experience

Best Editing
A Serious Man
Inglorious Basterds
The Hurt Locker

Best Original Song
“Loin de Paname” Paris 36
“All is Love” Where the Wild Things Are
“The Weary Kind” Crazy Heart
“Fly Farm Blues” It Might Get Loud
“Trust Me” The Informant!

Best ScoreB0026IUSYW
Marvin Hamlisch (The Informant!)
Bad Rabbit (The Limits of Control)
Alexandre Desplat (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
James Newton Howard (Duplicity)
Michael Giacchino (Up)

Best Costume Design
The Brothers Bloom
Inglorious Basterds
The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus
Whip It
The Limits of Control

Best Art Direction
The Road
Where the Wild things Are
The Brothers Bloom

Best Make Up
Il Divo
District 9
The Road
Whip It

Best Visual Effects
Where the Wild Things Are
Star Trek
District 9
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Best Sound
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
District 9


Best Ensemble Cast
House of the Devil
Summer Hours
Inglorious Basterds
In the Loop
A Serious Man
Still Walking

  1. herbalsexpills says

    I have to say, i really think that the oscars is fun to watch, and i truly think that hurt locker was a impressive movie to watch!

  2. Tristan says

    Once again, two of my favorite films of the year (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and MOON) didn’t get nominated for Best Picture. Last year it was The Wrestler. Even when there is ten nominees, they still can’t choose the best ones. The Blind Side? Seriously??? That film wasn’t even as good as Avatar, and I though Avatar was just alright. At least A SERIOUS MAN is in there.

  3. Florence Struck says

    Iam truly looking ahead to look at the oscars soon. All the stars walking by, especially the girls in their shine trough dresses ;). The movie Avatar shall be the greatest winner i think…

    1. Ricky D says

      because they changed the rules for voting for the best picture Avatar could very well lose now.

  4. Ricky D says

    The Hurt Locker is one of the best films of the decade. What are you talking about?

    Also in recent years the Academy has added several new members all of which are young up and coming filmmakers and actors. Even Seth Rogen is on the Academy now. I think by adding the new generation of industry folk, we have noticed changes in the winners of the past few years. Slumdog Millionaire amd Juno are prime examples of movies that might not have had a chance a few years ago. In any case Daniel makes a point. The award show is mostly directed towards Hollywood movies and despite the fact that I personally prefer independent and foreign films, I still do enjoy blockbuster movies. So it’s nice to still have various film festivals like The Cannes Film Fest and still have something directed towards Hollywood. Regardless even Cannes makes their share of mistakes. Go back and see the Palme D’Or winners and than compare them to the films that lost out. Usually the special mentions are better than the Golden Palm winners.

    1. Anthony Nicholas says

      I just like the idea of an awards show that combines the best of Hollywood blockbusters with the best of the foreign / independent market. If the Oscars started nominating more daring auteur films from the festival circuit, then neglected movies like dogtooth and Love Exposure would immediate distribution and media driven hype around them.

      1. Ricky says

        Yeah but movies like Dogtooth and Love Exposure are only for us fucked up cinephiles and quite honestly I wouldn’t want them to have anything to do with The Academy.

  5. Daniel Elisevich says

    It’s contradictory saying the Oscars are aimed towards America’s over 40 demographic when actually films such as, Avatar, Up and District 9 are in the running for best picture.

    I agree the Oscars are lame and do not include the quality of films that deserve recognition. But, that is why there are film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance and the like. The Oscars are aimed towards the average, naive film viewer. By exploiting the majority of America’s population, the Academy includes only blockbuster movies in an attempt to boost ratings for the network hosting the Oscars, which will turn a bigger profit.

    I am not trying to demean the Academy and I certainly find myself tuning into the show-many of the nominees are very deserving for an award. Anyways, I am rooting for District 9. I thought it was the best film of the year. Enjoy the show this weekend.

    Oh yeah, boooo Hurt Locker and Jeremy Renner. Awful film and awful acting.

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