Friday, November 30, 2012

Oscar Short List & Why It's Important

There has been a date change in the Oscar-process which means more members will see fewer films. Members are all ready complaining, but it will probably be in categories such as Short Films, Animated Shorts and Documentaries that procrastinators will skip and just make "an educated guess" in their vote.
It probably sounds like a lot of unimportant hype, and hype there certainly is, however, it cannot be emphasized enough that films winning Oscars--the gold of the movie industry--largely determines what types of films will be made for the next 2-3 years (because of the lag time it takes to make and distribute a film) and, for the winners of the Best Visual Effects category, what those films will look like. Films are nominated for the honor to compete for an Oscar on what's called a "short list" and, just to make the first -cut onto that is an honor, but only the first of many hurdles.
As more contenders are posted, I will post them as well.
The films which have all ready made the short list for Best Visual Effects are:
The Avengers (#1 at the yearly box office)
The Dark Knight Rises (#2 at the yearly box office)
The Amazing Spider Man (#4 at the yearly box office)
Skyfall (#8 and rising at yearly box office)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
John Carter
The Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman (#13 at yearly box office)
Cloud Atlas
It's unknown if the nominating committee has even seen a completed version of The Hobbit but, in the VFX category, it frequently happens that the biggest yearly grosses at the box office (that other Hollywood gold, money) are nominated for this category and nothing else. Which ironically makes this category even more important because the future blockbusters will want whoever wins in this category to do their film to insure it will be a blockbuster. Nothing succeeds like success. So, from this list of ten nominees, five will be chosen to receive that honor of Oscar Nominee which will be announced January 10 and the Oscars will take place February 24.
Lastly, some of the names being thrown around for Acting nominations include Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, House At the End of the Street) for her role in Silver Linings Playbook (which has scored big in nominations at the independent awards) and Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables; Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln, and Denzel Washington for Flight; Ang Lee for The Life Of Pi and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. Hugh Jackman will probably be nominated for Les Miserables and I think it's possible for Richard Gere to get nominated for Arbitrage and Tom Hanks and Halle Berry for Cloud Atlas. Personally, I expect to see Lawless nominated for at least one category, probably a couple and Benecio Del Toro for Savages. I would love to see Skyfall nominated and win in every category and its success at the box office will only help it, not hinder it from being taken as a serious film. But these are rumors and my own speculation; as actual short lists are made public I will be posting them!
Anne Hathaway plays a worker turned prostitute in Les Miserables.
There is another category which has exploded in recent Oscar competitions: Best Animated Film. Why is this important?Animated films are usually targeted at children. If you have been reading this blog for any time, I hope I have been able to demonstrate how serious animated films are, and film makers know they are serious, because they want to influence children to their own doctrines. Brave, which I thoroughly enjoyed, is a leading contender in this category, as are Wreck It Ralph, Rise Of the Guardians, ParaNorman and Frankenweenie; I am hoping to see Madagascar 3 because it was so strongly pro-capitalist, but I will at least be content with Ice Age 4 not making it into the list.
I am nearly done with my post for Red Dawn and I have become curious to watch Marcus Dunstan's The Collection about a single man who escapes from a serial killer and is then blackmailed to return and attempt a rescue:
Watch lots of films this weekend! I am seeing The Collection, Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln; in the middle of next week, I am watching Killing Them Softly, Flight and The Life Of Pi. If you are interested in seeing The Life Of Pi, you are in for a treat, from what I understand, because the decoding is actually reversed: I see symbols and decode them for you consideration, but The Life Of Pi decodes its own symbols for us. That doesn't mean there is no decoding to do; on the contrary, that kind of self-awareness only means the story has taken extremely great pains to hide what it wants to say because its so controversial, so it only makes decoding more difficult, but also more rewarding!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner