Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Oscars: What To Look For


Nothing compares to the Oscar.
Nothing.
A film or actor can win all the critic awards in the world but, if they don't hold the Oscar at the end of the season, the greatest performance or film ever doesn't mean a thing. It doesn't matter if you are watching Seth MacFarlane make a go at replacing Billy Crystal or not, the film makers in charge of giving out green lights for the next year or two are watching the Oscars and making decisions moment by moment, from who will design the costumes to grants for documentaries to the leading stars and who the best writers are,... so, yea, the Oscars are a big deal for movie lovers because the films we will be served up in three to four years will be reflected by tomorrow's awards (it takes one to two years to get a film made).
If you haven't filled out your ballot yet, you can print out a ballot at this official link. What are my predictions? I am not making predictions, I am lousy at it. I will be seeing Amour tomorrow afternoon (which means I will have finally seen all the Best Picture nominees [just in time] before the awards)! I would love to see Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts Of the Southern Wild and Les Miserables win; I am personally very proud of Ben Affleck for making such a (technically) fine film as Argo, but I am upset with his politics; Lincoln I thought was poorly crafted, especially for someone of Spielberg's veteran status, so I hope he doesn't win because he doesn't deserve it. I really despised The Master as a poorly conceived film, and think the actors have been nominated simply for "daring" performances and I don't like that, there should be a standard of quality I feel lacking in the overall film and that The Master isn't nominated for more awards actually proves my point. So, if Lincoln does win, does that mean Hollywood is a bunch of socialists?
No, it doesn't.   
Hollywood doesn't examine the films the way you and I do; they probably know Tim Burton is a socialist, but they aren't rewarding socialism (so they believe) in nominating Frankenweenie, which brings us to an important point: the animated features. The nominees are: Brave, Frankenweenie, Paranorman, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, Wreck-It Ralph. Why does this matter so much to me? Kids go to see this films, and the winners of the Oscars usually get tapped to make more animated features, so if a pro-Gay, pro-cross-gender, pro-evolutionary film like The Pirates! Band Of Misfits wins the Oscar, that means kids will be getting more films made like that for them! Because animated features appear so innocent and fun, we often fail to see the value system lurking behind their creation but it's the kind of thing that helps kids determine what is normal and acceptable in society, so that category is the biggest concern for me.
A scene from Amour.
Nominees For Best Picture:
Amour (seeing tomorrow)
Life Of Pi (pro-spirituality; you can watch it now on Amazon)
Argo (pro-socialist)
Lincoln (pro-socialist)
Beasts Of the Southern Wild (anti-socialist)
Silver Linings Playbook (pro-capitalist)
Django Unchained (anti-capitalist, pro-French Revolution)
Zero Dark Thirty (anti-Obama)
Les Miserables (pro-capitalism, pro-Christianity)

What do the nominees for Best Picture say about 2012?
It was an amazing year for film!
2012 just had phenomenal movies, and I expect to see that continue into 2013. All these films nominated (with, in my opinion, Lincoln) are at the top calibre of skill and talent in film making: from the stories and acting, to the execution, just like the Oscars for 2011, when society starts going through upheaval, art is there to document it and contribute to the discussion--even guide the discourse and the direction it should take, and these films have certainly done that!
What's my real problem with Daniel Day-Lewis winning for his portrayal of Lincoln? His portrayal of Lincoln. To me, socialists are in favor of the mediocre, they would never say that, but that's what they do, and they hate excellence in anyone and the best things about Lincoln have been removed from this film and, instead, filled with hillbilly-folklore and a madwoman who was insane and angry (Sally Fields). Spielberg's film isn't "making Lincoln accessible for the masses," he's making Lincoln a reflection of the masses instead of the singular exceptional man and intellect he was; Lincoln is being shamelessly used for an agenda he never would have supported and all the genius of the man has been shoved under the carpet and replaced with the "taking of power" to validate Obama's grabs for power. That's why I am so angry.
Lincoln is nominated for 12 Oscars and has all ready won 47 awards with a total of 98 nominations this awards season. A big question no one seems to be asking--and a primary reason we were tracking wins and nominees, just so we could see something like this emerge--is the change from Zero Dark Thirty winning everything so early (no one could stand up to it) to the sudden turn-around with Argo winning everything. Why? Argo, nominated for 7 Oscars, has a total of 61 critical nominations and 50 wins; with 5 Oscar nominations, 59 critical nominations and 52 wins of those nominations, Zero Dark Thirty neither directors (Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow) are nominated for Best Directing Oscars; Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of the Southern Wild slipped in along with Silver Linings Playbook's David O. Russel in their "spots."
So what happened?
I would love for Hugh Jackman or Bradley Cooper to win Best Actor. Jean Valjean offers, to me, the perfect capitalist because he's balanced with the true self-interest of the Christian: what is best for my neighbor (and everyone is my neighbor) is what is best for me, regardless the cost, because the benefit exceeds that.  Bradley Cooper's Silver Linings Playbook takes capitalism and demonstrates the hope of capitalism and why we need to grab onto that hope and hold onto to it.
It could be Hollywood generously allowing for someone else to have a chance. Affleck, for example, might be suffering the encouraging way of Hollywood to "keep striving" for the Oscar (but being a socialist, he probably doesn't look at it that way, just as suffering) while I utterly believe Bigelow has been punished for not giving a glorious spotlight to Obama when the door was wide-open for her to do so (by the way, Sony is released Zero Dark Thirty in March and I will let you know when it's out!).
Nothing beats the Oscar.
Nothing.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner