Even though Cablevision’s dispute with ABC means that I, along with several other million people in the NY-NJ area, will not be able to watch the Oscars, NPI’s Oscarpalooza carries on with previews and predictions. Of course, I am not a movie critic and, thus, have not seen all the movies nominated. Nor do I care about the majority of awards. So much of what makes the Academy Awards interesting to casual movie fans, though, is how a cottage industry of diviners and predictive pseudo-sciences has sprung up in response to the awards. Thanks to innumerable “Best Of” lists and predictive “secondary” awards like the SAGs or the Golden Globes, most people feel like they have a good idea of, say, Meryl Streep’s performance in Julie & Julia, whether or not they have seen it. Sifting through the critical white noise has become something of an art, and I’m offering my services so that those of you who would rather not watch Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin chaperone a four-hour self-congratulatory love-fest (or those of you who have Cablevision and simply have no choice), don’t have to watch to see who wins the eight major awards.
Posts Tagged ‘Avatar’
The 2010 Oscar Nominees were announced today and I seek to defend my previous praise of the expansion of the “Best Picture” category to include ten nominees instead of the usual five. Without further ado, the ten nominees are:
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Based on Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominees/winners and general Oscar “buzz,” Avatar, Up in the Air, and The Hurt Locker were shoo-ins to be nominated and Precious was pretty close to one. If we’re in the five-nominee system that leaves one more nomination and two NPI favorites: Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man. One of those movies would most likely not have been nominated and would have no chance at winning “Best Picture.” Yes, with the expansion to ten nominees we get the inclusion of the undeserving The Blind Side and the filth known as Up*.
The Golden Globes were last night and since, as host Ricky Gervais kept reminding us, actors are the best and most important people in the world, we here at NPI cannot let that the occasion pass without some commentary. As usual with awards shows, it was a mixed bag.
The Best Three Things:
What we read while worrying about the fate of Last Call with Carson Daly….
- The final season of Lost is coming up in three weeks. The trailers aren’t giving anything away, but ABC’s promotional poster indicates it’s going to be heavy-handed and laden with symbols…for a change. This premiere is so highly anticipated that even Obama is changing his schedule for it.
- As Shayne Graham and Neil Rackers reminded us this weekend, kicking can be huge in the playoffs. Michael Lewis tackled the importance of NFL kickers in 2007.
- The New York Times 36 hours travel series has gone just about everywhere, but now they go to a shocking new location.
- NPI-favorite Aziz Ansari did an interview with NPI-favorite Animal Collective. The interview promises to be an NPI-favorite.
- Another NPI favorite, Charles P. Pierce, now has his own blog over at Boston.com (h/t to the blog of another sportswriter we enjoy, Michael Weinreb).
- Alan Sepinwall discusses the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons. He does a good job putting the whole series, from the endearing early years to the regrettable later seasons, in perspective.
- If John S keeps giving films the Avatar treatment, we’ve got no shot of cracking eFilmCritic’s “Whores of the Year” in 2010 (although John was not the only one to feel that way about Cameron’s latest).
- We must have barely missed the cut of this list…
- Somehow, this gets even better after the subhead, “Jaguars may have to trade up to get Tim Tebow.“
Commercially speaking, the Aughts were an excellent decade for film. Even in poor economic conditions, box office records continued—and still continue as we speak—to be broken. Box Office Mojo’s list of highest grossing films is littered with movies from the Aughts. Much of this is due to inflation, of course, but even on an inflation-adjusted list of all films to pass $100 million in gross, 273 of 665 films—or 41%—come from this decade alone.
For those who make their living off of movies, then, there was plenty to be happy about in the Aughts. But for the audience, for those who like to watch daring and innovative films, the decade was surprisingly disappointing.
Of course, painting in such broad strokes is always a tricky game, particularly for something as ingrained and multi-faceted as film. Unlike television, cinema has been established as a medium for serious art since before I was even born, so the Aughts couldn’t really see a general creative leap of that sort. Unlike music, in which production costs are lower and output generally faster, film cannot experience the kind of rapid flourishing and integration of entire genres. Continue reading