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The Oscar nominations: Brokeback leads the pack

 
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2006 05:41 pm
I'm going to write a movie about two misunderstood and frustrated straight figure skaters.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2006 07:33 pm
Right -- that would be a real corker.

I understand that Jake Gyllenhaal was nothing short of flabergasted winning over George Clooney but his performance has been underrated. Heath will have to cast aside his ego on this one.
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cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2006 01:13 am
cyphercat wrote:
I still don't think Crash really deserves a Best Picture nomination. I found it very contrived; but I also thought perhaps that was intentional and maybe I was missing something.

Did anyone else find it just a bit too much that Matt Dillon's character rescues the very same woman he molested earlier? I mean, I understand that it was a plot device to make a point, but sh*t. Isn't that just a little heavy-handed? Maybe more effective if he redeemed himself in a more subtle way?

I thought the whole movie kind of bludgeoned you with its message, but like I said before, since it's getting so many accolades, I wonder if I'm missing something that gives it more depth. Or is it sort of what eoe suggested about Brokeback, it's getting all this acclaim because of the subject matter, not really because of the quality of the movie?


Lightwizard wrote:
No, I don't believe it is getting all the acclaim just because of its subject matter. That would mean any gay themed film would have gotten the acclaim. Doesn't make much sense, does it?


Umm, I guess I wasn't clear, but I was talking about Crash. This isn't supposed to be just a discussion of Brokeback Mountain thread or anything is it? Sorry if it's off topic to talk about Crash, but anyway that's what I was doing.

To restate, I think that Crash may be getting more accolades because of the anti-racism message than because the film is really that well done, and i wondered what others might think about that. I just brought up what eoe said about Brokeback because it was a similar point.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2006 08:46 am
I was really answering for both -- I also don't believe that "Crash" is getting more accolades just because of the racism theme. It exposes a latent racism that many have believed racism has subsided. It does follow the model of Altman's "Short Cuts" and Anderson's "Magnolia," but that format has not been overused. Not yet, at least.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 06:40 pm
Just read through page two.

I have seen Brokeback and think it is not a great film. Pride and Prejudice, Walk the Line, Capote and The Squid and the Whale are all better films.

First of all, Brokeback was inspired -- if not based upon -- a story by E. Annie Proulx. While I have only read one novel by Proulx, "Postcards," I am reluctant to read another. What a nihilist. Nihilism dominates Brokeback.

Second, there are terrible gaps in Brokeback. The one I remember is what was going on in the mind of the wife of Jake Gyllanhaal's character when she told Heath Ledger's character about her husband's death?

Did she know the truth? Remember, her father was a wealthy man who disliked his son-in-law. Did he buy a satisfactory version of the younger man's death to protect the family reputation?

Or was she afraid to admit the truth to herself?

Or did she tell her husband's friend a version that she thought would cause him less pain?

A better movie would have clued the audience in.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2006 06:45 pm
I never heard of Crash. Boston is supposed to be a fairly big market.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 09:18 am
No, the scene with the wife does not give any absolute answer as to whether Ennis' vision is in his own mind or reality. The film asks one to use their own emotions and intellect, but, of course, some do not get it. That was a brilliant scene and right out of the Proulx story. Suggest to most people that they see the film again -- it is difficult to assimilate in one viewing.

Nihilism? Did not get a speck of that from the film and this is the first time I've read anything like that including the over forty reviews, positive (mostly) and negative (in the minority).

"Crash" was in theaters very early last year.

Don't agree the other films are better films but, as usual, this is opinion. After winning at BAFTA, "Brokeback" has become one of the most critically lauded films of last year (or even recent previous years) and will likely be awarded the big one. It's also a surprise hit and the box office and could actually make more actual profit than any film from last year.

Just hope the gay themed films it will spawn will be of the same quality. Not many directors can reach the standard set by Ang Lee.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 12:43 pm
Lightwizard -- Whether or not a film is better is subjective. There is a point in almost (note: almost) every film where I become bored. Now, despite knowing the story of both Walk the Line and Pride and Prejudice, and despite both being longish movies, I was never bored. In fact, I never looked at my watch during either movie.

Now, just because a movie is nominated for -- even if it wins -- an Academy Award does not mean it is the best movie of the year or even that it is a good movie. The history of the Academy's Best Picture is full of clunkers.

The Last Emperor, Ghandhi, Titanic were all overblown bores. Now, I hate disaster movies, the category Titanic falls into. I've written this in other places, but I really hate it when the disaster couple return to the scene of threat and carnage or when the supposed dead enemy turns out to have been stunned and rises again. Enough!

I sort of feel the answer to 40 good reviews is so what? A friend of mine loves Rotten Tomatoes. I asked him why should it matter to you what a reviewer in Dubuque cares about movie? Why not rely on two or three critics you can trust and take their word for the merit of a picture? I'm certain that The Last Emperor received good reviews.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 12:57 pm
Clunkers in your opinion. Although I've disagreed with the final choice for the Oscar, there is rarely a time the film isn't in the top ten of critical response and in the past decade, the winner has even been on the top of the box office.

Not a big fan of "Ghandi," but "The Last Emperor" was a great epic film and kept my interest throughout the film. If one is put-off by disaster films, even a true disaster, I wouldn't expect they would like "Titanic."

I wasn't bored through "Walk the Line" not "Pride and Prejudice" although I found the later had some serious problems in the script.

I wasn't recommending you read forty reviews. What critics do you rely on?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 12:57 pm
Clunkers in your opinion. Although I've disagreed with the final choice for the Oscar, there is rarely a time the film isn't in the top ten of critical response and in the past decade, the winner has even been on the top of the box office.

Not a big fan of "Ghandi," but "The Last Emperor" was a great epic film and kept my interest throughout the film. If one is put-off by disaster films, even a true disaster, I wouldn't expect they would like "Titanic."

I wasn't bored through "Walk the Line" not "Pride and Prejudice" although I found the later had some serious problems in the script.

I wasn't recommending you read forty reviews. What critics do you rely on?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 24 Feb, 2006 12:58 pm
Clunkers in your opinion. Although I've disagreed with the final choice for the Oscar, there is rarely a time the film isn't in the top ten of critical response and in the past decade, the winner has even been on the top of the box office.

Not a big fan of "Ghandi," but "The Last Emperor" was a great epic film and kept my interest throughout the film. If one is put-off by disaster films, even a true disaster, I wouldn't expect they would like "Titanic." Out of 78 pictures, you've managed to come up with only three? What are the odds?

I wasn't bored through "Walk the Line" not "Pride and Prejudice" although I found the later had some serious problems in the script.

I wasn't recommending you read forty reviews. What critics do you rely on?
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Sat 25 Feb, 2006 12:54 pm
Wow, lightwizard, looks like A2K wasn't working well for you when you posted.


I take all critics with a grain of salt. I acknowledge that I like off-beat, literary and -- for want of a better phrase -- chick-flick movies. The only movie I ever paid full-price to sit through twice was Orlando.

I tend to rely on the Boston Phoenix. I like the tone the reviewers adopt although they have one reviewer -- who applied for the post on the proviso that she review the most mass market of films -- who seems a little autre to me.

Now the Phoenix gave both Brokeback and Pride and Prejudice three stars, the same amount they gave the latest Harry Potter. They gave four stars to The Squid and the Whale and three-and-a-half to Capote. Don't have the paper with me, and I can't remember what they gave Walk the Line.

I'd have given Harry two or two-and-a-half stars. I'm not certain that I would have given Squid four -- although it moved me so much that I left the theatre shaking, drove to my favorite cheap butcher and bought red meat, walked down the block to the liquor store and bought a bottle of good red to accompany it. I'd have given Capote four stars.

I watch tv critic Joyce Kulhawik just to get a handle on what she thinks. Mass market though she may be -- with a tendency to swoon too much over some films -- the stuff she dislikes is generally dislikeable.

I'm not terribly fond of the current film critic roster at the Boston Globe. And, I generally watch Ebert (when I can discover where the network has stashed them) and whatever his partner's name is as a sort of gauge to the mass market.

Now, the Globe really liked the new Russian vampire movie but the Phoenix was a little more guarded. The Globe adored CSA but the Phoenix found it tiresome.

I tried to tell my former boyfriend that there are reviews for movies that make the movie sound ok but are not complimentary. Ditto books: when a book reviewer calls an author, "a good storyteller," it is a sign the book is a potboiler or a beach book.

------------

I came to this thread because I intended to start one along the line of What movies did you enjoy more than Brokeback.

I will say that there is a lot of the classical Greek male in Ennis. Ennis and his wife seem to stop having sex because she wants no more children -- good thing. He becomes angry and turns away. Reminded me of the Greeks: sex with your wife is for procreation; sex with other men, particularly students is for enjoyment.

Another thing that bothered me was what I would call the Bergman rip-off in the green paint on the second floor of the Twist house.

The Dickensian names also bothered me. Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar and Alma Junior.

Those things may be an argument with Annie Proulx -- who strikes me as either a woman hater or a marriage hater. Proulx did have three unsuccessful marriages before giving up on the institution. As she has said, it took her time to realize that marriage wasn't for her.

After seeing Brokeback, I considered reading her short story but her novel Postcards turned my stomach.

My first encounter with Proulx came when she wrote a piece for the late, lamented Blair and Ketchum's Country Journal, back in the days when young couples in southern NH and northern MA set their thermostats to 60 and heated their homes with wood stoves.

Proulx wrote about clothes, suggesting that women were always cold because a bra-and-panties were far less substantial than a man's undershirt and boxers. She called a bra-and-panties "one-half clo." I thought the article silly, because all one had to do was point out that women no longer wear as much under their clothes as they did prior to the 1960s. Even the full-slip is a dinosaur!

However, remember the Crones from Abuzz? Many of the crones wear long skirts, with wool socks and clogs and silk long johns. No "one-half clo" for these sensible older women.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Feb, 2006 05:28 pm
"The Shipping News" (which won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award) is a wonderful story, full of real characters who one ends up caring very much for, but didn't make as great a movie. It had to be script problems as it certainly wasn't Kevin Spacey's fault! "Wyoming Stories" is enthralling reading. Re-reading "Brokeback Mountain" uncovered a lot of the subltle nuances of the film. Unfortunately, Ang Lee's cinematic philosophy of not banging one over the head with the essence of the story doesn't appeal to some. I suggest Michael Mann for them.

The latest news from Hollywood is that "Brokeback Mountain" will win and maybe even a sweep of the awards. Of course, there have been upsets in the past and the film will still go down as a landmark in cinema history. Logo has already placed it as the number one gay themed movie of all time.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Feb, 2006 05:32 pm
(I'm not buying the "woman hater or marriage hater" bit at all).
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Feb, 2006 05:13 pm
Frankly, after reading Postcards, I have no desire to read another Annie Proulx story.

Now, most people in literature disagree with the 'value' of literary prizes.

As for being a marriage hater, on her own web site, Proulx confesses to finally coming to the realization that she should stay away from marriage. While that is not exactly marriage hating, it is on the way.

I love subtle details and relish in them. Eg., many years ago, when my ex-husband and I saw the filmed version of The French Lt's Woman, at the point when the Meryl Streep character has her final meeting with the Jeremy Irons' character -- in the movie-within-the-movie-- Streep throws off her shawl, almost presenting her breasts. I roared! Every encounter with a male during her virginal stage was marked by her gathering her shawl around herself, locking in her breasts.

Hubbie asked why I laughed and I told him.

He still didn't get it. He asked how it is that I saw it. I said it was there for you to see.

Many years ago, I read somewhere -- it could have been in the NYTimes or the Boston Globe and there is slim chance it was in the Detroit Free Press -- that many books by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners in the post prize phase are actually anonymously penned by hungry grad students, which, according to the article's writer, explains why so many late books differ from early books.

Do I believe that?

Not completely, because I think too many writers have one book in them which they continually rewrite.

As for movies, I hated Chicago. Some one on this forum tried to insult me by saying that I wasn't intelligent enough to get it.

There wasn't much to get. Yeah, the rich get richer. Big deal. If people got the so-called message, they'd do something about it.

Talk about an unsubtle flic! Chicago is it.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Feb, 2006 05:24 pm
Who are "most people in literature?" I don't know who they are -- maybe those who are victims of sour grapes 'cause they never won anything?

You attempted to cover "marriage hater" with little success but relented on "woman hater."

"Chicago" was based on a true murder case that happened, well I'm flabergasted, in Chicago. It was a big media event in those days and spawned the play, the earlier movies, the Broadway musical and finally the Oscar winning film. It deserved the Oscar. If you read it as "the rich get richer," I'm astonished you claim you saw the same film. It was a satirical criticism of lawyers and the legal process. The Ginger Rogers version, "Roxie," played up the original farcical aspects. They are still there but the music tends to overshadow that aspect.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Feb, 2006 09:34 pm
I still have many Oscar nominated films to watch (Brokeback hasn't opened in Mexico yet).

I think "Munich" is one of the best movies made by Spielberg.
Also that Reese Witherspoon deserves an Oscar.
And the documentary "La marche de l'empereur" is fantastic.

The End.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Mar, 2006 11:41 am
An Open Letter via the press release of "Generation Life":

Quote:
Generation Life

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS


February 28, 2006

Dear Academy:

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of young people throughout the United States and Canada, Generation Life, a movement of young people committed to spreading the messages of life and love to our peers respectfully asks you to give us a better product.

The Academy Awards has always had the reputation of setting the standard of excellence in the area of film production. Regrettably, Oscar's golden stamp of approval is losing much luster and credibility in the minds and hearts of us as young people. We are asking you to give us a product that best reflects the heartbeat of our generation.

Today's youth are more pro-life than their parent's generation (NY Times 3/30/03). 54% of high school seniors are virgins and are choosing to live a life of sexual abstinence until marriage (Newsweek 11/9/02). We are consistently choosing to elect public officials who have respect for human life from the moment of conception till natural death as best indicated by our generation's choice in President. We want entertainment that best reflects our respect for all human life, our decision to practice sexual purity and our traditional family value system.

Sadly, the movies which you have consistently chosen to highlight for us as "the best of the best" do not represent our generation's conscience. In 1999, the Academy chose to give the Oscar to the best supporting portrayal of an abortionist in the film The Cider House Rules. Last year, the Academy glorified the horror of euthanasia by proclaiming Million Dollar Baby as deserving of Best Picture. This year, the Academy is celebrating homosexuality and the pain that comes with embracing this lifestyle by giving the film Brokeback Mountain the most nominations. These nominations should not come as a surprise as the Academy has a record of celebrating movies and the portrayal of those struggling with same sex attraction in films like Philadelphia (1993) and As Good as it Gets (1997).

We, the youth of America say enough is enough! If success at the box office is any indication of what we are looking for then look no further to the success of movies like The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia. Both of these movies were smash hits at the box office and received only four nominations (3 Passion, 1 Narnia) from the Academy and none of these were for acting, directing or best picture. Clearly, something is wrong! Either there is something wrong with the millions of people going to these movies or the problem remains with the Academy.

Generation Life is calling on the Academy to award major motion films according to the principles which speak to the heart of the American people, but most especially us as young people. The youth are the heartbeat of our nation and we ask that you remember that we represent the current and future success of the film industry.

Sincerely,

Mark Houck

Public School Coordinator
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cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Mar, 2006 02:40 pm
These things leap out at me from that letter:

Quote:
We are consistently choosing to elect public officials who have respect for human life from the moment of conception till natural death as best indicated by our generation's choice in President.


Yeah, because so many young people are getting out the vote... Rolling Eyes

And this one:

Quote:
This year, the Academy is celebrating homosexuality and the pain that comes with embracing this lifestyle by giving the film Brokeback Mountain the most nominations.


Of course, the point of the movie was the pain caused by NOT embracing who they were... Jeez. What a pack of nonsense.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Mar, 2006 02:50 pm
A ridiculous letter which will, of course, fall on deaf ears. The stand-out performances of the year were not in "Narnia" and the Academy, of course, compared it as a fantasy to LOTR where nearly ever component of the collaboration was top notch. No comparison, really. Mel Gibson went over the edge with his "Texas Chainsaw Christ Massacre," and the performances were good but not great. It received nominations where it excelled -- in production design and music. It was easily overshadowed by much better films.
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