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So the Oscars are over and, as expected, it was nobody’s night. Awards were distributed evenly, which confuses news organizations and reporters because they love to splash across their headlines “IT WAS MOVIE X’S NIGHT!” Gravity won some. 12 Years won some. But nobody dominated. Were there surprises? You bet. American Hustle didn’t win a single award! And Barbrie Fontuno lost for Best Documentary Animated Short for the third year in a row. When is that guy going to finally get his statue!?

Which reminds me… Poor Leo continues to sit in the loser’s chair, despite playing more Oscar-friendly roles than any other actor in town and working with the best directors in the business. I don’t know what it is about Leo. He’s a good actor, but I don’t know if he’s a great one. He commands the screen. But there’s something in the back of his delivery that makes you aware that he’s acting. If he can figure out how to overcome that, the little golden statue may yet be his one day.

I was shocked that after Cate Blanchett won for Best Actress (which I think she deserved) she thanked every single person on the planet EXCEPT for Woody Allen. I don’t know if that’s because she doesn’t like Woody Allen or she’s afraid to give credit to a media-appointed child molester and deal with the backlash. But by omitting his name from the acceptance speech, she’s probably going to draw more attention about the director than had she just said his name.

In the director category, there is really no question that Alfonso Cuaron deserved to win. I’ve loved his stuff ever since that Ethan Hawke one-take running shot in Great Expectations, and then those amazing super-takes he did in Children of Men. But with Gravity, he topped them all. I mean, if you’re freaking inventing shit to make your movie, you get the Oscar. This guy invented the technology to make this film. That’s pretty awesome.

Matthew McConaughey for the Best Actor win. This was one of the only shoe-ins of the night. If there’s one thing that’s clear about this win, it’s that if you’re a good looking actor who loses 50+ pounds to look really skinny in your role, you increase your Oscar chances by 80%. This is a KNOWN FACT, and seemed to work for co-star Jared Leto as well. I think Matt had one of the funnier speeches of the night. With his confidence and that southern drawl, you’re captivated and believe everything the guy’s saying. But if you really listened to Matt, you may have noticed he was just babbling a bunch of nonsense. Somebody you look forward to? Somebody to be on top of? Somebody to call your hero? What??? I think at the end, Matt told the world that his hero was himself. Which is pretty much Hollywood acting in a nutshell.

So what do I think of 12 Years A Slave winning best picture? Well first of all, I haven’t seen the film. Let’s start there. Why haven’t I seen it? Two reasons. First, I think Steve McQueen is a self-indulgent filmmaker who doesn’t care about story. He just wants to get in there, shoot, and play around with the actors. “Shame” is one of the most unneeded stories ever to be written. It was a complete waste of everybody’s time except maybe Michael Fassbender. After that debacle, I decided I was never again going to watch a Steve McQueen movie.

Second, from everything I’ve been told about the film, it’s as if it was created specifically so that I would hate it. It’s over the top. It’s depressing. It’s more history lesson than film. I don’t have anything bad to say about the people who like it. But I go to the movies to be entertained, at least on some level. And this film has no interest in entertaining. Yeah, I get it. Sometimes movies are meant to challenge you. But it seems like the message of this film is one I already know. Slavery was really really really bad. I mean, if you guys can convince me that there’s another reason to see this that I’m not considering, let me know. But I just don’t see myself excitedly sitting down to watch 12 Years A Slave with a bucket of popcorn any time soon.

Which brings us to the only thing that matters about the Oscars – the screenwriting categories! Now in my newsletter, despite not feeling like there were any true contenders, screenplays that we would look back at in 10 years and go, “Oh yeah, that was an amazing screenplay,” I thought I could pick the winners. In the Adaptation side, we had…

Before Midnight
12 Years A Slave
Captain Phillips
Wolf of Wall Street
Philomena

I knew Captain Phillips had no shot. It’s basically a bunch of shaky cam with a Somali pirate occasionally saying, “Look at me! I’m the Cap-tun now.” Wolf of Wall Street was a copy and paste job from the book. And Philomena was way too small of an idea. That left 12 Years A Slave and Before Midnight. Since I had not seen 12 Years A Slave, I was making an educated guess. But from what I’ve been told, 12 Years A Slave was all about the acting and the directing. Of those three elements, the screenwriting was supposedly the least impressive of the group. On the flip side, Richard Linklater is known for being a kick-ass screenwriter, with the industry adoring the fact that Julie Delpy pitches in and helps write these “Before” movies. So I thought the Oscar would go to Before Midnight. But alas, 12 Years a Slave won.

But! The story is not over. For those of you conspiracy theorists, you may have heard a few days ago that Julie Delpy RAILED on the Academy, calling them a bunch of old white men who hadn’t done anything in forever, and who therefore needed money. So to win an Academy award, all you had to do was slip them some “presents” and you had their vote. She then went on to say that she could give two shits about Hollywood and the Academy and that she thinks almost everything that Hollywood makes sucks.

Wowzers! This is why I’ve always kept Mrs. Delpy an arm’s length away. You can see that, sort of, contained rage behind her eyes. You get the feeling that she just hates everyone and doesn’t appreciate what she has or the chances she’s been given. I think that’s why she was never really accepted into the Hollywood community. But either way, even though that only happened a few days ago, after the voting was in, I would not put it beyond the Academy to change some votes around to avoid this vitriolic woman coming up on stage and calling all of its members elitist criminals. So she may have done herself in and prevented herself from the opportunity to make a few more personal indie movies.

That leaves us with the Original Screenplay Nominees…

American Hustle
Her
Blue Jasmine
Nebraska
Dallas Buyers Club

I thought this race was between American Hustle and Blue Jasmine, both of which, I believe, were better screenplays than Her. American Hustle had a weird story and took chances, mixing humor with drama in a way that was unpredictable and entertaining. It was not only different (which is easy to do), but it executed its “different” approach almost flawlessly (which isn’t easy to do). Blue Jasmine was masterful in its character creation (this woman who was going nuts), in its situational setups (the repeatedly tough moments it placed its hero in), and then in its dialogue, which, with Woody Allen, is never stilted, always feels natural, and has that heightened lyrical quality to it, almost like you’re listening to two characters take part in an aural dance.

But upon reflection, I understand why Her won. It took the biggest chance of all. It created a romantic comedy without one of the key components of the genre – the girl! I mean, sure, there’s a girl, but we only hear her voice. To pull that off for an entire movie and keep us interested is a magic act. I just didn’t think Spike NAILED it, which is why I didn’t think it would win. But in a year of weak contenders, I guess a lot of people thought it was unique, and that was enough to elevate it against some flat competition.

Oh, and finally, I thought Ellen was great. She’s an awesome host. I want to eat pizza with Ellen and take selfies with her. How bout you?  How was your Oscar evening? Did your picks pan out?

  • BennyPickles

    Sorry, I just have to say that the way you talk about 12 Years REALLY pisses me off. You haven’t seen the movie. So why the hell does any word out of your mouth matter?

    “First, I think Steve McQueen is a self-indulgent filmmaker who doesn’t care about story.” It won an Academy Award for its screenplay, and you still hold that opinion? What does it matter what you think somebody else thinks about story? All that matters is the film itself, which, again, YOU HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN. So reserve your judgements until after you have done so.

    This doesn’t just come from a place of forum-commenting anger. We’re all writers here. Just think about it: If you were to write a screenplay that gets turned into a film, how would you want the audience to approach it? With an open mind, or having already decided they’ll hate it? I mean, that’s all I ever ask from my audience – to have an open mind.

    But what you have done, is closed your mind and bolted it up. You’ve already determined you opinion. And when you finally get around to seeing it, you’ll be so preoccupied with trying to confirm your own illinformed notions to actually see what may, in fact, be pretty darn good about it.

    As a script reviewer, you should really know better than that. And, if anyone’s curious, no, I haven’t seen 12 Years either. But I’ll watch it, hoping it’s good. And if it is, great! If it isn’t, that’s fine too. But I’ll let the movie – and only the movie – determine that.

    Okay, rant over.

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      “And when you finally get around to seeing it, you’ll be so preoccupied with trying to confirm those ill-informed notions to actually see what may, in fact, be pretty darn good about it.”

      See what you did there?

    • bb

      Yeah, I agree. Carson, are you some little kid? McQueen is one the best directors up and coming and you call him a self-indulgent filmmaker who knows nothing about story and shoots randomly? Based on what? The TWO (yeah, just two) other films he made besides 12 YAS (a film with a damn great story, but you wouldn’t know that). How are you gonna call yourself a professional when you dismiss a film like that? I mean, have you seen McQueen work in action? How do you know he shoots random shit? Come on now. Stop trying to be a little hipster and go against the mainstream paradigm that 12 YAS is a great film. You’re trying to hard, kiddo.

      • jridge32

        Good point about “Shame”, however: completely self-indulgent cinema.

    • David Sarnecki

      It really is one of the more annoying attitudes somebody can possess. The movie is incredible.

    • Matthew Garry

      > So why does any word you say about it matter?

      It doesn’t, which it why he doesn’t say anything about it; he gives two reasons why he hasn’t seen it instead.
      1. He doesn’t like the director’s track record.
      2. He’s heard it’s over the top and depressing.

      I’ve read it, and found the script to be melodramatic and depressing. So in my opinion he made a good call–with respect to his own taste–not to see it.

    • ArabyChic

      12 Years A Slave is an amazing movie – from an acting standpoint (should have won best actor), from a directing standpoint (should have won best director) and from a writing standpoint.

      Just where the writer chooses to start the story is genius. Knowing a little about what I was going to see going in, upon watching the first few minutes I was already blown away by the slice of life beginning that was already more heart wrenching and beautifully done – almost completely without dialogue – than most movies have the cleverness to pull off with with their save the cat moments (and yes – this movie has a save the cat moment in the beginning, and I guarantee it’s not one you’ve ever seen before). As writers, we can all learn a lot from this movie — a strong goal, stakes, and a main character who we care for deeply because he is such an everyman. Everyone knows the historical facts of slavery to the point where we’ve become jaded towards them. This movie, better than any other, finds a way to make you feel the confusion and the anger and the shame that a man would feel when first introduced to this horror. It makes it fresh and real.

      It’s the best movie I’ve seen in years.

    • wlubake

      He didn’t say 12 Years a Slave was a bad movie. Look, we all form opinions about projects by who is involved. Are you more likely to watch a Christopher Nolan movie or a Michael Bay movie? Why is that? Oh, right, you base your expectations on the directors’ prior work.

      Carson merely said that this movie is built up in every way to be a movie he doesn’t like. Step 1, director he doesn’t respect (due to past projects). Step 2, depressing subject matter. Step 3, based on a true story, and being VERY loyal to the source material (this very often leads to history over story).

      He doesn’t owe it to himself or you (especially) to watch the movie. Again, Carson doesn’t say that 12 Years a Slave is a bad movie. All he says is that he doesn’t care to watch it and find out. We all have a process that does this EVERY WEEKEND at the theater: “New Nic Cage vehicle directed by a nobody, written by a nobody, and looks like generic action material. No thanks.” You just want to burn Carson because his process filters out the Academy Award winning Best Picture.

      Nothing burns me more than someone who finds fault with other people’s taste or opinions. It is subjective for Pete’s sake.

      • kenglo

        I would watch both Bay and Nolan…LOL just me….

        • wlubake

          I used to agree (love Bay in the 90’s), and I’m still open minded about it. Though I’m lining up for Nolan and best case scenario waiting for DVD on Bay (save Transformers, which I don’t watch). I only see about 5 movies a year in the theater. Most I watch on DVD (babysitters are expensive these days). It has to really get me excited to go to the theater (or get the wife excited).

      • Linkthis83

        This is where I landed on the matter. Thank you for typing it out :)

        • drifting in space

          Same. I will see the movie in question but what I’ve heard is he took some liberties that made the story more horrifying and fabricated characters that didn’t exist to get his point across.

          • Linkthis83

            I saw the movie. I can appreciate the movie and all that went into it. There are times it moved me. There are times I think it went too far (like Django). Overall, I’m not going to say anything negative towards Carson because of the elements that turn him off to it. This is a subjective entity we are in and yet that gets lost on here daily. :)

          • mmf2103

            This is a pet peeve of mine because EVERY SINGLE BIOPIC does this, and then every once in a while a news story will come out saying this and that was fabricated and there will be an uproar.

            It’s one thing if there is a pet dragon in a story about Pete Rose — something totally inorganic. OR, if the story has completely missed the point of why this historical character is fascinating (a bigger sin in my opinion).

            People seem to think there is no creativity in creating CHARACTERS in a Biopic. Heck, it’s already done. It’s a real life person. Right?

            In aid getting at what is truly fascinating about these historical characters a STORY must still be crafted. A biopic is a story using the life of a real person, but it is also historical fiction. In any format. Even a documentary has a bias. Some people may say, “well, obviously! That’s totally different than creating people who never existed!”

            I think they’re completely missing the point. Say that person did in fact exist. Say they got the name right, the clothes, the manner of speech. Did they really encapsulate that person? No. Because no character is a REAL person. They are in service to an argument within the story. A great character is focused in a way a real person can never be.

            Sorry if I rant. It annoys me that people seem to think a biopic is not as much a creative labor as any other story. Biopics that are too lazy to create a story — I’m looking at you musical biopics, who think you can do a “greatest hits” of their music and then rest on your laurels — are usually done by writers who are ignorant of this fact.

          • brenkilco

            Kushner’s Lincoln script is impressive and idiosyncratic. The dialogue he writes, both formal and colloquial, intelligent but sometimes a little zonked may or may not be historically accurate but works beautifully for the characters. And they are his characters. And no one with a brain could possibly believe that this script was easier than an original. From every angle it must have been a bitch.

          • ArabyChic

            You’d be surprised how many people with brains think that. And speaking of Kushner, he was criticized for not being historically accurate. You can’t win.

      • brenkilco

        If your business is understanding what movies are and what makes them tick then refusing to see one that has been been proclaimed superior by just about everyone because it might be dramatically grueling is pretty shallow. No matter how you cut it.

        And counterproductive. Because 12 years, while highly impressive, does have problems that might have generated a interesting post. The same problems that plague all films based on a actual events. To what degree is a writer permitted and compelled to impose an artificial dramatic structure on real life events when real life never has a convenient structure? Stick to the facts and the script may seem shapeless or predictable. Fabricate too much and what’s the point? Just do a original.

        • wlubake

          Carson may disagree with your characterization of his “business”. I interpret it to be more limited. His “business” (IMO – from mere observation over the years) is helping amateur writers understand what makes a screenplay work so they can break in with a sale. Thus, naturally he is drawn to the commercial, more formulaic approach. I’ve even seen this evolve over the years. I’m not sure he’d love Everything Must Go if he picked it up for the first time today.

          • brenkilco

            I think it was William Goldman who said scripts are neither good nor bad. They work or they don’t. If Carson wants to opine on what works than he needs to see everything that generates praise and audience response, from the most rarefied to the most depressing lowest common denominator hits. You never know what “commercial” lessons you might learn.

            Personally I’m halfway through my script Ten years a Zombie about a castaway slave who washes up on a Haitian Sugar plantation. It’s got GSU up the voodoo.

          • MWire

            What if the plantation was run by Nazis?

          • brenkilco

            That’s the ticket. We’ll get Fassbender to play the overseer. Just like Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List. Guarantee him another bite of the Oscar apple. This is so going to happen.

        • lisap

          Totally agree. 12 Years a Slave was impressive, but not flawless and a good discussion of it would have been valuable on this site.

          A few other points though….more than one movie exists about WWII, more than one movie exists about the holocaust. Hey…more than one movie exists about Vietnam. We still make them, We still see them, we still learn from them, and there are still many things about the human condition that can be explored through them. To say you aren’t going to learn anything new from a movie like this is precisely why you should see it. Going into it, I thought the same thing…but was totally wrong. Because it does explore everyone’s interaction with the system of slavery and through that we learn something about how that system corrupts everyone and everything (except maybe Brad Pitt).

          I didn’t like Shame…but Shame was a different script too. And Steve McQueen is still relatively new to this medium. Sometimes you gotta cut a new guy some slack, and see how they mature into a medium. At a minimum….it is instructive.

    • drifting in space

      Seems like Carson isn’t the only one who made judgement on a film they hadn’t seen:

      “The surprising revelation comes via the Los Angeles Times: “All the same, two Oscar voters privately admitted that they didn’t see ’12 Years a Slave,’ thinking it would be upsetting. But they said they voted for it anyway because, given the film’s social relevance, they felt obligated to do so.”

  • silvain

    Blanchette did mention Woody Allen, saying how great a Director he is. She may not have thanked him, but she gave him props.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Carson, you’re wrong about Blanchett not thanking Allen. The first person she thanked was him “Thank you for casting me…”

  • andyjaxfl

    Hard to believe American Hustle didn’t win anything, but the ultimate legacy of a film or an actor’s performance isn’t going to be dictated by an awards show. Look at the Shawshank Redemption. It tanked at the box office, received a dozen nominations, failed to win any major Oscars, and now it’s the most beloved movie of the last 25 years. You have a better shot of finding someone who’s been to friggin’ space than finding someone who dislikes that movie.

    • David Sarnecki

      It didn’t win anything because it’s safe, pleasant imitation Scorsese. It wasn’t snubbed, it just wasn’t good enough to win.

      • ArabyChic

        Oh boy…

        • David Sarnecki

          The truth hurts, I know.

      • ff

        Could not agree more!

    • brenkilco

      I’ve always been a bit mystified by all the love for Shawshank Redemption. It’s a good movie I like it. But it’s no masterpiece. And the direction is nothing exceptional. Partly I think it depends on when you came of age moviewise. There were few really solid dramas being made at the time of Shawshank. And partly because it belongs to a rare and tricky subgenre. A sort of male tear jerker. But when it makes lists of the 100 greatest American films I scratch my head.

      • kenglo

        Went up against Gump and Pulp…..had no chance to win…..

        • Kirk Diggler

          I find Gump un-watchable. Pulp Fiction on the other hand…

          • brenkilco

            Never got Gump. A sort of nasty satire dressed up as a warm and fuzzy, feel good movie. Just weird.

          • kenglo

            Really, you guys don’t like FORREST GUMP. That is SO UN-AMERICAN!! *chuckle* That’s almost as bad as me stating Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind SUCKED! Wait, shhh, where’s grendl.??? Don’t tell him I said that….(reminiscing of my first encounter with the grendl….*sigh*)

            “Bubba was my bestest friend in the whole wide world.”

          • andyjaxfl

            Agreed. People always look at me like I have nine heads when I say I don’t like Gump.

      • ArabyChic

        OH BOY…

      • filmklassik

        Completely agree with you about SHAWSHANK. It’s a perfectly decent, well-made movie that telegraphs all of its emotional punches.

        If Nicholas Sparks wrote a story about prison life, it would look a lot like SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.

  • joees

    But upon reflection, I understand why Her won. It took the biggest
    chance of all. It created a romantic comedy without one of the key
    components of the genre

    How is Her a romantic comedy? What movie were you watching? And how is this a weak year, script-wise?

  • Nathan Labonté

    I would just like to say that I correctly predicted 22 of the 24 winners. And the 2 I got wrong I outright guessed because I hadn’t seen any of them. Well… I guess I’ll pat myself on the back… ah, that was nice.

  • AlanWilder

    Well, at least we’ve once again proven that “Subtelty” isn’t ranking very high on the academys list of categories by which a great acting performance is measured. Nyongo, McCounaghey and Leto all give good performances, but so much of it is screaming, crying and storming out of rooms… I’m personally much more impressed with Bale, Phoenix, Lawrence and Fassbender (even if his role is pretty damn dramatic too) who give nuanced and well calibrated performances rather than try to violently jerk emotios out of you.

    Also, about disliking “Shame” so vehemently… Do you ever consider the possibility that you might be too devoted to traditional storytelling? Shouldn’t we be able to see more things than minimal variations on the three-act structure with strong GSU on our movie screens?

  • David Sarnecki

    90 percent sure Blanchett mentioned Woody.

    • Somersby

      Yup, she did.

      “And me, I’m here excepting an award in an extraordinary screenplay by
      Woody Allen. Thank you so much, Woody, for casting me. I truly
      appreciate it.”

  • lonestarr357

    I don’t know if it was the material or if Ellen was away from the stand-up gig for way too long, but there were very few laughs in her hosting. Almost made me long for Seth MacFarlane.

    “…I go to the movies to be entertained, at least on some level.” Absolutely the reason I avoided 12 YEARS. I might catch it on cable, but this Best Picture win changes nothing.

    • David Sarnecki

      There was many moments with Ellen where it was all like

      And then people politely laugh.

    • wlubake

      She had an early one that had me rolling: “Tonight one of 2 scenarios will play out. Scenario 1, 12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Scenario 2, we’re all racists.” That was hilarious, mainly because undoubtedly some columnist was standing by just waiting to hit send on his op-ed piece about the racist Academy when Gravity won best picture. I bet he/she had mixed emotions when 12 YAS won. “Damn…I mean yay.”

  • mulesandmud

    Ah, Carson. Never content to merely follow the trends. Always happy to misjudge something he hasn’t seen, read, or even tried to understand.

    As with any drunken frat boy, though, sometimes a glimmer of wisdom peeks through the jaeger haze.

    I also thought that Shame was hopelessly and embarrassingly indulgent, an empty exercise in style masquerading as a statement about emptiness. I felt zero emotional truth there, and was astonished that the filmmaker who made Shame was the same one who made Hunger, which I found to be one of the most viscerally powerful and thematically brilliant film I’d seen in years.

    McQueen films aren’t cribbing from the same cheat sheets as most others (though sometimes he uses the fine art crib sheet, which can be even more annoying). and so he runs a much greater risk of a misfire. I say let him run with it – his failures are ten times more interesting than most successes.

    But all of this is beside the point. McQueen didn’t write the 12 Years script, John Ridley did. Its recognition is very well deserved.

    • tom8883

      Shame’s subtextual structuring was effective.

      • mulesandmud

        You may be right.

        That film is infuriating largely because McQueen seems to know exactly what he means, but those meanings seem quite vapid without realistic characters or drama to illustrate and expound upon them.

        At its best that movie seemed academic, at its worst it seemed patently false, but I’d be lying if I called it thoughtless.

  • fragglewriter

    Just wow. You’ve hit some good nails in this post. I’ve never watched any of the Awards shows because I either don’t lihe films nominated or never seen the films, so watching them would be watching a foreign comedy without any subtitles.
    But moving along, the movie “Shame.” I’ve heard so much about it, and Fassbender’s Fassy ;-), that I decided to watch it on HBO. What a waste of time. I’ll give Act I credit as it pulled me into the story, but when the sister was introduced, it went downhill real fast, hitting trees on the way. I haven’t watched “10 Years” based on everyone talking about how good teh acting was but not the story/film itself, so that says a lot.
    Julie Deply, never watched any of the “Before” movies but based on her opinions, she is a person that you will hate her for being honest and outspoken and not fitting in with the norm. I’ll give her credit for not holding her tongue, and for all of you upcoming screenwriters who feel they have to kiss ass to get where you have to get, you have to be cordial, but you don’t have to be an ass kisser. If Julie feels a way and needs to do a good reading (telling it like it is on stage) than she should. It didn’t stop Marlon Brando’s career. Remember that Indian lady on stage who accepted his award and made a speech on his behalf.
    Never saw “Blue Jasmine” but watched “Annie Hall” for the first time and tried to watch a few of his other movies. He’s as overreated in writing as Jennifer Lawrence in acting.
    “Gravity”, never saw, but based on the story, it’s another overly melodramatic film set in space.
    There’s not one film nominated that I would spend money to see. Not even at Redbox.

    • wlubake

      “There’s not one film nominated that I would spend money to see.” So what is your kind of movie (because the list of nominees casts a pretty wide net)?

      Walking away from watching the Oscars, I really wanted to see Nebraska. I knew little about it, other than Bruce Dern’s involvement. Didn’t know it was Alexander Payne. Didn’t know my personal favorite Will Forte was in it. After seeing the clips, it looks like a fun watch. That’s a benefit of the Oscars as much as anything. It gives you a glimpse into some movies that might not otherwise be on your radar.

      • fragglewriter

        I love cartoons, comedies (slapstick/fratboy) and action movies. If I watch a drama, it has to be a really good drama and nothing overly melodramatic. Based on the previous wins from the Academy, I loved “The Apartment” with Jack Lemmon and Shirley McLaine. I has to a enticing drama to get me to watch it. But for some reason, Dramas evolved into Melodramas, and I’m turned off my shouting, screaming, and stamping in films.
        Nebraska looks interesting. Oscars and Golden Globes are good for letting you see other films that might not be on your radar.

      • GoIrish

        Agreed regarding Nebraska – that clip at the cemetery made me laugh.

      • Nicholas J

        Just watched Nebraska and thought it was great. Especially if you’re familiar with midwest America. I didn’t think the acting was the greatest, but Burce Dern definitely had a great performance.

    • kenglo

      Wow…fraggle….c’mon….I’ve only seen Capt. Phillips and Gravity, and they were purty good. I can’t wait to see Hustle, Dallas, Her and Wolf…..I loved Gatsby, and Leo, bless his soul, will eventually win one. He just has to find a role where he has to step out of the box, quit playing all of these Super rich smarmy guys and get gritty like in the Departed or even Basketball Diaries. He needs a gritty role….hmmmm…think I’ll write one for him…..pimp him out like Training Day….hmmmm…

      • Linkthis83

        However you write his character, he needs to have a vulnerability to him and that should suffice.

      • wlubake

        Loved him in Blood Diamond. First movie in forever that didn’t feel like, “Oh, there’s Leo.”

        • kenglo

          Blood Diamond is a true diamond in the rough…loved it.

      • fragglewriter

        Exactly. Every movie is a rich character. I’m so sick of it. It’s lke come on, can someone write from a working class perspective who doesn’t make $1M plus per year???
        I have a gritty role in mind for Leo. It’s part of my crime trilogy. I’m still writing the first one which I will give to Carson in time for notes. It will have Leo playing a character who is not rich, but working class slob and has a vice. A couple too, but overall, there’s a character arc.

      • charliesb

        It’s not just the roles that are problem for Leo. It’s that his range is limited. Don’t get me wrong he’s a fine actor. But his “notes” are always the same. Angry, happy, scared, nervous, it’s the same thing from film to film.

        He’s not going to win until he gives us something we really don’t expect, (which I think means stepping away Scorsese for a while) or 25 years from now as a life time achievement award.

        The man needs some hard living to mess up his perspective a bit. He’s been sitting pretty too long. A year or two off, somewhere in middle america, a baby mama or two. Job in a grocery store. That’ll set up him up right. :)

    • Kirk Diggler

      Why don’t you watch Gravity before formulating an opinion on it. It’s always the smart way to do things.

      • fragglewriter

        Based on the storyline and execution, it’s melodramatic and far-fetched. I love far-fetched comedies, but once I read the storyline, the knowlegeable thing for me to do is to not view it.

        • Kirk Diggler

          I avoided the movie for the longest time. Watched it on a big screen TV right before the Oscars. Entertaining and well done. Sandra Bullock did not annoy me like she usually does. It was pure GSU as Carson likes to talk about. It’s not a classic, but worth a rental at the very least, especially for a home theater.

        • kenglo

          It’s [x] Worth the view

  • wlubake

    Worst moment of the night? Jared Leto taking what otherwise was a brilliant acceptance speech and marginalizing it by plugging his shitty band.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Yep. He’s a cheese ball. Preferred Fassbinder but that’s just me.

  • Cfrancis1

    Uh, Cate Blanchett DID thank Woody Allen…

  • Alex Palmer

    A note on DiCaprio: There are plenty of more talented albeit less famous actors working today (Paddy Conside, Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain to name a few) who haven’t won an Oscar. I’m not saying Leo is bad actor. However, to win an Oscar, you have to be great. The competition this year was fierce. While I’m bummed Ejiofor didn’t win, McConaughey deserved it.

    That said, not even nominating Reford for All is Lost was a massive oversight. It would have been the night’s biggest snub, if not for

    The Best Foreign Language Oscar.

    To be fair, the category was no more of a shambles than it usually is, but that’s just because the bar has been set so low. Wajdja? Metro Manilla? A Touch of Sin?

    Most criminal of all, The Act of Killing didn’t win anything. C’mon, guys. You could have put it into the foreign film category OR the documentary category. In a perfect world, Searching for Sugarman would’ve won best Doc, and The Act of Killing Would have snagged a well deserved Best Picture.

    This year, Sight and Sound’s best film list is absolutely on the money.

  • Randy Williams

    I really think people like to see other humans tortured. It’s in our DNA. Frankly, I think I rented “The Passion” for that very reason because I’m not interested in Jesus or biblical history. Not knocking this Best Picture winner, I was blown away by Lupita Nyongo’s acceptance speech and it makes me want to see the movie to watch her in it.
    Oh!, and best joke of the nite,…asking Harvey Weinstein to fork over for the pizza.

    • wlubake

      BTW – big score for her brother getting in on the most retweeted photo in history. Lots of “who is that guy?” going on today I’d think.

      • Randy Williams

        Yes! This was the night of the “who’s that”? Who ever heard of Robert Lopez? and the guy last nite earned the coveted EGOT. (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony)

  • ScottStrybos

    I really hoped Philomena would win. That was a great script. It was one of the only scripts that elicited genuine emotion as I was reading… I wasn’t surprised it didn’t get the statue, but I was hoping.

    • Citizen M

      I read the script of Philomena and loved it. I raved about it to some friends and we watched it last night. It was a little disappointing. Which is strange, because the online script appears to be the final draft prepared after the movie was shot. I think why it was a let-down was we didn’t see young Philomena bond with her child, so we couldn’t imagine the depth of her longing to see him again. I don’t know why the script seemed more effective. Maybe it could be put in words more effectively than acted.

  • Eddie Panta

    2014 Academy Awards was like going to summer camp, everyone goes home with an award. ( except poor Leo)

    ELLEN was great but I still can’t stand her talk show.
    JIM CARREY was at his best, a real pro.
    SPIKE JONES’ “Her” script should not of won, it had a lot of “We See” and “We hear” and “Close On” :)
    JULIE DELPY’s script is not visual, it’s the kinda script actors write. Talking heads.
    BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY only two were not based on true events.
    JARED LETO’s character in DBC was invented for the movie.
    THE ACADEMY hates white boy frat moves which is why Old School was never nominated.
    LEO DiCAPRIO needs to chose more roles like Hilary Swank, Tom Hanks, Matthew Mcconaughey, Sean Penn, and Heath Ledger… if he wants to win.
    U2 – Needs to stop already.
    TAKING SELFIES at the Oscars is oxymoronic.

    • wlubake

      “SPIKE JONES’ “Her” script should not of won, it had a lot of “We See” and “We hear” and “Close On” :) ”

      Ha!

      Agree U2 was boring, but Pharrell may have been the most fun moment of the night. Also liked seeing a personal favorite, Vampire Weekend, represented on the show. Best original song may be the most frustrating award for me each year.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Karen O’s “The Moon Song” from Her was the ONLY song nominated that was memorable. Everything else was warmed over crap. And Ezra on guitar was a bonus.

    • Alex Palmer

      It’s fair enough to not think Her was a deserved winner, but isn’t that nitpicking? Sure, we aren’t meant to fill our specs with “we see” description, but pros often don’t care. Isn’t the category judged on the strength of the story (and, if you’re being superficial, the dialogue)?

      • wlubake

        Pretty sure that was a joke. Besides, Jonze gets the writer/director pass on that one.

        • Alex Palmer

          Oh yeah, I just re-read it and noticed the smiley face. Funny how much difference a smiley makes.

    • fragglewriter

      But I love me some Bono :-/

    • tom8883

      I thought Before Midnight was badly written and the weakest of the three. I didn’t believe this relationship and what they were saying to one another nor Ethan Hawke’s character’s reactions.

      • Eddie Panta

        It’s more like a play than a screenplay.

        • tom8883

          A weak one. I’ve never been for Alpha-male but seriously. America needs to get its head out of its ass. I mean, the only people seeing the world for what it is are the ones who want to make money. And they’re making horrible movies (i.e. Pacific Rim). Without making a moral statement, the following is a pretty solid description about the world we live in today: In the West men are becoming woman and woman are becoming men. Role-reversal. Case in point: Spike Jonze’s new one and Before Midnight. But in the rest of the world (where the majority of the people live) this isn’t the case…. I say we make good movies the whole world wants to see. Who’s with me?

          • brenkilco

            You mean witless, illiterate, CGI bloated, testosterone fueled, lowest common denominator crap. Didn’t realize our feminized culture had put these kinds of movies at risk. Thanks for the warning.

          • tom8883

            No reason for polarization. We can make money and quality. The point I’m making is that the rest of the world is not like this. No need for moralizing.

          • brenkilco

            I think that the typical movie today is already geared toward the average world wide teen ager. I deplore it but I accept it as a fact.

          • tom8883

            Geared toward non-thinking people, which is the main problem.

          • Nicholas J

            Or maybe the large majority of movie-goers aren’t cinephiles and just want to be entertained for 2 hours with some explosions and the business reflects that. Being a cinephile doesn’t make you more of a “thinker” than anyone else, it just means there is a difference of interests.

          • tom8883

            Being able to think doesn’t mean you have to be a cinephile and being a cinephile doesn’t mean you can think.

          • Nicholas J

            …that was my point…

          • brenkilco

            A thinker can’t be entertained for two hours with just explosions. And lovers of film revere really great entertainers. Hitchcock was an entertainer. Michael Bay is just a gifted hack. Show me somebody who says he likes to put his mind on hold when he goes to the movies and I’ll show you somebody who’s already there.

          • kenglo

            Ah…so that’s what it is. Anyone who enjoys two hours with just explosions is not considered a ‘thinker’. I’m a Network Engineer by trade. I make the Internet work for ya’ll ‘thinkers’. But I don’t brag about my intellect. Nor do I try and shove my ‘great thinker’ attitudes on anyone else. It comes across as condescending. I have an older brother who has that ‘problem’.

            Maybe, just maybe, the ones who make those no-brainer blockbusters are the ones who are truly the ‘thinkers’. They do after all make all the money. Just sayin’.

          • brenkilco

            There’s nothing elitist about drawing a distinction between a quality movie and a piece of crap. I find a lot of high brow classics as boring as the next guy. You loved Transformers 3, fine. But if you prefer it to say North by Northwest, or The Wild Bunch or Chinatown are you missing something? Hell, yes.

            As for Hollywood marketers, of course they’re thinkers. They’ve got the mass audience figured and trained like lab rats. That make you feel better?

          • Linkthis83

            To make this distinction is an elitist approach, in my opinion. Who are you who gets to define what is “quality” and what is “crap”?

            Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid gets referred to a lot when it comes to scripts and cinema. I recently decided to watch it. As I am watching it I thought “If this script was being reviewed on SS, they would tear it apart.” I wasn’t invested in that story. I didn’t find it entertaining. So, if that movie is QUALITY, does this mean I don’t possess the ability to appreciate QUALITY?

            Personally, just because I don’t love it doesn’t mean I think it’s crap. Nor do I judge others for liking/loving it. If I put it into context, I bet the time in which it came out has a lot to do with people’s love for the film. I know that’s true about a lot of the movies from the 80’s I love.

            People could say those movies are crap. Or they could say they are quality films. I think that assessment comes more from the impact they have on us when we watch them.

            Simply, it feels elitist to me one someone says which films they think are quality and which ones are crap. Because that isn’t true across the board for ANYONE.

            Bert: “But Joe loves that movie.”

            Ernie: “Joe’s an idiot. Besides, anyone worth their salt loves films, not movies.”

          • brenkilco

            So no movie is any better than any other because any movie may be somebody’s favorite. No objective or even generally shared subjective standards of quality matter. The Mona Lisa is no better than your kid’s fingerpainting. And Citizen Kane the same as Friday the 13th part 10. I understand you want to be considerate of other people’s taste, but aren’t you going a little far?

            BTW some movies don’t age well. Tastes do change. And sometimes imitation destroys our ability to respond to an original. If you’re coming to Butch Cassidy after seeing a thousand buddy action movies “so what” is a natural response. Bear in mind at the time Goldman was paid a record sum for this script, and audience ate it up. You’re still allowed to think it’s not that great. Because it’s not.

          • Linkthis83

            You didn’t say better. You gave the designations of “quality” and “crap”.

            What is quality and what is crap is highly subjective. If I think Argo is crap and you think it’s a quality film, who gets to decide which is correct? The elitist does. And then he may use the Academy to back up his argument. Depending on which said he/she may fall on the matter.

            That’s all I’m saying. The elitist believes he gets to make the distinction, and is rightful to do so.

          • kenglo

            I…guess….I didn’t know I felt bad….

          • Nicholas J

            How pretentious.

          • brenkilco

            Worrying about the thread counts in your sheets is pretentious. Doing the New York Times Crossword in Ink is pretentious. Owning more than one version of The Ring Cycle on disc is pretentious. Hoping that the studio movies you plunk down your money for have trace amounts of intelligence is not pretentious. Unless the bar has been seriously lowered.

          • Eddie Panta

            The male characters in AMERICAN HUSTLE are strong and realistically portrayed.. There is a middle ground between the testosterone fueled action hero and the emasculated, goofy, stammering guy that we see in films like Drinking Buddies and other Sundance films like Lake Bell’s IN A WORLD.

          • tom8883

            Yes, there is a middle ground.
            ….
            I liked In A World.

      • Fiona Fire

        Have you ever been in a long term relationship? I don’t know if people who haven’t could really appreciate everything about Before Midnight.

        • tom8883

          Oh hell, Fiona—-haaaaaaa!

          • Fiona Fire

            Yeah, it really is hilarious when people post idiotic sexist opinions online.

          • wlubake

            Wait, what was sexist in Tom’s comments? Just not liking the movie?

          • Fiona Fire

            His other and previous comments are pretty revealing of his character.

          • tom8883

            Ever try dialectical thinking?

        • Eddie Panta

          A: Yes. But I try to avoid relationships with a lot of melodrama.

      • Eddie Panta

        Yes, people don’t really talk like that. I do appreciate the ideas in the film, but would rather read it in a book, or see it in a play. A film needs to deliver the whole package, not just do one part amazingly well.

  • kenglo

    The real debate – why didn’t any of the films sweep? I have my theory. Since 2009 they have expanded the Oscar for best picture from 5-10 nominees. Traditionally, the pic that won best director, best screenplay, won best film….sweep. Not too concerned about score and editing, although, those were part of the ‘sweep’ too. I noticed last year, when Tarantino won for Django, even though Argo won best picture, Pi won director, Lincoln won best actor. I thought back then that there probably will never be a film that ‘sweeps’ the Oscars ever again, due to the diversity of films. I mean, c’mon, The Artist over The Help or even The Descendants??? Please….

    And why didn’t Hustle win? Maybe because it was all flash? Haven’t seen it, so I cannot garner an opinion. I’m still trying to figure out how Hurt Locker beat Avatar…..but that’s just me.

    • Alex Palmer

      Very true. The last sweep I can recall was Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. Come to think of it, ’09 was a great year for Oscars, with Danny Boyle winning big and Heath Ledger’s posthumous award.

      • kenglo

        Slumdog…..I don’t know who should’ve won that year (only saw Button and Reader, which I thought were excellent), but I was so underwhelmed with that film because I had discovered City of God right before it….

        • Kirk Diggler

          Slumdog will never be thought of as a classic film. Doesn’t even have any replay value.

  • Fistacuffs

    What baffles me is how so many actors couldn’t read the prompter. Aren’t they supposed to be pros?

    • Mike.H

      Q: See Above.

      A: All the wines they consumed pre-Oscar.

  • Eddie Panta

    Frat Stars: Leo D. & Jonah Hill were both snubbed, despite all the fist pumping, high fiving, and monkey spanking.

  • mulesandmud

    OT: Has anyone tried Amazon’s Storybuilder yet?

    Was looking it over this morning. The idea of a digital corkboard that can be viewed remotely seems like a huge win for collaborative projects.

    I’d been using Scrivener for a while but they didn’t have any cloud-based options for viewing; now I’m pack to a piecemeal approach centered around Final Draft and Pages. Is anyone still using Scrivener? Have they made any changes that move it in the cloud-based direction?

    • Linkthis83

      Celtx has CeltxEdge. It has a yearly fee though.

      • fragglewriter

        It does and I’m thinking of maybe switching to Final Draft. I’ll be moving year-end, hopefully, and decided that the internet is a luxury amenity.
        Is Final Draft worth the price?

        • Linkthis83

          I hope someone else chimes in here. I’ve never used it. I made my software choice based out of necessity. My co-writer lives in California and I wanted us to both to be able to edit the same script.

          I think the majority of people are using Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter. Maybe you should ask for some feedback later in the week. When it’s not the day after the Oscars :) I can’t find anything in these comments!

        • Linkthis83

          Celtx has free software to put on your computer. If you want the advanced software, I think it’s only $15. I have no idea how great it is compared to FD or MMS though.

        • mulesandmud

          If $$$ is your bottom line, I’m sure you can find a better option than buying FD. I prefer FD to Movie Magic or Scrivener, maybe more out habit than anything else, but for my purposes it definitely has the most intuitive, time-saving interface I’ve come across.

          Haven’t tried Celtx.

    • fragglewriter

      I use Celtx Edge and pay the annual fee as my commute is an hour and half and a good day, and I rarely turn on my computer during the week. I can write while standing in the bus or train.

    • tom8883

      I tried Adobe’s Story a couple years back for it’s collaborative potential. But then (if I remember correctly) they wanted me to pay for it….

  • tom8883

    Twelve Years a Slave had an elegantly sublime and tightly wound subtext that made you feel and understand something about life you probably didn’t before watching.

    Her had at least two major flaws. The implausibility–not of the central concept–but of the job this Theodore Twombly (bad name choice) had. What? Does this movie that is trying to fleece one over on us (in its hipster clothing) by convincing us its being authentic really think anyone is going to buy that this Theodore person actually exists in the reality of the economic conditions of LA? I guess so. It seems to have worked. Strange. Also, we should keep in mind, the comedy of the film wasn’t ironic to the extent that it was being satirical of itself in this aspect. Spike enjoyed packaging his ultra stylistic color scheme with panoramic views from Theodore’s apartment that Theodore could never afford if he were living in the real LA. That’s one flaw. And for me, despite the film’s redeeming qualities–I’ll admit the end tied up quite nicely and efficiently communicated itself–the second flaw is just how enervating the whole thing was. It was weakening throughout (until the slight pick-up at the end) rather than energizing. See if you can spot some of the other holes in this film so many seem to just overlook. In the end, this Twombly character–though well acted–just wasn’t believable.

  • Eddie Panta

    In 1977 Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL beat out STAR WARS for best picture and best director.

    Since 1977 Woody Allen has made a film a year. He has over 16 academy award nominations. Everyday this guy gets out of bed and writes, at a TYPEWRITER!

  • fragglewriter

    Within the last year, none. I like my movies with a little bite. I do however want to see “Inside Llewyn Davis.” That character seems so interesting.
    And yes, I’m becoming a screenwriter LOL

  • fragglewriter

    Lately haven’t been and it’s a shame. When I did have a chance to go, there was another snowstorm in the NY. I want to see “Inside Llewyn Davis” and probably “Wolf of Wall Street.” Nothing has caught my eye. It’s a shame that I’m such a cartoom fanatic and not one cartoon I would watch in the theatre.

  • tom8883

    The not too difficult to crack Carson code is that his type of movie comes by way of scripts constructed through characters’ relationships to one another–so long as it’s done in such a way that the movie produced is the love-child of Spielberg and JJ.

  • Eddie Panta

    I’m glad you agree with all my comments. Thank you for pointing out the obvious.

  • Linkthis83

    “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

    See, I can do it too.

    Carson is a human. Carson is a human with a blog about subjective material. Even if that material is voted to be the best that year, doesn’t negate its subjectivity.

    If he reviews the script and arrives at the same conclusion, then what? His take won’t be viewed as objective. Telling someone to be objective is the easy part. Being objective is the challenge. As we all illustrate from time to time on here based on how strongly we FEEL about a subject. And referencing other respected writers doesn’t make that writer right. Because somewhere else, is somebody with an equally valuable and opposite view.

  • Nicholas J

    So much circlejerkin’ in one photo. It’s no wonder you can’t see most of their hands.

  • Guest

    The vomit draft.

  • tom8883

    Won’t anyone say anything about Brad Pitt’s involvement in Twelve Years a Slave?

    • ArabyChic

      He totally took me out of the movie. Biggest flaw with that movie was Brad Pitt. And I really like Brad Pitt. Just not in that movie. Should have had an unknown in that role. Not a movie star.

      But kudos to him for producing.

      • tom8883

        Everybody has to play the game. McQueen knew he needed Pitt if he wanted a chance at an Oscar. Brad always likes to make himself look good–and why not when it’s been shown time and again that what people want the most in the end isn’t money but a well-respected reputation.

        • Nicholas J

          “what people want the most in the end isn’t money but a well-respected reputation.”

          Especially when they already have loads and loads of money.

          • tom8883

            The problem: when in going after that well-respected reputation the results come off as not quite authentic. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. In my opinion, Brad’s involvement in 12 Years didn’t come off as authentic. But they obviously convinced the majority. Can’t say I wouldn’t have made the same decisions as McQueen et al. Congratulations to them, I say.

          • mulesandmud

            Forgive my intrusion into the conversation, but it sounds like you’re making a serious (and largely incorrect) leap of logic.

            Tell me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be suggesting that the reason Pitt chose to involve himself in 12 Years is because he believed it would gain him industry respect, yes?

            If so, you’ve got it backwards. Pitt’s company, Plan B, came on as producer of the project because Pitt was a fan of McQueen’s work and wanted to help get his next project made. McQueen needed Pitt’s support to gain financing traction. Even with Pitt attached as a producer, though, the film was a hard sell, and Pitt’s decision to act in the film came largely from the fact that putting Pitt’s name on the marquee instantly opens financing and international distribution doors that are simply unavailable to film’s without an international star, and on paper 12 Years had more strikes against it then most films in terms of commercial viability.

            (For example: it’s an unfortunate but known fact that American films starring black actors other than Will or Denzel have trouble generating international box office, and hence have trouble gaining international distribution pre-sales, which can be a huge element in building Hollywood film budgets.)

            In point of fact, it was Pitt’s pre-existing ‘well-respected reputation’ that proved instrumental to getting the film made at all.

            Pitt doesn’t need to earn respect. He is known all over Hollywood as a guaranteed box office draw, a champion of gutsy projects, and a protector of filmmakers. He has no one left to impress. Furthermore, if he wanted to impress people, he could find better ways to do it than appearing for five minutes in this film.

            If the issue is the hint of vanity in the fact of a movie star casting himself as an angelic savior (deus ex Pitt?) in a movie that he himself produced, then sure, I agree it’s a bit hammy of him to play that role. And his beard was silly too.

            However, ask yourself, if you were in his shoes, and playing a small speaking role in this film were critical to getting this fascinating film made, what would you have done differently?

          • tom8883

            I think you hit on all the salient points.

      • charliesb

        I’m pretty sure he’d agree with you. I think I read, he had to take a role to allow the casting of Eijiofor and give some freedom to McQueen as the director.

  • FilmingEJ

    For the first time, I’m agreeing with everything you say. Her had an incredible screenplay, and I might fight someone that says otherwise. I’m glad 12 Years A Slave won, and I completely disagree with Carson, as Shame was a great film IMO.

  • mulesandmud

    Of course, that would be an entirely different film.

    See also…
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264441/
    …and also…
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108041/

  • drifting in space

    “Its an exercise in narcissism during one of the biggest narcissistic events in the world.”

    This is almost exactly what my wife said about it.

    • kenglo

      I wanna try that – narcissism I mean ;)

  • Nicholas J

    I dunno, one time I saw a guy juggle chainsaws.

    • Kirk Diggler

      With greasy hands… In the nude.

  • mulesandmud

    “Pseudo-intellectual” is pretty generous of you.

    All they need to know is COMMAND+F and what they gleaned from five minutes on a message board one time.

    Pseudo-verbal?

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    I missed the opening of the Oscars, as I went to the 4 p.m. showing of “Son of God” with my mom. But once I got home, I immediately turned on the Oscars and was shocked at how bad of a host Ellen DeGeneres was. That pizza gag was a total missfire and waste of time, as was her picture taking with members of the Oscars’ audience. Ellen was NEVER funny, and she was by far the worst Oscar host I can ever remember watching.

    Every year I LA-OVE watching the Oscars, because like so many pre-pro screenwriters out there I dream of “making it” someday and actually getting to work with some of these pros.

    No movies really stood out to me in the 2013. I really liked “Man of Steel” but outside of that I thought pickin’s were awefully slim. Hopefully 2014 will be better.

    The most shocking Oscars acceptance speech I heard came from Matthew McCongnahuey. Can you possibly be any more self-absorbed than that guy? “I’m my own hero, ten years from now.” Ridiculous. Sometimes the more you learn and hear about the stars you admire, the less you think of them as person in real life, sharing the same air and planet you do. Such is the case with Matthew McCongnahuey Love him as an actor. Would not want to hang-out with him as a friend.

    My favorite star right now has to be Jennifer Lawrence. Love her spunk. She’s just got “it” for me, and whenever she’s on screen I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.

    – E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

    • wlubake

      I think the upside with Ellen is you can tell the stars like her as a person. They all feel like she’s their friend. That has them let down their guard, and I feel the celebrities feel more approachable during her broadcast. If you get someone like MacFarlane last year, they are on guard because he’s known to be a scathing roaster. You get someone too stuffy, and you get a self-congratulatory snob-fest. To me, Ellen’s personality makes the stars seem like nicer, friendlier people. There’s value in that, even if you aren’t on the floor laughing the whole broadcast.

      • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

        Great perspective, wlubake. I hadn’t thought of that. I have seen Ellen on her talk show, and did like her shtick there.

      • BennyPickles

        Agreed. Although I may have laughed fewer times than with MacFarlane, I was grinning ear to ear for much more of the show.

    • drifting in space

      Hey hey, fellow Washingtonian.

      • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

        I thought you were “drifting in space”? How is it then that you hail me as a “fellow Washingtonian”, when your handle make it sound like you were part of Alfonso Cauleron’s “Gravity” movie (maybe a special affect or something of that ilk)? IF somehow an inhabitant of Washington, which part? It’s a big state after all.

        • drifting in space

          I’m realistically “drifting in space” about as much as George Clooney was.

          har-har.

          Seriously though, I’m in Seattle right now at work. I live up north in *REDACTED*.

  • Matthew Garry

    I didn’t explain or try to justify anything. I made an observation. The general sentiment was, “why are you slamming a film you haven’t even seen?”

    I pointed out he didn’t actually make any statement about the film.

    > Plenty of people thought the script was eloquent as hell and beautifully written

    “Melodramatic and depressing” is not a normative statement. Clearly such films can do great at the box office and even win Oscars. The question is which ones do and which ones don’t and where do they differ.

    Should Carson ever cover 12YAS in an article, I expect him to address this, and would not accept a bias. But I can’t blame him for not wanting to write in depth about something that he holds no interest in.

    > A person who runs a screenwriting blog probably should be open minded about work on a case by case basis.

    Yes. But this is a monday morning socialising thread in the aftermath of the Academy Awards, not a treatment of a specific script or movie. People can and will just make somewhat unsubstantiated comments about their likes and dislikes. It’s not required to be an in depth analysis of anything.

    Both “Real monsters” and “Tall, Dark, and not written by Grendl” got a fair treatment here in my opinion. If the order of writing was “TDH”, then “Real Monsters”, I can say I’m looking forward to the next one.

    • Eddie Panta

      This statement is very true.

  • John Bradley

    I was thinking how disappointed you’d be that it didn’t win any of the major awards! I was too.

  • David Sarnecki

    You know what’s better? Winning an Oscar.

  • mulesandmud

    You seem to be using ‘melodrama’ to mean ‘stories in which characters are one-dimensional’. That’s very inaccurate, and contributes to a general misuse of the term.

    Too many people seem to use ‘melodrama’ as a pejorative that simply suggests ‘bad drama’ or something like that. Melodrama is a dramatic form characterized by heightened emotions and unrealistic, excessive or gratuitous plotting. I’m not sure ’12 Years’ qualifies, but regardless, there are good and bad examples of melodrama, just as there are good and bad examples of tragedy.

    As for the villains in ’12 Years’, I thought Fassbender’s character was cartoonish at times (intentionally), but in fact he was very multidimensional, full of interesting contradictions. He just wasn’t sympathetic…is that what you meant?

    • ArabyChic

      I totally agree with everything you wrote.

      Douglas Sirk. Almodovar. These are masters of Melodrama. Yet people seem to think it means Soap Opera. Somewhere along the line the term got corrupted or misunderstood.

      And as a sidenote, I thought the characters in 12 Years a Slave were extremely well realized — regardless of color. I could see someone thinking the Paul Dano character was over the top — but there are many people who are that ignorant and narcissistic and bullying and flat out ridiculous. For evidence go to the comments section of IMDB.

    • brenkilco

      The term melodrama could be applied to nearly every genre movie ever made. Hell, Citizen Kane is a melodrama.

  • David Sarnecki

    Do I really have to go around this Earth prefacing everything I say with “in my opinion”? Of course it’s my fucking opinion. What else can it possibly be?

    I don’t understand your American Idol example because I don’t watch that show or know who that is. American Hustle is not a bad movie. I liked it a lot! I never said I didn’t like it. But in a stage of films where a 70 year old director is making bold challenging satirical comedies, and a Director is fucking INVENTING technology to make his space thriller, American Hustle is just a really good enjoyable movie that takes a lot of notes from Scorsese.

    • Kirk Diggler

      I take issue with the whole “he invented new technology” therefore he deserves the Oscar for Best Director. Sounds like he deserves a technical award more than anything. Gravity was entertaining, I don’t feel it was the best movie though. Felt the same way about Avatar.

      • David Sarnecki

        The point I was trying to make was that Gravity is clearly more ambitious than Hustle, which in my opinion and in context of various factors, is more impressive than what is a pretty traditional flick.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Yeah, it was ambitious from a technical standpoint, true. The story mechanics were quite simple though. American Hustle was far more ambitious from a script perspective, IMHO.

          • David Sarnecki

            But then are we debating the best picture or the best screenplay?

      • kenglo

        So you are really of the opinion that HURT LOCKER was better than AVATAR?

        GRAVITY was NOT the best picture. I haven’t seen the BEST PICTURE yet, but I know it wasn’t GRAVITY. 42 wasn’t even considered. THAT was a great film.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Hurt Locker left me rather “eh”. It was good, not memorable. Inglorious Basterds would have gotten my vote. Up in the Air was good as well. I enjoyed Avatar more than Hurt Locker, just not sure it was the best film. Inglorious has the most replay value for me.

          • drifting in space

            Inglorious is one of my favorite movies ever. Maybe even the top…

          • andyjaxfl

            I had same reaction to Hurt Locker. I didn’t dislike it, but I wasn’t sure I liked it. Usually when I have that feeling about a movie, I like to revisit it, but I’ve never felt compelled to do so with this one.

  • David Sarnecki

    Naturally. What would you think if Carson didn’t want to see American Hustle because he hated David O Russell and thought he was a mean jerk?

  • BennyPickles

    Unfortunately, three/four of those were ‘technical’ awards, which people don’t tend to count as much when talking about a film dominating. For whatever reason.

  • ArabyChic

    I hope I didn’t over hype it :)

  • ArabyChic

    I would totally disagree that he is a passive character.

    Because he is not born into slavery he fights it at every turn, and he receives a brutal response every time. So no… he isn’t plotting some huge scheme or fighting like an action hero through out. It’s showing how a man is broken down in spirit over a span of years. His fights become smaller. Still – he has a single goal the whole time.

    • mulesandmud

      And let’s not forget: AJ completely conflates character development with character change. They’re not remotely the same thing.

      The distinction is important. One is mandatory, the other is not.

  • BennyPickles

    Am I the only one who gets really annoyed when people say “I don’t think Her deserved to win,” because part of my brain is shouting “No, no, that’s the wrong pronoun – you don’t think *She* deserved to win?”

  • Kirk Diggler

    Do tell, what political statement was the director of 12 Years a Slave Making?

    Be specific.

    Are you sure you even watched American Hustle? Many of it’s scenes take place in Camden or Atlantic City NJ. It was primarily a New Jersey scandal, not a N.Y. one. And really, why would a bunch of N.Y. critics falsely praise a film because some of it’s scenes take place in their home city?

    You can’t really believe something that dumb.

  • drifting in space

    We’re all forgetting that one of my favorites, FROZEN, came away with two awards. :)

    • BennyPickles

      We’re not forgetting it, there’s just not much to talk about…

      “Frozen got best animated and Let it Go got best song”
      “Those were, indeed, the best of their respective categories”
      “I agree”
      “I am glad you agree”
      “Me too”

      • drifting in space

        I’m only humorously pointing it out because I talked about how much I enjoyed it and was chastised here.

        • BennyPickles

          Ah, I was unaware of the chastisation. ‘Twas a humorous remark indeed.

    • andyjaxfl

      Hey drifting, I caught Frozen over the weekend and loved it. When did all of the chastising take place here? I must have actually been writing that day…

      • drifting in space

        I don’t quite remember. It was quite some time ago. All I had said was that it’s a fantastic story with wonderful music, which isn’t good enough for all of the cinema purists that frequent these boards (under the name GUEST of course).

        Someone is always going to hate something. We’ve discovered that today.

  • mulesandmud

    For the love of God, where is a down vote when I need one?

    Kirk Diggler says most of it, but a few more corrections:

    1. Steve McQueen is not gay, and even if he was, how is this apropos of anything except homophobia?

    2. The Uncle Tom critic in question is Armond White, who has written for many publications, but never the NY Post.

    Know of which you speak.

  • kenglo

    Actually, Cuba Gooding was good in GOOD HANDS…say that fast three times!!

  • Nicholas J

    Everyone’s talking about how the nominated actors selfie set the record for most retweeted photo. Meanwhile, the record for the least retweeted photo was set by the nominated screenwriters selfie and nobody noticed.

  • kenglo

    lol….”humor-impaired”….I like that….LOL

  • David Sarnecki

    Better for American Hustle, the topic of conversation.

    You can keep veering off topic and turning into a massive prick all you want bub.

    • kenglo

      grendl is not a ‘massive prick’….he’s just ‘massively prickly’….

      • David Sarnecki

        He’s something alright.

  • Mike.H

    Hello all. What were the super-takes in CHILDREN OF MEN Carson mentioned?
    It’s been 5 yrs since I saw the flick. Please re-fresh my memory, thanks.

    • BennyPickles

      That’s really the most famous one. There’s also –

    • Eddie Panta

      Long takes (along with deep focus and wide shots) were a cornerstone of
      André Bazin’s theory of cinematic realism, and he provided a similar
      explanation for their power ….. He championed a
      “democracy of vision” that would give spectators “a certain freedom to
      select for themselves with their own eyes from among the elements which
      the image contains, and thus far to participate in the film’s creation.

      • brenkilco

        The intricate tracking shots in Children of Men are great. But I don’t think Bazin would have approved. Cuaron’s control and manipulation of the image and of the viewer’s attention is total. Bazin was talking about sticking a wide angle lens on the camera, planting it in one place and letting the scene play out so that the spectator could choose where to look. He objected to montage. He loved cinemascope since in his mind it gave the actors more room to roam around. His ideas were interesting theoretically but in a sense they were anti-movie. Even in Greg Toland’s deep focus shots for Best Years of our Lives and The Little Foxes, stuff Bazin loved, the viewer’s focus is carefully controlled. After all, that’s the essence of direction.

    • Eddie Panta
    • kenglo

      The opening was one take. The scene benny shared. The scene where they leave one building, avoiding soldiers, go into another building, run into oppostion, have a baby, leave the building, all in one take. Dude is a GENIUS…IMHO

  • peisley

    Yes, Cate did thank Woody, as others have stated. She’s classy enough to acknowledge him but she just wasn’t overly effusive about it and said it right off the bat. Perhaps to get it out of the way. Maybe her twinkly gown distracted you, Carson? I’m one of the few who thought her performance was overwrought, but not surprised she got it because the Academy loves actors chewing the scenery to bits. My vote would’ve been for Judy. Then again, I liked Pharell’s song over the Frozen one. I know there’s that message about girl power, which is fine, but from a melodic standpoint, Happy was more interesting. Ellen was fine, but I wonder what Jaime Foxx would do as host? Can’t believe I watched the whole thing.

  • Fiona Fire

    Why comment on whether or not Woody Allen molested his step-daughter? How do you know one way or the other?

  • Fiona Fire

    Before Midnight was the most interesting, original movie of all the movies nominated for adapted screenplay. I have never seen another movie that so accurately captures what it feels like to be in a long term relationship. And Julie Delpy is amazing. She is smart and well-spoken and she is RIGHT. You do need to spend a bunch of money to win an Oscar, and the Academy is mostly old white dudes.

    • mulesandmud

      And her remarks aren’t even that weird. Fact: these awards are heavily campaigned by all parties. Carson just needed something to write about and decided to take a cheap shot at the French Indy Chick (also known as the Anti-Carson).

      Robert Redford said the same shit, and nobody complained:
      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2014/01/who-robert-redford-blames-for-lack-of-an-oscar-nomination/

      • Fiona Fire

        And she’s been acting for over 15 years. I don’t see how she could be considered ungrateful when she’s put in that kind of time and effort.

  • wlubake

    I think not winning best picture disqualifies you for a sweep, or even dominating.

  • Matthew Garry

    What I meant to say was that Monsters was, in my opinion, more accessible than TD&H. If Monsters came later, then the next one might be even more accessible, while presumably still espousing all the values you hold dear. That could make for an interesting combination that would hopefully be able to generate some traction.

    I wouldn’t classify either direction as “progression” or “regression” though, as that depends on where you want to go with your work.

    I personally enjoy accessible works more, hence the “If the order [..] I’m looking forward to the next one.

  • Kirk Diggler

    I fucked a supermodel last night. Does the name Twiggy ring a bell? Because it should for anyone who remembers the TV show “Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century.”

    • Wes Mantooth

      Wait, are you talking about Twiki, the little robot? Just what the hell are you into, man?

      • Kirk Diggler

        Haha, crap. Twkik, not Twiggy. Ruins the joke.

        No wonder she(it) didn’t have a lot of give.

  • wlubake

    The smiley face is the whole point. It was sarcastic. Even without the smiley, it was such an absurd statement that it was pretty obvious that Panta was joking about the “we see” usage.

  • kenglo

    This DISQUS thing always gives me trouble when I’m ‘working’…..

    …but, c’mon, grendl, that WAS funny…..”humor impaired” LMAO!!

    “For a joke to work it has to be funny.” It all depends, just like which films we like, and those we don’t. Just like 12 Years winning over American Hustle, like Carson disliking MCQueen, it’s all a matter of perspective. These are OPINIONS.

    One cannot argue OPINIONS, or RELIGION. And add POLITICS to that list. It is fruitless to argue or bash someone’s opinion, because it is their own opinion, you or no one else can change that, no matter how hard you ‘discuss’ or ‘debate’ it.

    I’m going to be totally honest here. I LOVED TRANSFORMERS!!! The STYLE, the ROBOTS, the EFFECTS! THE ENERGY. No one goes to those type of movies to grasp the THEMATIC value of it. If I want to be moved, I’ll go watch 12 Years a Slave/Life of PI/True Grit. If I want to be entertained, I will watch MAN OF STEEL/AVENGERS/TRANSFORMERS/any type of porn…oh wait….hold on….lost my train of thought there…..

    Oh….to each his own, I always say. Would you prefer the orgasmic taste of Macallan 18 ($200 a pop) or a $25 Jack Daniels?

    Preference!

    Just because someone has a ‘different’ opinion on the subject, does not make him/her an idiot. Just sayin’.

    “These are my opinions. Of course, I could be wrong” ~anonymous

  • kenglo

    *lol*

  • tobban

    Loved the Oscars this year. Ellen was great. The show goes to prove that you never know. Matthew Mc best actor. Yes, you never know. Never.
    No wins for American Hustle was a huge surprise.
    We all thought Sandra nailed it – but Cate got it.
    I was hoping for Scorsese to finally win but no. Nada for the Wolfman.
    Jennifer Lawrence is just 23 and has one Oscar. She will win plenty more in the future.
    Can’t wait to see Italy’s win The Great Beauty.
    Great to see Gatsby win costume and production design, very deserving.
    A very moving in memorial piece with Bette Midler closing.
    Nice show.

  • jridge32

    Totally agree with you about Di Caprio, Carson. Compelling presence in movies, looks great on screen, but you can tell he’s performing. Much in the same way Tom Cruise is down for the cause in every way on projects and you can see him going that extra mile to make sure the overall picture comes off. A true workhorse; reserves of energy. Just not necessarily a great actor.

    Haha, about McConaughey’s acceptance speech. I was thinking, too… are you getting all Rustin Cohle on us right now?

  • mulesandmud

    Actually, I don’t remember disparaging your idea at all. I provided links to two very interesting films that were germane to your idea – more germane than 12 Years a Slave, in fact.

    There seems to be a communication problem here, though I think it has more to do with your apparent prejudice against low-budget films than my nonexistent trolling.

    Sankofa is quite thoughtful and brilliant at times. Brother Future less so, but obviously still relevant. You should give them a try.

    • http://www.kevindublin.com/ Part Everything

      Definitely a communication problem. I apologize. I don’t comment on or read blog posts very much because I assume they’re filled with trolls and people with extremist views. I only had a desire to communicate with Carson, but realize now that it’s a whole community. Much love and thank you!

  • mulesandmud

  • kenglo

    Still displaying white guilt these days. Can’t we all just get along???? :)

  • GeneralChaos

    I’m pretty sure Cate Blanchett thanked Woody Allen.

  • Eddie Panta

    WOLF of WALL STREET wasn’t completely snubbed. It did win Breast Picture in Mr.Skin’s Anatomy Awards.

  • lonestarr357

    What if the filmmaker is Todd Solondz? After watching WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE for the first and only time, I decided not to bother with any of his other films. I have yet to regret this decision.

    • Eddie Panta

      Fear, Anxiety, and Depression, his first and best one. Way ahead of its time.

  • Stephjones

    Some of this discussion reminds me of a brief moment in time when my husband fancied himself a wine snob. We were at a wine tasting and towards the end of it, he waxed long and lyrically about the various merits of the wines on offer…drunker than shit, sporting a huge red wine stain down the front of his snowy white sweater.

    • lesbiancannibal

      This is my favourite comment on the internet in 2014 so far.

      • Stephjones

        Wow. Thanks.
        Yeah, we try not to take ourselves too seriously, these days. It’s too easy to trip us up.
        My husband is a sweet, smart, funny guy. He laughed when I told him I had posted the above.

  • Midnight Luck

    Oh, and speaking of Leonardo DiCaprio,

    I love him and a lot of his work, but he needs to get away from these big Directors and BIG works. Enough with the GREAT GASTBY and WOLF bullshit. The big works only worked once with TITANIC, and in reality that movie was a small movie, as it was centrally based on Character, the crashing of the Titanic was all background to illuminate character. He was so awesome in WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE and THE BASKETBALL DIARIES and ROMEO AND JULIET, and some of THE BLOOD DIAMOND. He really needs to go back to GROUNDED WORK, not as big of productions and names and all the rest. He will get there and win something eventually, he has the skill, too bad he didn’t win years ago for Basketball.

  • Linkthis83

    I wanted to start a discussion one day about Fruitvale Station. The first 70% of that movie I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about (other than the obvious STORY). From a filmmaking perspective, it seemed rather ordinary. Then when we got to the rest of the movie, I realized what they had been doing this entire time. And for me, it worked.

    It straight up got me the way that story was told. It was simply humans being human and then tragedy strikes. After watching that movie I just wanted to be a better human being to people.

    If I hadn’t known what the story was before seeing it, I probably would’ve been inconsolable for at least an hour afterwards. Even know the story it got me on another level.

    The DVD also had an actors panel interview on it as well that is definitely worth watching.

    Here’s an article about Forest Whitaker and his movies not being nominated this year:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/forest-whitaker-addresses-oscar-snubs-article-1.1702938

    • Midnight Luck

      Yeah, I get that it isn’t the typical kind of movie everyone loves. It doesn’t open with a Train crashing through the White House, or Aliens killing all Humankind, save one Will Smith character. I get it.

      It opens with a typical day-in-the-life kind of setup. I do believe that was the whole point. In order to show just how Batshit CRAZY what happened to him was, it was made more powerful as you watch him take care of his daughter, try to straighten his life out, be with his girlfriend. You really get to know him and feel for him.

      I am sure there are plenty of people who went in expecting something much more BOYZ ‘N THE HOOD or something, and may very well may have walked out. I think it is difficult to decide how to open a film like this, when everyone has 5 second attention spans and expect THE ROCK to appear and Heave a 10 ton Mack Truck at the audience in 3D by the second scene or they are out of there.

      I will have to check out the DVD, I have only seen it in the theater twice. Would love to see some other extras.

      Also thanks for the link.

      • Linkthis83

        I don’t need (or want) my movies to have all that “IF WE DON’T DO THIS WE’RE ALL GUNNA DIE!!!!!” bullshit. In moderation, that shit is fun. When that’s all there is, it’s no longer unique.

        I anticipated them using the tragedy and being OVERLY dramatic with setting up the event. Sure they added some elements and heightened it a little, but in a more natural and real way. They just let it be. Because I’m conditioned to see a bunch of forced, no patience bullshit, I thought this one might suffer from that. And it did not. I’m so appreciative that Forest and his team got to tell the story they way they wanted.

        I didn’t get the chance to see it in the theater. It’s the kind of film you should see with a bunch of strangers I think.

        I certainly wasn’t expecting Boyz in the Hood, but I also wasn’t expecting what I got. It’s not a film I really want to see more than once, but I will take that feeling with me forever. And to me, that speaks to the merit of a film.

        • Midnight Luck

          I didn’t mean “you” were one who expected it to be Boyz ‘N The Hood or anything.

          I really thought how they handled the buildup was superb. I also was so happy it didn’t suffer from a bunch of over the top dramatic bullshit as well. It didn’t become melodramatic or anything. The emotion in it was real and about as perfect as it could be.

    • Eddie Panta

      Nice post. I haven’t seen it. But I heard from people who have, that the film did not accurately portray the way the real events occurred.

      • drifting in space

        You mean people don’t miraculously get their life together on the very eve of being racially targeted and gunned down?

        • mulesandmud

          Drifting, only because you’ve touched on this subject more than once today – this question of how closely a film follows the true events it’s based on – I’d love to know: do you have an example or two of films that you feel deal with this true story problem well, whether by staying true to the facts, or changing them only in specific, acceptable ways, or what have?

          Not baiting you here, just curious. It’s just a subject that I’ve dealt with quite a bit, and am very interested in.

          • drifting in space

            Miracle (one of my favorites)
            Blackhawk Down (I’ve read the violence was toned down)
            Apollo 13
            Gettysburg
            The first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan (hahaha)

            Most of them combined actual people into one character, but they don’t stray too far from what actually happened. Sure, they are dramatized, but they stay true to the source.

            I’m sure people will come in and blast them to pieces. That’s fine. I’d love the discussion and enlightenment.

          • Citizen M

            I’d add United 93. On the DVD commentary Paul Greengrass said he spoke to all the families of the victims and told them he would try to stay true to the facts and characters, but they had to give him some leeway for dramatic purposes, compressing the action etc. He said they could have 95% of the story but he needed 5% for himself.

          • wlubake

            And of course, Tremors.

          • drifting in space

            I didn’t want to be too obvious.

    • kenglo

      I didn’t like The BUTLER…..was too CLEAN, been there done that type of film. Kind of boring. And I love Forrest Whitaker. I worked with him on PLATOON, waay back when he was getting bit parts. along with Johnny Depp, Keith David, all of them were so down to earth back then……

      • Linkthis83

        I haven’t seen that one yet but would still like to check it out.

      • wlubake

        Forrest Whitaker won me over with Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. And no, I’m not joking.

        • kenglo

          Ya gotta be …HATED that film…..couldn’t even watch it. Totally miscast…IMHO

      • Linkthis83

        I didn’t even catch this before. You ‘worked’ with him?!?!?! Charlie, is that you?

        • kenglo

          Oh yeah, he was there too…LOL….dude was even weirder back then…..

          • Linkthis83

            Were you IN the movie, or did you just work on it? I’m so curious now. :)

  • Eddie Panta

    You’re right! ITS not funny… Forget about “WE SEE”. It’s punctuation that’s a serious problem.

  • Eddie Panta

    It’s — It’s an exercise in narcissism. NOT “its an exercise…
    If you’re gonna correct someone’s grammar. You better come prepared.

  • David Sarnecki

    Hahaha you are fucking LOSING it over me not being completely over the moon about Hustle, aren’t you? I’ve said several times I liked the movie, but anything less than worship and you’re yapping like a poodle.

    I feel pity for you, you absolute douchebag of a human being.

  • mulesandmud

    Call Fassbender’s character silly, unrealistic, cliched, gratuitous, etc. There are lots of valid (or at least subjective) criticisms you could make here. One-dimensional isn’t one of them.

    Dimension #1: A southern slave-owner…
    Dimension #2: …who beats his slaves mercilessly…
    Dimension #3: …especially the one he lusts after…
    Dimension #4: ..whom he values more than his own wife.

    The white characters in ’12 Years’ are all quite different in thematically powerful ways, creating a survey of the different justifications and psychologies that enabled slavery – Paul Giamatti, greed; Paul Dano, cowardice; Benedict Cumberbatch, necessity – and just like ‘Django’ knows to save the worst hypocrite for last. Fassbender’s power-fetish version of human bondage is rife with contradictions, always a good sign for character complexity.

    His wife, I agree, gets a shorter shrift, but still reveals layers to her behavior and has a legitimate role in the drama; she’s better off than most female characters in Hollywood.

    As for ‘melodrama’, use your vocabulary however you like, but you risk squandering the nuance of a good word instead of finding others to express your meanings more clearly.

    • drifting in space

      I like that dimension break down. Quite useful even as simple as it is.

  • Fiona Fire

    It’s not ageist, sexist, or racist to point out the gender, race, and age discrepancy in the academy. The academy is over 90% white and over 75% male. I’m not sure about the racial demographics of the US, but I am pretty sure about half the people are women.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/academy/la-et-unmasking-oscar-academy-project-html,0,7473284.htmlstory#axzz2uwsCAHo6

  • Eddie Panta

    See now that’s what I call “High-Concept”.

  • jridge32

    I cannot be the only person who nodded off during long stretches of this film.

  • Montana Gillis

    Wow. I thought Ellen had an “off” night. she is better than what she showed last night — not funny — not entertaining… Lame. I did think that Matthew’s speech for best Actor was coherent and inspiring which was unlike almost everyone else who were stumbling over their lines! This was not an entertaining venue at all. And in the end, I used the “Freedom Button” to set myself free and turned the TV off.

  • charliesb

    “I think Tyler Perry kicks this guys as, but he’s urban whereas McQueen is a token black guy in the Upper Classes (and don’t forget he’s gay and that really helps with his shameless thing.)”

    First what the fuck does “he’s urban” mean ?

    Second, I’m not going to argue with you on the merits of McQueen (I haven’t seen “12 yrs” yet so I can’t weigh in about that either), though “token black guy in the Upper Classes” certainly implies a certain amount of you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

    I do however want to say that Tyler Perry is one of the worst writer/filmmakers today. His work is hackneyed obvious, misogynistic, racist, over simplified drivel. He is only successful because he is one of a very few people creating black entertainment. The sooner he fucks off, the better for us all.

  • charliesb

    I really wanted to watch Fruitvale Station but after watching MJ get gunned down on The Wire, I don’t think I can go through that again. I know that sounds a little flippant, but I read the articles and watched the real footage, and this story is just too disheartening for me. I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually, but like on the sunniest day of the year after eating a tub of ice-cream and candy.

    Another film that definitely should have been included this year was “Stories we tell.” I thought it was fantastic.

    • Midnight Luck

      I saw Stories We Tell when it came out and went to a local second run theater, it was just awesome. I had read something about it before but wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I have always liked Sarah Polley, ever since I saw her in Exotica (which I haven’t really met anyone else who has seen) and then of course The Sweet Hereafter. Both really great Atom Egoyan movies. She has always seemed very intelligent and insightful. Stories kind of proved that she was to me. Interesting mystery and story.

      • charliesb

        I agree Polley is pretty talented and Exotica is awesome. For a while there Egoyan was on a role. You should watch Away from Her, if you haven’t seen it. It’s her directorial debut and if you’ve seen Haneke’s Amour, it has deals with similar subject matter.

  • JW

    What I love about situations like this is that everyone takes to the page to defend their perspectives and no one is really wrong, but it highlights the number of perspectives that exist in the world of film today and I think it reinforces the notion that “nobody knows anything.” Tastes are tastes and “one man’s trash is another’s treasure.” Love it.

  • kenglo

    Michael B. Jordan, IMHO, will be a star. Kid’s a NATURAL.Reminds me of a young Pitt. Who reminded me of a young Redford. Although, I think he is miscast as Johnny Storm in the F4 reboot…..

  • brooklyntypes

    Carson, go see 12 Years a Slave. Yes, it looks like you would not enjoy this movie. But it’s set up as a thriller. I was completely enthralled and at the edge of my seat. Please see so you can at least make an informed opinion about whether it deserves the Oscar.

  • Ange Neale

    I might’ve missed it elsewhere in this discussion but just wondering if Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech was censored in the US tv feed, because she most definitely did thank Woody Allen as her speech was shown on Australian television. If I remember correctly, she dedicated two sentences almost right at the get-go. Mind you, the allegations against him haven’t made it on to any sober free-to-air news broadcasts that I’ve seen here. (It’s entirely possible they’ve been fodder for the tabloid-tv shows, but I don’t watch them, and in the interests of full disclosure, I don’t see every free-to-air news broadcast.)

  • Robin the Boy Wonder

    The satire in this article was intentional, right? Highlight of the night was, of course, Bill Murray paying tribute to Harold Ramis. Harrison Ford asking for a napkin was runner-up…

  • mulesandmud

    Not exactly sure what you’re asking here. It is a documented fact, it is not propaganda, and it is most certainly a problem perpetuated by Hollywood, though other film industries often manage to be equally discriminatory all by themselves.

    I agree completely with your last two sentences.

  • wrymartini

    Steve McQueen’s not gay, just for the record.

  • brenkilco

    Larger than life characters, crammed with incident, adultery, betrayal, blackmail, lust for power, political chicanery, the whole thing motivated by the mystery of the protagonist’s dying words. Sorry. What was I thinking?