Natives Are Restless

I’m picking up little signals from my insect antennae that suggest things are shifting in the awards race. Things always shift, of course. Nothing is static. And I’m not saying I have better information that anyone else — far from it. But over the last 7 to 10 days little tingly intuitions have been telling me that (a) The Fighter is about to break out big-time, (b) The Social Network is in a kind of level holding pattern — it hasn’t dropped or gained but people keep saying it’s too temperamentally cool and there’s no one to root for (bullshit…root for the smart guy who knows exactly what he’s doing!), and (c) The Kids Are All Right is slowly slipping down the slope.

Or maybe the movement is elsewhere and I’m not getting a reading. So I’m asking — what allegedly award-worthy films have been dropping or gaining ever so slightly?

I’ve been talking to various people outside the journalist-industry loop over the last few days, and one of the things I’ve been hearing (and I’m not saying this to cause any grief) is “why are people so in love with The Kids Are All Right? It’s okay but it’s not that great. And I don’t get the Annette Bening thing either.” I explain to them that there’s a certain novelty and intrigue in wading into the life of a bright, somewhat neurotic, upper middle-class professional gay woman who’s dealing with what she regards as a serious threat to her family, and also that there’s an industry consensus that Bening has lost twice before and is therefore “due.” And they seem unmoved when I say this. Mostly they say, “Okay, but she’s just all right…what’s the boola-boola?”

  • Dan Revill

    I didn’t find The Kids Are All Right to be as great as the reviews had lead me to believe. I’d say Bening was good, but not great. Ruffalo stole every scene he was in and is probably the most deserving actor in the film when it comes to nominations.

  • BT64

    Saw THE FIGHTER last nite at a screening and can say, it’s a solid, solid picture.

  • DiscoNap

    I understand they didn’t have the box-office to be in the ‘conversation’, but the fact that PLEASE GIVE, and CITY ISLAND are never mentioned as if THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT was appreciably or signifcantly better than either of them is sad. I know ISLAND is what it is, but Garcia’s performance should really be in play. And PLEASE GIVE’s screenplay might be the smartest of the year.

  • Eloi Wrath

    Any chance Inception could benefit from all this uncertainty?

  • JohnCope

    Have Academy members seen Somewhere yet? I still say this one is going to up and surprise people with how much it impacts many of those voters.

  • actionman

    Please Give was better than The Kids Are All Right. But Please Give didn’t have Ruffalo so it’s a tough one…

  • gary

    I think The King’s Speech might not be a slam dunk to win Best Picture after all. The reviews have been good but not all have been raves. Entertainment Weekly only gives it a B+, but then again that’s the same grade they gave A Beautiful Mind and it win on to win.

  • 4th grade army

    Has anyone seen TRUE GRIT?

    There is no one that can convince me that SOCIAL NETWORK is a great film. Good, but not great.

  • gary

    “went on to win” is how that should have read.

  • Billy

    saw “Rabbit Hole” and think Nicole has a real shot. Still think “Kings Speech” is an elder Academy shoo-in. Talked to an Academy member that agrees most of the voting members don’t know how to use a computer and that’s not good for “Social Network.” Haven’t seen “The Fighter” but if it is a contender (sorry) watch for some major smear on David O. Roughster

  • drbob

    I liked The Social Network a lot. But, it doesn’t set my world on fire as THE best picture of the year. I’m trying to think of something I liked better, but I’m coming up empty.

  • great scott

    If the Fighter is huge, O.Russell could still pull it out. James Cameron won for Titanic and everyone knew he was reportedly Prick of the World. He’s just been smart enough to not have his tirades caught on film.

    And any chance Portman and Kidman will split the great performance vote and thereby allow Bening to win with the “overdue-so-let’s-finally-give-it-to-her” bullshit vote?

  • Chase Kahn

    The Social Network is the best film I’ve seen so far this year in terms of what’s likely to be there come Oscar time. Or in other words, they aren’t putting in Exit Through the Gift Shop or A Prophet, the former because it’s a doc and the latter because it’s a 2009 Foreign Language Nominee.

    The Kids Are All Right is pretty great for 75 minutes or so, but the whole Ruffalo thing pissed me off at the time and it still irks me to this day – I hate the film for that.

    And of course I expect to really dig Black Swan and The Fighter and be slightly moved but concurrently even-keeled and “too cool for school” in regards to The King’s Speech. I mean, freakin’ Tom Hooper can’t make one of his glossy, milquetoast British prestige dramas and have it storm the Oscars, can he?

  • Gaydos

    They gotta fill ten slots folks.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    NEVER LET ME GO is still sticking with me, but the Academy assholes seem to have forgotten it because Fox Searchlight had NO IDEA how to platform that thing. Aside from that, the best movies of the year to me are NEVER up for Academy consideration, though I have yet to see True Grit, Black Swan or The Fighter.

    Did see Rabbit Hole today, though. Cried the entire way through. Also, a shout-out to The Way Back, which is probably too European to win, but definitely was pretty gripping and exciting for its runtime.

  • DiscoNap

    Not to get all Rain Man, but there are repeated historical examples of Foreign Film submissions being nominated the following year for their domestic release. ALGIERS, CITY IOF GOD are the two that immediately spring to mind. They really should be pushing PROPHET, especially for Best Actor.

  • Guy Who Wants to Bang Pamela Anderson

    Billy Bob Thornton is winning supporting actor for Faster. Believe it.

  • LexG

    127 Hours” seems to be in some weird no-man’s-land holding pattern, as if FS is waiting to see how “Black Swan” goes, and which one gets the full push.

    Not really Joe Insider here, so what do I know… but doesn’t seem like “127,” for such a good movie, is enjoying overwhelming “you gotta see this!” buzz or capacity crowds.

  • dinovelvet

    What awards will Billy Bob’s hair be winning?

  • lawnorder

    THE FIGHTER is okay. You’ve seen this film before many times. I was put off by quite a few sitcomish moments throughout the film, but the last act is strong. I think it’s strongest hope is Bale for Best Supporting.

    BLACK SWAN is a win for Portman. I don’t think she’s losing this to anyone. Noms for Aronofsky and the writers, cinematographers, score (if allowed), production design, editing… I’m voting Best Picture and Best Director on this one.

    THE KING’S SPEECH – just fantastic. I think is most likely to win Best Picture. Best Actor is Colin Firth’s. Geoffrey Rush has a strong shot at winning Best Supporting. Score for Desplat.

    SOMEWHERE – is nowhere. Zip. Film is okay. I like Elle Fanning in it a lot. Don’t think she will be acknowledged.

    INCEPTION – will be remembered. Will win visual FX and other tech awards. I hope Zimmer wins for his amazing score.

    LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS – a total fucking bust. So bad. Dated, TV style filmmaking with serious overacting. Even a shot of Viagra couldn’t get this turkey to rise.

    SOCIAL NETWORK – way, way overrated. Technically flawless but has no soul. No connection (in my book) to any of the characters. Sorkin will win for screenplay, lots of noms. I don’t think too many wins.

  • Alboone

    So the Social Network has no soul? Themes explored: Ethics. Social dysfunction. Jealousy. Ambition. Betrayl. Class warfare… Oh yeah, this movie DEFINITELY has no soul.

  • dogcatcher

    The thing I find funniest is how everyone seems to say that they loved THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and believe it “should” win, but won’t win because “older voters” won’t get it. These are guesses based on absolutely NOTHING. No one knows any of these “older voters,” they’ve never polled such “older voters” but there you have it.

    This is how “conventional wisdom” becomes “fact” without being “factual.”

    IMO, I think people are convincing themselves of something which may not even be true based on some sort of bias due to the fact that SOME of the Academy voters are older. Hence, according to these wise pundits, they’ll supposedly support a film that’s about “mother England” because that’s what “old people like.”

    How stupid and patronizing. You might notice a great many assumptions there.

    Believe what you want but The SOCIAL NETWORK is the frontrunner right now. WHen the SOCIAL NETWORK wins all those end-of-year critics awards and the DGA, WGA, etc. it’ll be the runaway frontrunner.

  • DuluozGray

    I love the fact that Wells champions a conservative film like The Social Network.

  • Gaydos

    Yeah yeah yeah yeah…..the year is almost over and I still haven’t seen a supporting performance better than Danny Huston in “Edge of Darkness,” which was released in January, tanked, to be followed by the Mel Gibson mid-summer shakedown saga which is currently in divorce court and the subject of an active extortion inquiry by the LAPD.

    “Democracy don’t rule the world, You’d better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that’s better left unsaid.” – Bob Dylan

  • Billy

    Hey dogcather, I said in my initial post that I did in fact speak to an older Academy member. I do poll them. Does anyone remember Tony Curtis telling one of the news channels he wasn’t voting for the ‘gay cowboy movie?’ Crash beat Brokeback that year because what they don’t understand they don’t vote for. Period. Eisenberg sitting there at the end of Social Network hitting a key on his computer over and over again will mean absolutely nothing to people who think Refresh is the name of a soft drink.

  • lawnorder

    Loved Edge of Darkness – one of my favorites of the year. Very underrated.

    Academy members are not blown away by Social Network. It will not win big. It will get nominations and win writing, but that’s it. Everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon about how brilliant Social Network is – I beg to differ. It doesn’t grab you emotionally and that’s what an Oscar winning movie requires (even The Hurt Locker). King’s Speech is beautifully made on every level and CONNECTS with the audience. It will likely win Best Picture. I want BLACK SWAN to take it.

  • actionman

    just got back from 127 hours. fucking outstanding filmmaking. how can james franco not win best actor?

  • Eloi Wrath

    127 Hours and Never Let Me Go are fucking impossible to catch. Both seem to have had about one showtime a day in the furthest away theatres in Manhattan. When you can’t seem to catch a film in NY, you know the release pattern is fucked up. Granted I’ve had a lot of other stuff on, but you’d expect them to have at least moved to a theatre slightly near my work or home within the last month or so.

    I’m very interested in the race for Best Original Score this year. I hope Reznor’s Social Network score is eligible, because then we’d have an epic three-way battle between Zimmer, Reznor/Ross and Daft Punk for the most awesome electronic score of the year. Although Desplat will probably sneak in and take it from them.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    Re: Sudden swell of Edge of Darkness love… whaaaaaa?

    Also, there’s a difference between people being old and people being retarded. I’m sure they understand what fucking REFRESH means. If not, then why are we even discussing what these assholes think anyway?

  • Eloi Wrath

    It’d be great if, somewhere throughout all the posturing and campaigning and everything, Academy members just suddenly realized that, yes, Inception was the best thing they saw all year and so it should win Best Picture.

    Just listen to Hans Zimmer’s “Time” again and instantly your mind goes, “FUCK YEAH.” Best film of the year. That is all.

  • Eloi Wrath

    Shutter Island should be up here, too. Fucking short memories of Academy members. The system is demented.

  • crazynine

    Count me too on Team Inception. Nothing I’ve seen this year matches the sheer exhilaration I got from watching Inception. The music, the direction, that zero-gee hallway fight, Marion Cotillard in a black dress… It was one of those rare movies that made me smile while watching it for TWO reasons– it being simultaneously a crazy-entertaining flick AND a well-made one.

    Maybe I’m a fool for thinking that everything else this year will kill off each other, leaving Inception standing as the choice most of the Academy can reach consensus on. But it’s got 2 things going for it: it’s great, AND it made a ton of money. $$$ still motivates Hollywood, last I checked.

    Plus, everybody loves Leo, and a lot of the Young Turks are itching to bestow that “you’ve arrived” award onto Nolan, especially after The Dark Knight.

    Yeah, I’m placing my bet now, I’m going to ride the Inception train into the station. Might not– probably won’t– win, but it’s an honorable choice, i.e. no chance of getting embarrassed with a “You picked *what*??” cry come next year.

  • John Cocktosten

    I watched The Kids are All Right recently, and was shocked by how completely uninteresting and flat it was. It seemed like a Lifetime movie. It is a sad state for female actresses if this was a bonanza for them.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    I will vote for Inception 100 out of 100 times before The King’s Speech.

    And not to be all Asperger’s about this, but I still can’t seem to shake Dogtooth. This is the first year I’ve seen over 120 releases before November, and that’s one of the few that are sticking hard with me.

    Are we talking best of the year, or Academy picks? Two entirely different things.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    Honestly, did I fall asleep at the moment when Lisa Cholodenko suddenly became an interesting filmmaker? Her last films were pretty fucking lame, and I don’t think The Kids Are All Right diverges from that too much.

  • Chase Kahn

    I’m sorry, saying The Social Network doesn’t have a soul is asinine, pure and simple. That soul may be weary and neglected and isolated, but it’s there.

  • DarthCorleone

    The Fighter might be terrific, but am I the only one who rolls his eyes at the entire boxing genre in film? After Rocky, Raging Bull, Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man, Ali, etc., I just have no motivation to see this movie. I feel like boxing movies already have given me everything they can. Rationally I know I could be dismissive like that about any genre, but for whatever reason the boxing tropes seem particularly stale.

  • Chase Meridian

    Yes, Jeff, your Spidey sense is telling you one thing….that you choose to ignore. The King’s Speech is sweeping the Oscars. End of story. You see to acknowledge that means one thing; you can’t create artificial drama where there is none.

  • Eloi Wrath

    “The King’s Speech is sweeping the Oscars. End of story.”

    Really don’t think so. Not as simple as that, anyway. Reaction is positive, but not overwhelmingly so, and if it bombs commercially that changes everything. You can easily see a WB-backed Inception juggernaut hijacking the whole coronation. And deservedly so. crazynine is right: the sheer thrill of Inception bests any other moviegoing experience this year. It is the absolute best film released so far.

  • Chase Meridian

    Eloi, Inception is the best film if you’re a fanboy, weigh 300 lbs and live in your parent’s basement. That’s not the Academy…that’s the readership of AICN. The Academy has shown no love for Nolan outside of his one nom years ago for Memento. Are you still rubbing your Dark Knight security blanket hoping somehow there was a voting miscount? And if Social Network isn’t going to pull through because it’s too cold, try and imagine the iceberg that is Inception garnering traction with the Academy. All hail the King!

  • MechanicalShark

    The King’s Speech sweeps the Oscars of 1996.

    And here in 2010, people come to their senses and say FUCK THE BRITISH MONARCHY.

  • Chase Meridian

    Shark, you’re the reason Sarah Palin is popular.

  • Krillian

    THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT was really good, but it was not Best Picture material.

    THE SOCIAL NETWORK and INCEPTION were.

    PLEASE GIVE was to me the movie where we learn Empress Nicole Holofcenter wears no clothes. “Hey look, a married couple. $10 says the guy cheats on her.”

  • 4th grade army

    I can’t believe people think INCEPTION was a good film. Such a lame movie.

    Once again, I think we’re headed for another bad year in film. You know, if ROAD TO PERDITION came out now, it would sweep the Oscars. If I remember, it didn’t even get a best picture nomination, which is insane by today’s standards.

  • crazynine

    Inception is the best film if you’re a fanboy, weigh 300 lbs and live in your parent’s basement.

    I can’t speak for Eloi, but considering those words describe neither me nor my large circle of family and friends who near-universally loved Inception, perhaps you should seek out a less-exhausted metaphor, Chase.

  • Eloi Wrath

    Inception is a mainstream hit. Not some fanboy niche like Scott Pilgrim or Kick-Ass. Bizarre to dismiss it as such.

    I honestly believe the likes of Chase would be writing off Hitchcock thrillers back in the day, for not being weighty enough or whatever. Nolan’s a modern master.

  • 4th grade army

    Please Eloi. Inception is nowhere near a Hitchcock movie. Any Hitchcock movie. Yeah, lots of people like it. And lots of people think it was nonsense, like me. From a story, character and theme point of view, the film was straight up retarded. And I saw it twice to make sure I wasn’t missing something. The two set of friends that I saw it with both didn’t like it either. It easy to dismiss it because the story and characters were so utterly stupid and pointless. All the spectacle and levels and whatever else couldn’t make up for it.

    Also, CRASH was a film that everyone loved too. People have shitty taste.

  • the sandwich

    “People have shitty taste”

    Yes they do.

    To say Inception was “straight up retarded” is in fact one of the most straight up retarded things I’ve read. You may have issues with the film, nitpicks or massive gripes, but to dismiss the entire fill as “stupid and pointless” is total bullshit. If that’s your actual opinion, your obviously entitled to it. But please, can I have an example of a not stupid and pointless film from this year?

  • 4th grade army

    Try again Dr. Sandwich. I said from a story, character and theme point of view, it was retarded. There are other aspects to a film. I loved the set design, music and locations.

  • Raising_Kaned

    Great Scott:

    Far too early for Russell to get Best Director, IMHO. I don’t think most people really know who he is, and the ones that do think he’s an asshole. Naw, baby, naw. You need to have one film that was either nominated for major awards, or at least close to being nominated for Best Pic. Personally, I thought I was AMAZING, but that certainly didn’t feel like the consensus when it was released. Best case scenario is he gets nominated for The Fighter, and opens the door for him possibly winning next time. Despite two acting nods for The Wrestler, I think Aronofsky is basically in the same boat

    Fincher and Nolan, on the other hand, probably have legitimate shots at winning this year, although to be honest I really think it’s the former’s to lose at this point…

  • Raising_Kaned

    Wow, just catching up with all the comments on this thread.

    And Inception was pure fucking awesome…how was it retarded? I love it when people throw phrases like that around without bothering to back it up with reasons.

    Perhaps 4th grade army should have seen that flick with some of his enemies instead of his friends, so they could have taught him how to enjoy a well-made mainstream thriller without being such a pretentious milquetoast douche scratching his chin and marking off “points” for every possible gap in logic.

    If you actually went into Inception looking for a good time, you were treated to one of the badassiest goddamn cinematic rollercoasters constructed in the last decade. Fact.

  • Chase Meridian

    All this mindless Nolan chatter reminds me of when you sycophants were crowing that The Dark Knight was the second coming. That film has totally dimmed in memory, save for Ledger’s performance. Why don’t you chortles go back to the kiddie’s table now where you belong (i.e. AICN)?

  • 4th grade army

    You’re right, INCEPTION was super awesome dude. I mean IT HAD FOUR LEVELS! Every other film has one level, but this one had FOUR! And it’s so smart, like when they had to [FILL IN THING THEY HAD TO DO] because of [FILL IN REASON HERE] otherwise if they didn’t [FILL IN CONSEQUENCE HERE]. And that happened like 12 times!

    It made me realize how smart I was because I was able to passively receive exposition for two and a half hours. There were a lot of people who just couldn’t put the pieces together. It’s really intellectual.

    It was like when I first saw CRASH. You knew you were seeing something that people were going to talk about for years to come.

  • LexG

    I do not expect to convince 4th grade army, nor do I really care so I won’t put much effort into, plus I’m sick of defending Inception, especially when the raves and the box office speak for themselves…

    But to see it only as some programmer by whiz-kid trickster Nolan is wrong; I’ve seen more than a few very smart critics complain it’s too literal a movie, too plot-heavy a movie, not a “dreamer’s” movie, whatever that means, because Nolan is such a details-obsessed clockwork literalist that it doesn’t have this surrealist “nightmare” quality apparently a lot of people would expect in a movie about dreams…

    One, that’s kind of reviewing the movie you had in your head rather than the one that was made, but more importantly, and feel free to disagree…

    I don’t think it’s a cold movie, or strictly a clocks-on-time show-off movie of strict plot points and exposition. It’s a romantic movie, a geek movie, and, like Memento and Prestige, a lingering and sad one about loss and memory and passage of time, about aging and losing someone and creating whole worlds to get yourself through that pain; And it’s filtered through an explicitly James Bond-ian, ’60s, romantic, lush, New Wave-meets-Mod-meets spy movie universe that, like, the last act of Crowe’s VANILLA SKY, merges the characters’ sense of real loss and mourning with this idea of a life lived through pop cultural signifiers.

    My favorite movies of 2010 thus far have been Enter the Void, Let Me In, Never Let Me Go, and Inception, and they all have in common that brooding sense of “what could have been” and fall from innocence and trying to recreate a reality that’s impossible… Hereafter deals in this too, as does 127 Hours even… and Black Swan is sort of the nightmare version of it all.

    No matter where Social Network or King’s Speech end up, I think that’ll be the narrative of what 2010 movies were all about, when looked back upon in hindsight.

    ZARDOZ HAS SPOKEN.

  • LexG

    ^^ There. Any USC kid needs a thesis for his Film Studies term paper, I just did half the work for you, free o charge.

  • Chase Meridian

    Dear LexG,

    A holiday suggestion for you. Go out and lose some weight, get laid, and enjoy life, and you’ll see that your taste in films will improve dramatically. You won’t be drawn to downbeat, nihilistic, cynical movies as much. Unless you’re a total basketcase, at which point it won’t matter anyway.

  • the sandwich

    ^^ What he said.

    Sure some people have gotten off on the complexity of the film. If your saying you can count to four better (faster) than everyone else, congrats to you ass-hat. The movie is clearly about more than connecting dots through a series of realities, as Lex so perfectly sums up.

    As a parent and husband, the loss of Cobb’s wife and his need to see his kids again drives (and justifies) the entire film for me. The fact that’s it’s done with Snooker table clearing precision is just a bonus. A big fucking bonus, thank you very much.

  • the sandwich

    And by he, I mean Zardoz…er….LexG.

    Chase can take a flying leap.

    AICN…as if.

    People here can spell dammit!

  • MechanicalShark

    Chase Meridian is unfortunately exhibiting the classic behaviors of an internet asshole.

    1. He assumes a very narrow stereotype of fans of Inception, one that is not only off-base, but incredibly mean-spirited.

    2. He uses that stereotype to attack Inception, instead of actually talking about what’s in the film.

    3. For no apparent reason, he associates my loathing of the British monarchy with the Sarah Palin phenomenon, and worse, doesn’t even show what his logic might be to arrive at that conclusion, forcing us all to assume that he’s just tossing out random insults at people he disagrees with.

    Mr. Meridian has somehow come into the mistaken belief that argument is predicated off of ad hominem attacks. If he wishes to recover his dignity, he should essay as to why he dislikes Inception without bringing in stereotypes of the people that like it. Engage with the film on its own terms, not based on who likes it.

  • Chase Meridian

    Shark, no, I’m displaying the highly developed acumen of someone who understands Nolan for what he is; a master craftsman with no soul in his films, and ice water in his veins. And the people who defend his work, and breathe heresy by even mentioning him in the same breath as a true artist like Kubrick, who at least understood the need to incorporate a sociological base and not just perform parlor tricks, are usually people who have become marginalized in society. I’m sorry to have hit so close to home. And your Anglophobia displays the same xenophobic traits as Palin, hence the inexorable link. And I’d just wager you haven’t even seen The King’s Speech yet. So enjoy your little frozen turkey dinner tomorrow, alone, as you watch Memento for the 20th time and think it has meaning.

  • 4th grade army

    Lex, I appreciate the thoughtfulness. I realize I’m kind of being a dick. BUT. I disagree with everything you said.

    You say it’s a movie about loss, time and memory and I’m sure Nolan will say that’s what he was going for. But it wasn’t to me. It skirted those themes without dramatizing or exploring it in any kind of interesting, real or human way. We know Cobb and Mal’s history…cause he told us. We know about the guilt he has…cause he told us (and she jumped off the roof!) We know about what and why and who and where..because everyone is telling us everything. It all just played out so obvious, sloppy and dramatically inert. And, after a while, the plot machinations just sucked the life out of the drama. It kills itself with exposition. “literalist” is a good word. I think it’s apt for this film. THE PRESTIGE worked because it was about obsessiveness and Nolan explored that the nth degree to the point that the two magicians would sacrifice themselves to top each other. It worked. This didn’t.

    What Nolan needed was a Zallian or a great screenwriter to come and say I get what you’re trying to do…but it ain’t working. Let me get a crack at it.

    And I realize you guys who loved INCEPTION are tired of having to defend it. But you’re gonna have to, cause it’s not a good movie. It interesting, it’s ambitious, it’s original but it aint good drama. That’s my opinion.

  • CitizenKanedforNappingWells

    Great Scott:

    Far too early for Russell to get Best Director, IMHO. I don’t think most people really know who he is, and the ones that do think he’s an asshole. Naw, baby, naw. You need to have one film that was either nominated for major awards, or at least close to being nominated for Best Pic. Personally, I thought I <3 Huckabee's was AMAZING, but that certainly didn’t feel like the consensus when it was released. Best case scenario is he gets nominated for The Fighter, and opens the door for him possibly winning next time. Despite two acting nods for The Wrestler, I think Aronofsky is basically in the same boat

    Fincher and Nolan, on the other hand, probably have legitimate shots at winning this year, although to be honest I really think it’s the former’s to lose at this point…

  • Chase Meridian

    Army, give it up. Trying to explain to Nolan toadies why Inception doesn’t work is like trying to explain to Byron Williams why Glenn Beck is bad for America.

  • CitizenKanedforNappingWells

    Wow, just catching up with all the comments on this thread.

    And Inception was pure fucking awesome…how was it retarded? I love it when people throw phrases like that around without bothering to back it up with reasons.

    Perhaps 4th grade army should have seen that flick with some of his enemies instead of his friends, so they could have taught him how to enjoy a well-made mainstream thriller without being such a pretentious milquetoast douche scratching his chin and marking off “points” for every possible gap in logic.

    If you actually went into Inception looking for a good time, you were treated to one of the badassiest goddamn cinematic rollercoasters constructed in the last decade. Fact.

  • crazynine

    Can I just stop for a moment and ask… WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE?

    What, are Danny’s even-ruder cousins in town for the holidays?

    Anyway… only thoughts to add to a dying thread:

    — Lex’s summation is not only perfect, it’s one of the best things he’s written about film in a while. Captured my sentiments exactly.

    — One edit: instead of a “literalist,” I’d call Nolan a “structuralist.” It’s what he shares in common with Kubrick and, to a lesser extent, Hitchcock. His films are celluloid Lego, put together shot by shot to create perfect moments towards what he hopes is a cohesive whole. Some of his movies work better than others– Memento, Insomnia, Inception are all excellent in this regard. They’re not flabby films.

    Now, his Batman movies aren’t as good as those, but that’s like saying cheesecake isn’t as good as pumpkin pie– they’re matters of taste, but for those who like both, c’mon– it’s fucking delicious. Both Begins and TDK could have used some trimming, perhaps some recasting here and there, but with both films Nolan does something that comic book films NEVER do: he allows his world to breathe. Not necessarily realistic, but fully realized, completely comfortable in their own skin. You don’t watch TDK thinking it’s a comic book film, even a Batman film– it’s a crime film, a psychological thriller, at times something more.

    In the lowest of low genres, Nolan made something amazing. Then, when those who hate for hatred’s sake turn around and say, “Oh yeah? Do something *original*,” he puts out Inception, an exhilarating cinematic experience.

    Is the script weak? Sure. Are there holes in it? Maybe, if you dig deep enough. Does any of that ultimately matter? No, not a damn. It’s an experience, something new, something different that creates an emotional reaction in the audience. Not necessarily one that cares about characters– ALWAYS with the characters!– but one that cares about the film.

    Again, that’s why I appreciate the Nolan/Kubrick comparisons. Nolan isn’t that cold, nor is he that precise, but they have one thing in common: their movies are all about themselves.

    99.9% of the time, in any other director’s hands, that’s a kiss of death. People want to escape in the theater, forget they’re watching a movie, be carried off in a love story or a thriller or a horror film for two hours and then go home without ever thinking about the movie again.

    Nolan makes you realize that you’re watching a film. And when you’re done with his films, you’ll be talking about them afterwards, deconstructing scenes and shots and choices along with recalling the story and the music and the effects.

    Honestly, right now, there are only two prolific commercial directors who have that talent: Nolan and Tarantino. (M. Night *looked* like he had that talent, but it went off the rails so horribly way too soon).

    Anyway… I’m a fan. You guys aren’t. To each their own, but please– no one is “retarded” for having differences of opinion.

    Well, okay… D.Z. is retarded. But we all know that.

  • Raising_Kaned

    That’s 5 films in 13 years, good doctor.

    And let’s not forget that the word “prolific” has a meaning other than someone who produces at a workmanlike rate. It can also be used to describe someone whose work is particularly singular, vital, or inventive. I think it’s more than fair to say that Tarantino is those things, even if that’s a stance you don’t personally take.

    Grab a dictionary sometime, Chase; you may find there are a few things in there that even you (*gasp*) weren’t aware of.

  • MechanicalShark

    I offered you the chance to prove you weren’t an insufferable douchebag, Chase, but you just continue to prove that you’re a hateful misanthrope who enjoys namecalling.

    Also, did I say “fuck the British”? I did not. Monarchies are irrelevant dinosaurs worshipped by pathetic people. I hate the British tendency towards extreme reverence of monarchy. The fact is, movies about the British middle class or working poor are way more interesting than movies about kings and queens.

    It’s funny that you accuse me of Palinistic tendencies, when it is you who has displayed that breathtaking combination of idiocy and arrogant self-righteousness that has become her trademark.

    If you refer to the fans of something as “toadies” you have already lost the argument, by virtue of being a douche.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    To paraphrase one of Mechanical Shark’s points:

    Another Year >>>>>>>>>>>> The King’s Speech.

    This message brought to you by My Daily Anti-King’s Speech post. Enjoy your tofurkey, ladies and gents.

  • CitizenKanedforNappingWells

    That’s 5 films in 13 years, good doctor.

    And let’s not forget that the word “prolific” has a meaning other than someone who produces at a workmanlike rate. It can also be used to describe someone whose work is particularly singular, vital, or inventive. I think it’s more than fair to say that Tarantino is those things, even if that’s a stance you don’t personally take.

    Grab a dictionary sometime, Chase; you may find there are a few things in there that even you (*gasp*) weren’t aware of.

  • Chase Meridian

    Wow, Shark. Project much? You’re like Fox News dumb. And of course you would side with the downtrodden over aristocracy. That’s because you will never be a man of means yourself. So when you raise your Pabst Blue Ribbon in a toast to the downtrodden today, while sitting in your decrepit trailer, just remember what Jay Gatsby’s father once told him.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    Talk about the fucking movie, Chase.