Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Talkback: Oscar pics

Now that we're into November, we're pretty much closing in on that time of year when all the Oscar bait movies are released. Most studios employ the strategy of holding their prestige pics until just before the end of the year so that they're still fresh in voters minds when it comes time for the nominations. I'd venture that in any given year, 3 out of 5 or maybe even 4 out of the 5 Best Picture nominees are released in November or December.

Now, this year there are going to be ten nominees for Best Picture, which means that perhaps there'll be a higher percentage of movies nominated from the films that were released earlier in the year. With that in mind, today's Tuesday Talkback question is: If you had to pick the Best Picture winner right now, what would it be?

Two rules:
1) If it hasn't been released yet, you can't nominate it.

2) If you haven't actually seen it, you can't nominate it. This isn't a "who do you think will win" poll. This is a "Who would YOU give the trophy to" Poll.

3) No tangents about "Worst Films of the Year." I promise we'll get to those in due time.


  1. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and pick Star Trek just for the sake of argument. Of everything I've seen this year this was the only film that everybody who went and saw it had a great experience and in vastly different demographics. Certainly not an important movie, and not without its minor flaws, it was well written, well directed, it had some great performances, and handled source material that could have easily become laughable and irrelevent.

    It accomplished the impossible. They made a Star Trek movie that women and old people enjoyed while appealing to actual Star Trek fans. Just think about that. Women went to, and enjoyed, a Star Trek movie. And Star Trek sucks.

  2. Was a very good film, Kgmadman. but an oscar winner? Mind you gladiator got oscars and thst was shit.

  3. I'm with kgmanman, "Star Trek" for best picture.

    Off the top of my head I can't think of any other movie that's been released so far in 2009 that's worthy of best film Oscar consideration. HOPEFULLY I'm missing a few entrees, but it feels like this year's movie offerings have been especially STORY DREADFULL. NOT technically bad; "Transformers II" and "Terminator: Salvation" had GREAT special effects. No, I'm talking core story. Where is this year's "Slumdog Millionare," "Pan's Labryinth," or "Juno?" Dude, this year's studio offerings have pandered to the braindead...

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  4. I haven't been able to see as many films as I would like, but I saw one that I thought was definitely one of the best ...

    UP ... from Pixar. Not only was it incredible for its story execution, it really was groundbreaking in many ways (interestingly enough, the antagonist doesn't make an appearance until halfway through the movie).

    Great, great film.

  5. My three big choices so far would be Up, Inglorious Basterds, and Where the Wild Things Are. It is difficult to say though since most of the Oscar fodder is coming out in the next two months.

  6. Seeing what "Transformers" and "Hangover" raked in this year, I'm too dumbfounded to even ponder this question.

  7. below are some films/categories i think deserve nominations

    Best Picture:

    Up, Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker

    Orig Screenplay:

    Inglorious Basterds, 500 Days of Summer


    Sharlto Copley, District 9

    Supporting Actor:

    Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

  8. 1. Moon
    2. The Hurt Locker

    Because they were great films, not because I 'think they're likely to win' (and not, to quote another poster, 'just for the sake of argument').

    Inglorious Basterds was a very good film but I can't quite bring myself to put it in the list.

  9. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, through and through. With a second place to Park Chan-Wook's THIRST. Otherwise, I haven't seen much that's remotely impressive enough to deserve such an entry.

  10. Another vote for The Hurt Locker.

    I really don't see how there were 10 movies worthy of mention this year.

  11. Synecdoche New York or An Education get my vote.

  12. Okay, I promised myself I'd shut up until this thread got at least 10 responses so that my picks didn't derail it.

    I'm with Kgmadman and E.C. Star Trek was the first thing that came to mind from what I've seen this year. (Though I haven't seen Inglorious Basterds or The Hurt Locker.) It doesn't stand a chance of being nominated, but KG makes a very good argument for it.

    (I like it better than the other sci-fi film likely to be bandied about, District 9. Expect the apartheid subtext to be the defense of the pretentious film snobs who look down their noses at anything remotely crowd-pleasing.)

    Up is my runner-up pic, but I sense it'll be a cold day in hell before the Acadamy lets Pixar win. With 10 slots, it's a shoe-in to be nominated, though.

    My one surprise is that I thought at least one person would have suggested Taken. Otherwise, it's an interesting mix of picks here.

  13. People are going to think I'm being a smartass, so let me assure you I'm being serious here, although perhaps a bit hyperbolic. Just a bit...

    Crank 2 totally blew me away. I was expecting some craziness, but it really blew the roof off the place. It was an avante gard masterpiece. It was a new wave masterpiece. I actually couldn't believe it was an american movie, it was that crazy.

    It really was the most daring commercial movie out this year. It certainly wasn't a safe movie. In some ways it was a very dumb movie. But when I think of 'dumb' movies, I think of something that panders. Something that the studio thinks will appeal to Joe Sixpack in his trucker cap. By that standard it wasn't dumb at all.

    To sum things up...


    Once again, I'm not being sarcastic or ironic.

    So I applaud Bitter's favorite distributor, Lionsgate, for taking a chance and making this movie.

    (Feel free to call me an idiot if you've actually seen the movie. If you haven't, please don't tell me you can tell it's awful by the previews alone.)

  14. Crank 2 was a great movie - it was funny, crazy as hell, and exceeded my expectations in every way. It just wasnt a mainstream movie and definitely not Oscar material.

    I did not like Star Trek that much, I wish I understood what I am missing. I love sci-fi and was totally let down by a lot of the acting and corny stuff like little Kirk driving a car off a cliff.

    I also do not understand why some people dont like District 9. I think the link to apartheid was smart-not preachy, the actors good, the action great, special effects strong. That is what a sci-fi movie should be.

    I have a feeling the winner is yet to be released, I loved Inglorius Basterds for the few scenes that really, really worked, but cannot see that winning.

  15. I thought District 9 was okay, but it wasn't without its holes. After sitting through several discussions where people nitpicked Star Trek to death and then gave District 9 a pass on every single flaw because "it's a brilliant allegory on apartheid," I got fed up.

    Granted, that means my issue is more with the pretension of the film's defenders than it is the film itself. I enjoyed the film. I'd give it a solid three out of four stars, but it wouldn't be in my Oscar picks. For one thing, I can't imagine being that motivated to rewatch it any time soon.

    I liked Trek because J.J. made a popcorn movie with a lot of heart and emotion. That opening sequence alone was more intense and affecting than 95% of the movies out there. The only film that even came close to tugging on those same heartstrings was Up.

    The Crank 2 talk amuses me. I haven't seen it so I won't judge, but I haven't exactly been one of Neveldine/Taylor's biggest fans. I'll applaud your unironic affection for the film, though.

  16. I think District 9 had two waves of viewers.

    There was the first wave, who either saw it at film festivals, or at the theaters, but didn't really know much about it. People who weren't expecting a lot. Just knew it was some low-budget thing from South Africa. And then were like, wow, that's pretty awesome! It exceeded all their expectations.

    Then there was the second wave, like me, who heard all this hype about it being the most awesome movie ever. And sure, it was pretty good I guess, but it wasn't that great. So a lot of people in the second wave were let down and disappointed.

    Kind of like that movie CUBE. Everyone who just picked it up in the video store expecting a crappy sci-fi movie got wowwed by it. The people who got it after ten people told them it was totally awesome were expecting a lot, and were disappointed.

  17. Not to take anything away from The Hurt Locker, but I think it's much more of an accomplishment to take subject matter that is, like Bitter said very popcorn-driven, and give it a heart and soul and get people to take it seriously than it is to take subject matter that is serious and not drive away people's inherent emotional responses to it. And in a year like 2009, how difficult is it really to make downtrodden people feel more cynical about life?

    I like their having 10 nominations though. If only they could bump it to 15 then by 2011 every movie released by a major studio would get nominated with two slots leftover just in case. Then EVERY movie would be Oscar caliber.

  18. Just like Star Trek and how thoroughly entertaining it was ... I'd have to say one of my favorite movie-going experiences this year was ... DRAG ME TO HELL. Just a fun, fun, fun movie. It would never contend for an Oscar, but it's one of the first movies I'd see again from this year's slate.

    My other votes go to (500) DAYS OF SUMMER and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

    I didn't see A SERIOUS MAN or STATE OF PLAY ... are they even contenders?

    Pretty slim pickin's out there.