2007 Oscar Shouldabeens

1998 through 2007
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Postby Bog » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:15 pm

Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, Gordon Pinsent, Ed Harris, Armin Mueller-Stahl

maybe even Jeff Daniels, Tang Wei, and Jafar Panahi

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Postby Penelope » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:10 pm

That's all well and good, flipp, but if one of our members here can't see the obviousness of Casey Affleck being the film's lead, then naturally it's going to be an issue.

And there are films and performances that are being overlooked: it pains me to see Keri Russell in Waitress and Steve Carrell in Dan in Real Life--both among the finest performances of the year--pushed to the sidelines in favor of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.
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Postby flipp525 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:42 pm

Personally, I'm finding this "Casey Affleck should be competing in Lead" thing really played out on this board. I mean, I completely agree with the sentiment but, c'mon already, let's just move on! At least he's being recognized at all. How much worse would things be if his performance, clearly one of the best of the year, was completely shut-out and ignored? Let's shift the focus of the discussion to deserving performances that are failing to win or be nominated for anything. It seems like a much more worthwhile topic.



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Postby Bog » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:35 pm

Sabin wrote:I'm done debating this. You can justify your placement as much as you want. If somebody isn't good enough to be nominated in the proper category regardless of candidate trafficking and such, he/she's not good enough to be nominated. The Academy doesn't listen to me (otherwise, Wes Anderson would have more Oscars than Paul Haggis) and I'm thrilled if it gets 'The Assassination of Jesse James' wider appeal, but Casey Affleck is the lead, there is no argument to the contrary that is remotely plausible, and that's all there is to it. I'm not dumbing it down anymore. He's the lead. He drives the story. It's his story. It's told from his POV. There are B-Stories revolving around Dick Liddle and Jesse James' adventures, but it all comes back to Robert Ford and that's Casey Affleck. Just because "Jesse James" appears before "Robert Ford" in the title, doesn't make that a good fucking argument, just a better title.

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Postby The Original BJ » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:26 pm

Penelope wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:how does one interpret the story arc of this film and conclude that Jesse James is a supporting player in it?

I think you meant to say Robert Ford. And, of course, you're right: the primary story arc in the film is Robert Ford's, not Jesse James'. It would be like categorizing Scarlet O'Hara as secondary to Rhett Butler.

Oops, thank you.

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Postby Sabin » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:25 pm

I'm done debating this. You can justify your placement as much as you want. If somebody isn't good enough to be nominated in the proper category regardless of candidate trafficking and such, he/she's not good enough to be nominated. The Academy doesn't listen to me (otherwise, Wes Anderson would have more Oscars than Paul Haggis) and I'm thrilled if it gets 'The Assassination of Jesse James' wider appeal, but Casey Affleck is the lead, there is no argument to the contrary that is remotely plausible, and that's all there is to it. I'm not dumbing it down anymore. He's the lead. He drives the story. It's his story. It's told from his POV. There are B-Stories revolving around Dick Liddle and Jesse James' adventures, but it all comes back to Robert Ford and that's Casey Affleck. Just because "Jesse James" appears before "Robert Ford" in the title, doesn't make that a good fucking argument, just a better title.
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Postby Penelope » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:58 pm

The Original BJ wrote:how does one interpret the story arc of this film and conclude that Jesse James is a supporting player in it?

I think you meant to say Robert Ford. And, of course, you're right: the primary story arc in the film is Robert Ford's, not Jesse James'. It would be like categorizing Scarlet O'Hara as secondary to Rhett Butler.
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Postby The Original BJ » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:38 pm

Big Magilla wrote:In the case of Casey Affleck, his character is secondary to Brad Pitt's in my estimation regardless of screen time.

Can you explain this to me? I really don't mean to harp so much on this (probably way too late), but I am genuinely trying to understand how so many people can possibly think this is anywhere near a gray area.

Is Joan Fontaine a supporting actress in Rebecca because the second Mrs. DeWinter is "secondary" to the first? Is Jodie Foster a supporting actress in The Silence of the Lambs because Clarice is "secondary" to Hannibal Lecter? Is (as was pointed out in another post) F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus a supporting actor because Salieri is "secondary" to Mozart?

I think Okri suggested a very interesting question in the Robert Ford thread -- how does one interpret the story arc of this film and conclude that Jesse James is a supporting player in it? I'm actually pretty interested in the answers of those who have.




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Postby Bog » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:10 am

rain Bard wrote:If it were me, absolutely. But Magilla's an experienced enough movie watcher by now that when he's seen enough clips and trailers and read enough reviews by critics whose taste he knows, that when he forms an opinion about a movie, I trust that he really knows whether he's going to like it or not and can armchair-quarterback the Academy all he wants.

I'm sure he's not hasty about forming these pre-film opinions when the clips/trailers/reviews leave him on the fence.

I disagree vehemently with him and the critics' groups on Affleck, but I trust him to know his own taste.

I don't understand most of what you said, but I suppose that's neither here nor there....armchair quarterbacking your "shouldabeens"? your personal preference of movies and roles to see rewarded?


I had been trying to sneak in a comment about whether or not Magilla had seen Assassination, because I was certain that no one (especially on this board- FYC and studio butchering/lemming critics aside) could honestly place Affleck in support...leaving him off a crowded Best Actor list is a very possible outcome, especially having your definition down in writing as size of the role...to which I ask if the biggest role in the film is not lead, was there a lead? Does there always have to be a lead or not necessarily? Maybe not with Altman?

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Postby rain Bard » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:15 am

Bog wrote:One thing's for certain regarding inclusion on a thread like this, I think 100% you would have had to view the film to "shouldabeen" it

If it were me, absolutely. But Magilla's an experienced enough movie watcher by now that when he's seen enough clips and trailers and read enough reviews by critics whose taste he knows, that when he forms an opinion about a movie, I trust that he really knows whether he's going to like it or not and can armchair-quarterback the Academy all he wants.

I'm sure he's not hasty about forming these pre-film opinions when the clips/trailers/reviews leave him on the fence.

I disagree vehemently with him and the critics' groups on Affleck, but I trust him to know his own taste.




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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:07 am

I haven't seen Starting Out in the Evening. It's possible I will revise my best actor slate when I do.

I will eventually see Blanchett in I'm Not There, but I can't imagine liking that performance in its entirety any more than I do in the snippets I've seen. I have no problem with gender bending per se. I still think Linda Hunt's performance in The Year of Living Dangerously is one of the most deserving Oscar wins of all time. I had no problem with Travolta pretending to be a woman in Hairspray. I didn't like that he played it so bland and with that annoying fake Baltimore accent, but he was believable as a woman. Blanchett looks like she's playing a caricautre of Dylan at his worst.

As to lead vs. supporting, I've been all over the map on this one. I generally think the size of the role should be the determining factor. The idea that if you have two actors or actresses of equal importance playing starring roles one gets relegated to support in order to secure a nomination they might not get in the lead category is relatively new. In principle it's not fair to the journeyman character actors and actresses who get left out, but then there are so few genuine character roles any more.

In the case of Casey Affleck, his character is secondary to Brad Pitt's in my estimation regardless of screen time. It's a fine point, but most awards groups see it that way.

This relatively new concept has allowed me to go back and make adjustments in past awards year. Probably my most grievous category whoring award goes to Fredric March, who I have now nominated in support for Executive Suite, Inherit the Wind and Seven Days in May, three films in which he was a co-lead, and gave him the award for the latter.

Placing Marrch in the supporting category for Inherit the Wind is probably the most controversial choice I've made. My reasoning is that though he and Spencer Tracy are both stars of the film, Tracy has more screen time - he appears before March does and is in the film after March exits. Flimsy reason I know. He replaces Fred MacMurray in The Apartment, another actor billed above the title though his role in that film is clearly a supporting one. To paraphrase the old hymn sung in Inherit the Wind, "if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me", if it's good enough for March, it's good enough for Affleck.

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Postby rudeboy » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:54 am

Yes, I grudgingly accept category fraud as part of every oscar season - but James McAvoy is more a supporting player in Atonement than Casey Affleck, who is the focus of The Assassination, walks away with the film and is in virtually every scene. How, oh how, can you be swayed into nominating him in support?

Many of the big oscar players haven't opened here yet but Kudos, however, for rewarding the quite wonderful Holbrook and Keener.

Have you seen Starting Out in the Evening? I fully expected to see you mention Langella.




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Postby cam » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:01 am

Big Magilla wrote:No, I haven't seen it, but every time I see a clip of her as Dylan I want to throw something at the screen.

I haven't seen this film, either, but I'm Not There seems like a very precious conceit, and I probably won't. I feel the same way, Peter.




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Postby dylanfan23 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:52 am

I can't help but beat a dead horse on this board but if these are your "personal" choices....do you think affleck is supporting? I mean if i were voting for academy i guess i'd be forced to put him in supporting, but on my personal list, he's on my lead list.

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Postby Bog » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:45 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Funny, I thought I'd be taken to task for ignoring Cate Blanchett, not Gordon Pinsent.

Just an odd comment I thought, only reason I asked, seems as though you could say you hadn't seen it yet

One thing's for certain regarding inclusion on a thread like this, I think 100% you would have had to view the film to "shouldabeen" it


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