Categories One-by-One: Best Picture

User avatar
rolotomasi99
Associate
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:13 pm
Location: n/a
Contact:

Postby rolotomasi99 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:53 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Oddly, except for Magilla, no one seems to have engaged the question of what's going to win best picture. Is it because everyone is dead solid certain it's Hurt Locker, or because no one cares?

I can say that with the exception of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, I want THE HURT LOCKER to win Best Picture more than any other film in Oscar history.

I have been an avid Oscar follower since 1999. That was the year I first joined this board and started absorbing all the information about the Oscars I could. Of the nominees for Best Picture that year, my favorite was THE INSIDER. While AMERICAN BEAUTY was not as bad as some of the worst winners, it certainly was a disappointment for me. The following decade was filled with more disappointment than satisfaction where Best Picture winners were concerned. I still have never seen my favorite film of the nominees win the big prize, though MILLION DOLLAR BABY, THE RETURN OF THE KING, THE DEPARTED, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN were all second place for me in the year they won.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN of course was a pretty rough experience. At least in all the other years, I was prepared for the coming disappointment. This loss was such a punch to the gut since I loved the film so much and the precursors made it seem like a win was very likely.

It is the BROKEBACK MOUTNAIN memory that makes me feel apprehensive about this year’s Best Picture winner. I would like to think a brilliant and important film like THE HURT LOCKER could win Best Picture despite how little money it cost to make or how many tickets it sold. All the precursors point to a very likely win, but I know anything is possible.

Best Picture right now looks like a three-way nail bitter. I do not think for a second the winner is a foregone conclusion. From the comments of Oscar followers on other blogs and even comments from the mainstream press, it seems like all three of the main possible winners have very strong fanbases. I can speak for anyone else here, but I know I am certainly not apathetic this year and am so invested in THE HURT LOCKER winning I predict I will have huge butterflies in my stomach throughout the entire Oscar broadcast.

I guess the possible reason we are not more involved in speculating about the Best Picture winner is because this whole ten nominees thing has really thrown us for a loop. We went from all being pretty good Oscar experts to being complete amateurs in regards to Best Picture. I still hope the Academy will change their mind about the ten nominees, but if the ratings are as good as everyone is predicting, something tells me we are stuck with it for awhile. For the first few years, we are all going to have to relearn the new Oscar arithmetic and unlearn all the old Oscar precedents.

For example, no Best Picture winner since 1960 (maybe even longer) has won without winning at least one award from the directing, writing, or acting categories. Even more technically impressive films like GLADIATOR or CHICAGO won an acting award. How can AVATAR possibly win when it was not even nominated for writing or acting, and even the biggest fanboys seem to agree THE HURT LOCKER is taking the director award. This precedent seems to completely sink AVATAR’s chances of winning, yet many people seem to think it will take the top prize. For all we know, they may be correct. We have yet to see what the weighted ballot will do in terms of group-think within the Academy voters. Are people really engaging in sabotage efforts against the rivals of their favorite films rather than rank the ten nominees as they honestly feel they deserve to be ranked? We may never know, but I am sure after a couple of years reports about the voting habits of Academy members will come out to let us know the new Oscars arithmetic.

Until then, this broadcast will be one of the most nerve-wracking and either jubilant or soul-crushing. In case that last sentence made you wonder: yes, I have no life.
"When it comes to the subject of torture, I trust a woman who was married to James Cameron for three years."
-- Amy Poehler in praise of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow

User avatar
rain Bard
Associate
Posts: 1611
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 6:55 pm
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Postby rain Bard » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:43 am

The Hurt Locker was re-released on a San Francisco screen the week before Christmas, and is still hanging on in that theatre. I still talk to people who are checking it out there rather than on DVD.

Really like your Marty comparison, Magilla. Like that film, I can appreciate what The Hurt Locker stands for in the movie marketplace and applaud its success on that level, but can't get behind its aesthetics- it's just too mediocre, or its ideology- its "apolitical" stance feels chicken-hearted.

Okri
Tenured
Posts: 2608
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:28 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB

Postby Okri » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:10 am

Mister Tee wrote:Oddly, except for Magilla, no one seems to have engaged the question of what's going to win best picture. Is it because everyone is dead solid certain it's Hurt Locker, or because no one cares?

I land in the no-one cares category.

I've actually seen seven of the ten best picture nominees, and will see two of the remaining three (The Blind Side is the one I won't be bothering with). But I can't summon up the requisite interest for this race. AMPAS has managed to make unprecedented (ten film line-up, and nearly unprecedented only, I know) into something quite boring.

Even when they went "out there" (District 9, Up), I just wasn't enthused enough with the films to give more than golf claps. But even assuming the best director five = the five films that would've been nodded under the old system, I'm not particularly excited.

That, and I don't want to predict anything other than The Hurt Locker, and I don't want to jinx it by predicting it either.

Also, I'm completely obsessed with the Olympics right now, and that's obliterated film for the moment.




Edited By Okri on 1267074687

User avatar
rolotomasi99
Associate
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:13 pm
Location: n/a
Contact:

Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:51 pm

Damien wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:Whatever happened to them re-releasing the film in theaters? I thought they were going to do that? I'm sure it would be making quite a bit of money if they had.

It came back to theatres here in New York City. People still avoided it like the plague. Sometimes audiences are smarter than critics.

Inglourious Basterds returned to theatres this past week, as part of Harvey's campaign, Don't know how it's doing.

Most people prefer their war movies these days lavish and resembling nothing like real life (AVATAR, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, TRANSFORMERS 2 for Bay's military fetishizing). Intelligence has nothing to do with it, and you know that Damien.

As for New York City, I would assume everyone who watches intelligent films in NYC had already seen THE HURT LOCKER. After all, it made its $12.6 million from about only a little more than 500 theatres. I know when I went to see it several weeks into its release early morning on a Sunday the relatively large theatre was almost completely full. It played well wherever it went, but could not break out of the art house locales. At least everyone will get a chance to see it on DVD, and clearly many people are doing just that.




Edited By rolotomasi99 on 1267059451
"When it comes to the subject of torture, I trust a woman who was married to James Cameron for three years."
-- Amy Poehler in praise of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow

User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:52 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Whatever happened to them re-releasing the film in theaters? I thought they were going to do that? I'm sure it would be making quite a bit of money if they had.

It came back to theatres here in New York City. People still avoided it like the plague. Sometimes audiences are smarter than critics.

In glourious Basterds returned to theatres this past week, as part of Harvey's campaign, Don't know how it's doing.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

Greg
Tenured
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Greg
Contact:

Postby Greg » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:48 pm

I think The Hurt Locker's small theatrical take might actually help it. Members when they are voting might see giving it Best Picture as way to help a worthy film make a lot more money with DVDs. Avatar will not make any money with DVDs until TVs/computers are equipped with 3D technology; and, besides, it does not need any help anyway.

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12545
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:37 pm

Whatever happened to them re-releasing the film in theaters? I thought they were going to do that? I'm sure it would be making quite a bit of money if they had.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
rolotomasi99
Associate
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:13 pm
Location: n/a
Contact:

Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:55 pm

Mister Tee wrote:On the second point, all I meant was, in my estimation, to offset the below-par theatrical numbers, Hurt Locker needed to become something of a DVD phenomenon, the way Shawshank did. (So successful that most people barely remember how humdrum was Shawshank's performance in theatres) Hurt Locker's done decently, but hasn't turned into a must-see-now, top of the charts week after week event that might have mitrigated its previous softness.

Well, according to the IMDB DVD rental chart, which lists rank but not number of units rented, THE HURT LOCKER was the ninth most rented film for the week ending Feb 14th.

It has been out for 33 days. No other film in the top 15 of the chart has been out that long.

Three movies - THIS IS IT, GAMER, and SAW VI - debuted ahead of THE HURT LOCKER on the chart, but have since fallen behind it. THE HURT LOCKER clearly has better staying power than these films which seem like more stereotypical candidates for rental success.

From a different perspective, THE HURT LOCKER has sold 521,016 DVDs after only 3 weeks of release (the sales chart is slower to update than the rental chart). In comparison, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS sold 2,481,156 DVDs after 3 weeks.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS made around 10 times as much as THE HURT LOCKER in theatres, but then only sold between 4 and 5 times as many DVDs as THE HURT LOCKER in its first 3 weeks. That is a pretty good size gap to close from a commercial point of view.

In my experience, most people buy a film if they saw it and really loved it. By that thinking, THE HURT LOCKER had a higher percentage of people who saw it in theatres and loved it enough to buy it on DVD than INGLORIOUS BASTERDS did. Not bad for a low budget, art house, bleak, realistic war film (vs the big budget, mainstream, comical, action-packed war film).

If THE HURT LOCKER wins Best Picture, I expect the film will do very, very well in rentals and sales. I think if it had been released in November and had a slow roll-out like say NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, it would have easily made between $75 and $100 million. We will never know. However, after doing quite well on the DVD rental and sales charts, I do not think it can be called a financial failure. It has certainly recouped its $11 million budget, and has earned its place in cinematic history for its artistic achievement.

Now hopefully, the Academy seals the deal with awarding it Best Picture of the films of 2009.




Edited By rolotomasi99 on 1267049604
"When it comes to the subject of torture, I trust a woman who was married to James Cameron for three years."
-- Amy Poehler in praise of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4192
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:21 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Oddly, except for Magilla, no one seems to have engaged the question of what's going to win best picture. Is it because everyone is dead solid certain it's Hurt Locker, or because no one cares?

Why tempt fate?! Things have been going so well lately!

I kid, I kid. I do think The Hurt Locker will, in the end, win. The deciding factor for me? The fact that a film like Hurt Locker SHOULDN'T be the front-runner for Best Picture. It made no money. It's dark and pretty cynical. It made no money. It's up against the most financially successful movie ever. It made no money. It's also up against a timely dramedy that's also a hit. Oh, and...it made no money. But there it stands with prizes from the bottom-of-the-barrel Broadcast Film Critics, a guild composed of Producers (!), the British Academy, and the writers (though it competed there against a much different field). Plus, the expected DGA. When the film opened, many of us thought, lone director is as far as it goes...then when the Best Picture field was expanded, we assumed it would crack the top ten...and now? Well, it's had remarkable stamina, hiccupping only at the Globes.

Now, I don't think that's an insignificant bump. I think there's still a more than decent chance Avatar wins in the end -- an Avatar/Bigelow split seems in line with the other splits we've had in recent years. But I think Avatar will end up like E.T., Star Wars, and the other films Mister Tee cites -- tech prizes galore, but not considered serious enough to win Best Picture. Obviously, the press loves Avatar, and I've seen many semi-serious sources citing the film as THE Best Picture frontrunner, a statement I don't think one can possibly make at this point. (It might still win, but if it does, it's a Shakespeare in Love semi-surprise, not a Titanic certainty.) But...the press has also been surprisingly enthusiastic about The Hurt Locker. I credit this mostly to Bigelow, poised to make history, and the appealing cast, who have been working the awards ceremonies and talk shows mighty well. For a film that made no money, the press sure has been giving it the royal treatment. (Sad but true point: the fact that Bigelow is as glamorous as she is also works in her favor. Like Diablo Cody and Dustin Lance Black the past few years, she may not be a household name, but she's got magazine-spread-friendly good looks to go with her great p.r. story.)

As for a third candidate winning, it's definitely possible, and I think it depends on how many genuine detractors The Hurt Locker has. (I assume there will be a good-sized claque that ranks Avatar pretty low on their ballots.) What would be half-way amusing is if Hurt Locker & Avatar fans try to jerry-rig their ballots (ranking their fave on top and the other at bottom) so that something REALLY weird, like Up or District 9, something that wouldn't have even been on the ballot in a five-wide field, somehow is named the winner. At least that would be good for a laugh.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15701
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:43 pm

Aside from the fact that I think The Hurt Locker is the year's best movie, I think its across the board wins are making a statement like Marty did in 1955.

When the thing in Hollywood was to make movies bigger and ostensibly better, along came this little movie adapted from a one hour TV play that may or may not have been everyone's idea of the year's best film but was everyone's idea of the type of film that was in danger of being lost. Of course the net result was that all of the following year's Best Picture nominees were big expensive productions.

The other thing is if Avatar and Sandra Bullock win the Academy might just as well end membership involvement with the nominations and throw the final voting open to the public. A TV Guide poll, which is as good an arbiter of public taste as anything, has published its results in the current issue:

Best Picture - Avatar
Animated Feature - Up
Director - Kathryn Bigelow
Actor - Jeff Bridges
Actress - Sandra Bullock
Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz
Supporting Actress - Mo'Nique
Original Screenplay - Inglourious Basterds
Adapted Screenplay - Precious
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12545
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:38 pm

I find it difficult to muster any measure of interest in an award that is likely to go to one of two films I don't love, but don't despise.

As for my analysis, I'm afraid that's being reserved for my front page article on the Best Picture award, so I'm trying to refrain from discussing my thoughts on it prior to that.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6477
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:27 am

dws1982 wrote:The Hurt Locker was a mid year release, not considered any kind of hot Oscar prospect. If it had been released as a prime Oscar contender in the fall, I think it would have made a lot more.

...


And I'm not sure what you mean about how the DVD "quickly plateaued"...it's been one of the top ten most sold and rented DVDs every week since it came out.

As to the first issue, I'd lawyerly say "Assumes facts not in evidence". I can dream that, had Children of Men been given a careful slow rollout, word of mouth would have alerted audiences to its greatness and given it a far higher gross. But there's no way to prove that, and its low-30-millions final tally is in fact where alot of similarly critically praised films end up. Maybe films reach their natural level despite distribution. I also question the conventional wisdom that audiences are more primed for serious films during the late Fall Oscar season -- since so few aspirational films are released any other time, there's no way to judge this.

But you're right -- we have advanced to equine-flogging.

On the second point, all I meant was, in my estimation, to offset the below-par theatrical numbers, Hurt Locker needed to become something of a DVD phenomenon, the way Shawshank did. (So successful that most people barely remember how humdrum was Shawshank's performance in theatres) Hurt Locker's done decently, but hasn't turned into a must-see-now, top of the charts week after week event that might have mitrigated its previous softness.

Oddly, except for Magilla, no one seems to have engaged the question of what's going to win best picture. Is it because everyone is dead solid certain it's Hurt Locker, or because no one cares?

Bog
Assistant
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:39 am
Location: United States

Postby Bog » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:12 am

Sabin wrote:I am fairly certain that the number of times my number one choice for Best Film of The Year will stand a chance at winning the Oscar for Best Motion Picture I will be able to count on one hand for the rest of my life.

Thank you...thank you...thank you

this is my point exactly...5 years apart from a likely number one with a horse in the race every year and at least a 2nd and 3rd just the last 2 years must be amazing going through the Oscar season each year.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7384
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:08 am

2006 - The Departed was the best of the nominees, but Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men were better.

2007 - I preferred There Will Be Blood to No Country for Old Men.

I am fairly certain that the number of times my number one choice for Best Film of The Year will stand a chance at winning the Oscar for Best Motion Picture I will be able to count on one hand for the rest of my life. Not since the 90's when I was basically not a person yet have I thought that a film nominated for Best Picture was also the best of the year. In my book, if a movie is nominated for Best Picture and I can muster up the kind of enthusiasm to call it one of the ten best films of the year, a win is okay in my book. I would never think of complaining about No Country or The Departed winning.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15701
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:52 am

Eric wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:2006 - The Departed was the best of the nominees, but Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men were better.

2007 - I preferred There Will Be Blood to No Country for Old Men.

My point being quality "outed," such as it were, other years since 2004. There isn't just one quality movie in any given year, even those yeas in which the BP slate includes only include one (if that) quality movie.

OK, poor choice of words on my part.

More to the point, this will be the first year since 2004 that I will have agreed with the winner, assuming The Hurt Locker actually wins.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


Return to “82nd Predictions and Precursors”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest