The Oscar nominated live-action short films were hard to watch this year. I they just ruined my girlfriend’s whole week. Anyone else see them?
I haven’t. Why were they hard to watch?
Vague spoilers: Four of the five involved variously terrifying situations of young children in peril or dying.
Very specific spoiler for one of them, which is somewhat controversial and seriously disturbing:
Detainment is based on the true story of the murder of James Bulger, a 2 year old abducted and murdered by two ten year old boys, Robert and Jon, in Liverpool in 1993. The Wikipedia entry is thorough and it’s horrific.
The film portrays the abduction of James—the boys took him from a shopping center and walked him around town for a while—cut back and forth with the police interviews as the story is dragged and coaxed out of Robert and Jon. There is no actual violence shown, the eventual assault and murder are only described in the interview segments, but it is still incredibly disturbing.
If you’ve never heard of the event, you’ll probably wish you hadn’t even read the Wikipedia article. So even seeing “just” the interview portions is hard to watch. And all of that compounded if you’ve ever been squeamish about child actors being a part of anything disturbing like this.
James’ family has been protesting the production and nomination of this movie; the Academy offered their condolences but hasn’t pulled it.
To get in the mood for this year’s race, there’s a really detailed feature on The Hollywood Reporter about the nasty fight between Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan back in 1999.
PRESS I started to get all these calls from press saying, “Harvey Weinstein has hired publicists, including Murray Weissman, and, just so you know, they’re trying to get us to write stories saying that the only thing amazing about Ryan is the first 20 minutes, and then after that it’s just a regular genre movie.” I mean, I knew Harvey was spending a ton of money, but that was the first time I was exposed to the idea of a “whisper campaign” against another movie. I heard that Harvey had basically gone around hiring people who were old-timey publicists, who were just thrilled to be thought of and to get the work, and sent them out with this idea. So I went to Steven and I said, “Listen, just so you know, this is getting ugly.” And Steven said to me — I’ll never forget this — “No matter what, I do not want you to get down in the mud with Harvey Weinstein.” That was the exact quote. I said, “Are you sure?” And he said, “I don’t want any negative campaigning.” I said, “OK.”
Who is going to win the Qt3 “Best Poster” awards?
I have yet to see Cold War, but if I were to pick my favorite opposite of cut heavy editing, it would be this masterful scene:
Today’s the day. Any last minute hopes or picks people would like to share?
I would love for Coleman to pick up best actress for her demented turn in the Favorite, Cooper would be a solid pick for his powerful turn as a troubled rock star (so much better than Rami’s trash-tier SNL impression), and Richard E. Grant was absolutely wonderful in Can You Ever Forgive Me?; that scene when hey’re reunited at the end made me tear up.
I know the ambiguous ending lost most of the audience (nearly the whole theater groaned when I saw it - was he rescued or was it an euphoric final vision?), but Paul Schrader’s First Reformed was one of the strongest films I saw this year, and a worthy spiritual successor to Taxi Driver. I hope he wins best screenplay.
Cold War was just as personal as Roma, but seems to have been overlooked in the conversation. Pawlikowski deserves it for the best use of Rock Around the Clock in any film ever!
I read in the sunday times that the movie budget for roma was $15 million and they spent $30 million LOBBYING for an oscar for it. This is insane. The oscars voting system is a relic, a joke, and open to incredible abuse. Why anybody takes them seriously as any measure of movie quality is beyond me. Its just a big ad campaign event.
edit: another source: https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-roma-oscar-campaign-25-million-game-changer/
God damn, Netflix really wants an Oscar! I guess winning symbolizes being accepted by the film community, which they’ve had some considerable push-back against with Cannes refusing to let their films compete at the recent festivals because of their format stipulations and the nature of digital distribution.
It’s an awards show by an industry run by PR and $, for an industry run by PR and $. Astonishingly, PR and $ are also part of the process. Who could’ve imagined.
And Roma is about some of the most under-represented human beings in our hemisphere; it’s a movie about a marginalized group, and if it wins some awards tonight, maybe more people will take the time to watch it and appreciate it as a story and how it represents the lives of those depicted.
If Netflix wants to flush a bunch of dumb money to publicize a movie, I can think of few things more worthy of that sort of push.
I think this is a big consideration. Any success by Roma in the Oscars legitimizes them – and honestly streaming – a little more in that artistic community. Which I suppose they’ve gamed out as something that they really want. I could see them thinking “What’s the typical PR push for a movie to win?” and then multiplying that out by a factor of 3 or 4.
Roma’s in an especially weird place even setting aside the Netflix association, when you consider that it has nominations in the Best Foreign Feature Film category and Best Picture categories. A split vote resulting in a complete miss likely also figured into their calculus.
At any rate, they’ve picked a pretty great film and writer/director to hitch that wagon to for this little experiment. I remain dubious, but others are bullish.
But but but they went back in time and filmed the Live Aid concert!
Did any one catch Netflix’s first teaser for their mega ambitious Scorsese film The Irishman during the Oscars? What a bust. I guess ILM’s digital de-aging effects aren’t ready for prime time.
Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga duet was friggin hot.
Barbara Streisand and Spike Lee: the love story you didn’t know you wanted, but it turns out you did.
Pleasantly surprised to see Olivia Colman win, and her speech was so great.
Me too, she’s a great actress and The Favorite deserved at least one Oscar tonight. I’m still holding out for it to win Best Picture but I think it’s unlikely.
So, A Star Is Born it is then!