Friday, February 24, 2012

A Reel Opinion: Oscar Picks, Episode III

In this third and final Episode of Oscar picks for the year that was 2011, Reel Speak will take a look at the feature-film categories (non-documentary) and the men who made them. Unlike the other categories analyzed here throughout the week, the Best Animated Picture and Best Picture are a two-horse race which can go either way.


RANGO should go down in history as one of the best animated feature films ever made; the storytelling is familiar yet strong, the characters are great and the animation is eye and mind blowing. The only thing it has going against it is that damned release date; the month of March feels like a million years ago. That opens the door (a hair) for the stupidassed KUNG FU PANDA 2, which was released later in the year. Here’s hoping the voters have good memories. Winner: RANGO


Martin Scorcese’s HUGO and Michel Hazanavicius’ THE ARTIST lead the nominations with 11 and 10, respectively, and their domination in the “pregame” awards puts them well ahead of the rest of the pack. Scorcese deserves votes for bringing an outstanding vision to life, and Hazanavicius deserves just as many votes for physically dusting off the lost art of silent filmmaking. The deciding factor has to be that Scorcese did not direct anyone in HUGO to a Best Actor or Actress nomination. Hazanavicius did both. Winner: Michel Hazanavicius


The surprise here could be THE HELP, which cleaned house at the SAG awards, but did not secure a nomination in Best Director or Best Screenplay; a pre-requisite for a Best Picture winner. Filling out those requirements, are HUGO and THE ARTIST, two films which also dominated in the “pregame” awards. HUGO won two BAFTA’s and one Golden Globe, while THE ARTIST won seven BAFTA’s, and has the advantage of two Best Acting Oscar nominations. Both films are saturated in film lore, although this Blogger found HUGO to be lacking in energy, while THE ARTIST just had an unrelenting charm that was easy to get lost in. THE ARTIST also feels like the more relevant film. The movie industry often faces new technologies which threaten to change everything, and some people embrace it, some don’t. That is the story that THE ARTIST tells, and it is destined to repeat for many years to come. Come to think of it, THE ARTIST is one of the most significant films to come around in a long time. Winner: THE ARTIST

What say you?

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