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179 Responses to “The Oscar thread”
Ok folks, somewhat late in the day an Oscar thread for the year.
Like your enthusiastic endorsement.
The Artist for the film,Clooney for the best actor and Streep should get best actress – tho they may think she has too many. None of the other female leads did anything for me otherwise.
Would love to see Pitt win the best actor but is not happening. It is a skewed view but Moneyball is what I enjoyed the most this year. Descendants was strickly OK,Artist was not as much fun as I had hoped for ( may be need to see it again) and havent seen TTSS.
Oldman might just get the nod for his body of work over the years but not for TTSS per se. It often happens – as it did with Judy Dench for Shakespeare in Love where she won for a miniscule role.
“as it did with Judy Dench for Shakespeare in Love where she won for a miniscule role.”
By god, those 7 to 8 minutes she was one the screen…sab ko hila kar rakk diya tha. Hopefully “S” won’t charge me with hyperbole allegation when I say this that that year she (Dame J.D) was better than Kate B. in the entire movie on Elizabeth she starred in for Shekhar Kapur!!
M is awesome as always….I haven’t come across a bad theater actor in my lifetime.
clooney and pitt’s moneyball are easily the two most overrated movie this time and a case of alter ego ..
moneyball hardly had any essence of baseball but it was more a business set up ( in indian context people see the same with IPL with players coming up with price tag and commodity) and similarly emotional connect was missing with descendents
descendents and moneyball are decent movie but have nothing great or extraordinary feel about them and one feel just like slumdog a highly overrated movie walking away with most of oscars things will be same again
Watched The Artist last night. On a Saturday evening, the theatre was 65 -70% full. I suppose more people may watch today, Sunday, after reading what the Sunday supplements and their critics have to say. I loved the film even though the story as such was slight. A lovely film overall.
The nomination list this year is terrible though- no Warrior, 50/50, Porject Nim, Beginners, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Tilda Swinton, Micheal Fassbender, Felicity Jones, Tom Hardy, Elisabeth Olsen and lots of mediocre films and performances nominated instead.
This year- I think I’m going to watch the Oscars more for the Red Carpet than the actual winners (save for The Artist).
Good list but seems to be ‘influenced’ by my earlier list
Good to see beginners getting something
But the ‘gay’ portrayal wasn’t what I wished to be awarded-so predicatv
Incodentalky liked the mine maps and melanie Laurent
Ps-oldgold has gone on a ‘hunger strike’ to get the artist all the oscars
Hope she is still healthy
‘Good list but seems to be ‘influenced’ by my earlier list.’
It’s true. You’re ideas are effortlessly influential Alex. Last I heard ‘cumments’ had become part of the lingo of most Bollywood fans on the Internet. Not everyone has such a way with language. Use your gift wisely.
“You’re ideas are effortlessly influential Alex. Last I heard ‘cumments’ had become part of the lingo of most Bollywood fans on the Internet.”
‘Use your gift wisely’–ok boss
will use my ‘gift’ wisely
I dunno if Im in the minority here but I couldnt stand Rango for the major part. Dunno whats the big deal aout it as so many people are claiming. It shouldnt even be nominated for Best Animated feature forget winning it
Posted this elsewhere but good to see an Oscar thread finally
Not sure where to post this -
Any film blog worth it’s salt deserves an Oscar thread
Talked about the predictability of Oscar choices
A dummy guide to Oscar suxess
Chris Taylor presents the formula for a guaranteed Oscar win.
Avoid animated features
If you want a Best Picture, don’t be an animated movie – only three have ever been nominated and Up and Toy Story 3 were pretty much only picked because they were needed to fill out the nomination list which had been increased from 5 nominees to 10. You’ll probably be stuck in the Best Animated Picture category!
Be white, straight and male
If you want Best Director, be a straight, white, male in your 40s – only one woman has ever won Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow) and only one Asian director has won (Ang Lee). As well as this, only four gay or bisexual directors have won and the youngest was Norman Taurog at 32, but that was back in 1931 so it doesn’t really count. A sad fact really.
Imitate, die or be disabled
If you want Best Actor, either play someone real, die or be disabled in some way – The Oscars love biopics and sob stories! TPhe Oscars is probably the only place in which Idi Amin will win a positive award thanks to The Last King of Scotland. A good death scene also goes a long way!
If you want Best Actress, get ugly! – If you’re in Hollywood, you’re probably the closest thing to looking like an angel on earth. So if you strip back and lose all the make-up, it’ll somehow enhance your performance. “Oh she looks so different! What a great actress to do that!” Cough, Kate Winslet, cough.
Don’t be Gary Oldman
If you want any awards, don’t be Gary Oldman. Seriously. I can’t count the number of great roles he’s played because I don’t have that many fingers but it’s only this year that he’s actually been nominated for an Oscar. Oh, Academy, you disappoint me so!
Ps-lol@ Gary ‘old’ man-see my posts of a younger and better oldman in ‘immortal beloved’ as Beethoven !!
Though do find Kate winslet not bad -actually in a strange sorta way, find her attractive
Among other things being gimmicky and having a slight story are things true to the essence of silent films.
Of course the film couldn’t have gone all the way and been a 100% replica of a silent film so we had the main actor acting well instead of the exaggerated gestures one associates with silent films neither was there any ‘slapstick’ comedy. Instead the humour was subtle and fine.
Actually I didnt mind the thin storyline of The Artist as it had pretty much to do with replicating the era of the silent films of the 20s. here was a film that relied only on body language and expressions. Had it a more complicated storyline, it would’ve ended up being a confused muck. In my opinion, I think its screenplay was just about perfect.
Actually, my comment wasn’t about the film at all :). I quite liked The Artist. By gimicky, what I meant was, the film had a very “made for the awards” feel to it and I am not a big fan of those. Kinda similar to why I preferred The Social Network to King’s Speech last year.
>the film had a very “made for the awards” feel to it
Strange. I never got that feeling.
I saw this film without knowing anything about it, and went just because it was silent and B/W.
It was only after being bowled over completely by it that I started to look around for information, and discovered things.
So I guess it left a different impact on me
The 32nd Annual RAZZIE®Awards
Sets New Record for Most RAZZIE®Nominations in a Single Year
As an Actor, Producer and Screenwriter, Sandler Racks Up a Staggering 11 ‘Worst in Film’ Nods
If there were BW razzies, SRK would have performed similar feat with Ra.One. A whole bunch of awards he could have gotten without having to pay in cash or kind. Might be a little alien concept to him, tho! Funnily enough FF did away with their Kela awards this year as there is no way they couldnt have given all those Kelas to SRK but they couldnt afford to do that. We have to bear him again in the Zee awards as he teams up with his GF – Priyanka to host those. It will be a while before these idiots realise no one is interested in him anymore.
LOL,I dont. I know precisely why he turns me off. How it started and what he has done to fuel it. But, the gist of it is he is an ungrateful,selfish and calculating phony. And has some of the worst fans a star can have the misfortune of having. Am paraphrasing here but at some point the stars start resembling their fans and vice versa.
Just substitute the name SRK with Amir and it will fit as aptly.
‘Am paraphrasing here but at some point the stars start resembling their fans and vice versa. ‘
Ha ha! Cruel , but…true only up to a point. I know plenty of SRK supporters who are not fanatical, who don’t use internet space to continuously speak ill of a colleague; also feel that most Aamir fans I know don’t really bother beyond their own fav, do not care to run down anybody else, including rival/colleague/whatever.
Aren’t we all being self righteous here, like the hero Amir one is worshipping.
Like him, fixing the halo firmly behind ones head with one hand while attacking with the other.
This blog is full of fans of Amir attacking SRK (and his fans), and with very violent language too, considering there are hardly any fans here these attacks are absolutely strange with roots in intense dislike and hatred (like us lowly SRK fans). One would understand if this blog was running amok with SRK fans.
Rajen, when…oh when….will you become like the hero you are more a fan of, (and I mean Amitabh not the other one, Amir, you are already very much like him)?
You seem to have a lot of misconceptions. Kindly someday take time to check Twitter and just see the kind of language that SRK fans use & the stuff they tweet against other stars & their films all day. Aamir fans barely comment even on Aamir’s own blog, let alone comment on any other actor on other film blogs. As for some people here, from whatever little I have seen, most people here seem to be Bachchan family fans with some of them also having preference for Aamir Khan perhaps.
And to counter any comment about SRK I wonder why you can’t defend him or make an argument or case for him? Why do you always have to drag Aamir’s name in reply?
>And to counter any comment about SRK I wonder why you can’t defend him or make an argument or case for him? Why do you always have to drag Aamir’s name in reply?
Answering your questions doesn’t really help, because I’ve answered them on several occasions.
NO, I’M NOT DEFENDING SRK!!! He is as he is. I’m not making a case for him, BUT showing the other side of the coin.
Opening people’s eyes to OTHER TRUTHS!! LOL!!
AS for dragging Amir’s name, from what I have observed they are all Amir fans here – and they drag SRK’s name everywhere.
>just see the kind of language that SRK fans use & the stuff they tweet against other stars & their films
You mean there is clapping going on with one hand?
But I have seen fans of AK and their behaviour on another site.
>Aamir fans barely comment even on Aamir’s own blog, let alone comment on any other actor on other film blogs.
…because Amir fans are busy tweeting etc as SRK fans with the language that you mention, and I am serious about this accusation.
LOL.. i think rajen had some good things to say about MNIK and Don 2..
Who are they? Industrialist Anil Abani and wife Tina Ambani , former actress– unless yours is a rhetorical/ sarcastic question. Whatever–they were there as guests of Spielberg, since Anil has invested a goodly amount in Speilberg’s Dreamworks, helped the film company with his money input at time of recession. And since three or so Dreamworks films were nominated, Anil was invited. It was indeed good to see this couple, with Tina looking graceful in a sari–amidst all those designer gowns, boobs and nips spilling out ( Jennifer Lopez looked totally graceless while Pelelope Cruz looked lovely).
On twitter somebody rudely commented that Anil and Spielberg together was like Amar Singh and Amitabh appearing on a stage together. There surely is no worse snob that the one who decries his/her own sort.
“Tina looking graceful in a sari–amidst all those designer gowns, boobs and nips spilling out”
You have to see Tina in her actress form to see what was spilling out before she became all respectable billionaire wife..if she had a good figure, things would still be spilling out now, IMO!
“There surely is no worse snob that the one who decries his/her own sort.”
Maybe we are harsh critic of our own *kind*..just because he invests his money in making movies doesn’t make him god or philantropist that would obviously need to command our respect or turn blind eye towards his outfit!
Isn’t he wearing kind of a half achkan, with a ‘band gala’?
I think it has an Indian touch to it.
No I genuinely don’t know them by face, though I’ve heard of them.
And no, I’m not enamoured of Hollywood or Oscars, and wouldn’t react with who are they for any desi?
In fact I would have said that for almost all the people attending LOL , except of course the ones I was supporting from The artist.
>with Tina looking graceful in a sari–amidst all those designer gowns, boobs and nips spilling out
The Artist is really good; absolutely charming, sweet, funny, touches one’s emotions; very effective use of even the dog. A terrific piece of art really. My only criticism is that the story is as such, slight. But i suppose some tales are simple yet profound.
Some big critics have averred that Hugo is the best film. so I need to watch Hugo; the Help too; and the Woody Allen film (apparently there are plenty of fine literary references too–happy to note this since i’m a lit buff and student since long).
Pakistani Director Wins Oscar for Film on Acid Attack Victims
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani filmmaker and first-time Oscar nominee Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy won an Academy Award Monday for her documentary about acid attack victims, a first for a Pakistani director.
Her victory shines a spotlight on a subject which affects thousands of women in Pakistan and elsewhere, but which is seldom discussed at home.
In her acceptance speech, Chinoy dedicated the award to the women of Pakistan. “All the women in Pakistan working for change, don’t give up on your dreams, this is for you,” she said.
‘Saving Face’ chronicles the work of British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad, who performed reconstructive surgery on survivors of acid attacks in Pakistan.
More than 100 people, mainly women and girls, are disfigured in acid attacks every year in Pakistan, although groups helping survivors say many more cases go unreported.
Pakistan is the world’s third-most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, based on a survey conducted last year by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (http://link.reuters.com/jet92s), with acid attacks a common means of punishing alleged transgressions.
Victims are often permanently blinded, and their scar tissue can become infected with septicemia or gangrene.
“The women who decided to be a part of the documentary did so because they wanted to make their voices heard and wanted to bring attention to this form of assault,” Chinoy said in an interview conducted before she won the Oscar.
“The main reason that they are in ‘Saving Face’ is to make their stories heard and have an impact.”
Many victims are women attacked by their husbands, and others assaulted for turning down a proposal of marriage. One girl in the documentary describes how she was burned after rejecting the advances of her teacher. She was 13 at the time.
Another woman featured in the film is 25-year-old Rukhsana, whose husband threw acid on her and her sister-in-law doused her in gasoline before her mother-in-law lit a match and set her on fire.
Chinoy said she hopes the cases in her film will resonate for others in Pakistan.
“It is a story of hope with a powerful message for the Pakistani audience. I felt this would be a great way to show how Pakistanis can help other Pakistanis overcome their problems,” she said.
Chinoy’s films have won international acclaim. Her 2010 documentary, Pakistan’s Taliban Generation, won an International Emmy Award.
(Editing by Chris Allbritton and Daniel Magnowski)
“Another woman featured in the film is 25-year-old Rukhsana, whose husband threw acid on her and her sister-in-law doused her in gasoline before her mother-in-law lit a match and set her on fire.”
This will sound stupid but I’m always horrified when a woman participates in the torture of another woman. It’s horrible when a man does it but it seems more shocking when a woman does it (even though it might be the same crime). Am happy for the documentary-makers but, I think, for me it will be a difficult watch.
Very well deserved oscar for The Artist, and the others associated with it!!!
The academy showed a rare sight into class, taste, and high standards. Hope it continues.
In the midst of 3Ds, grander the greater, larger the screen the better, colour, VFX…and blah ..blah…blah, comes this unassuming film and impresses with it’s simplicity, heartwarming narration and style.
It’s among the handful of films which are perfect for me – without any fault or flaw.
I’m a naysayer on the Oscars. Yes they’re brilliantly well organized with very imaginative production values and so on but they’re also completely boring and even sleep-inducing in their own way. Most of the humor falls flat, the syrupy celebration of ‘the movies’ is incredibly cliched, you want to jump out the window at yet another stale Crystal hosting! It’s all very well-planned insipidity.
The problem with Indian awards on the other hand is that most of the time they don’t even meet the basic standards of professionalism. They’re poorly mounted, atrociously choreographed, appallingly hosted, and there’s some very crass stuff as well. One could go on. This badness is hard to sit through even skimming through it on a disc. I salute the courage of those who can watch everything on TV and the even greater courage of the stars who can sit through the proceedings at the respective venues.
But all said and done I cannot say that this ‘badness’ is harder to sit through than the totally tedious Oscar presentations. Which too I actually have to ‘tape’ in segments even as they’re on and then forward through!
So true. I think there is whole industry around oscars that you cannot deny. The fashion/clothes/shoes/jewellery for one…that we (girls) like to see. It is one time when all celebs come together and we get to see the *human* side of them (thru award ceremonies such as these). At least the awards are not rigged.
gud one oldgold
btw heard somewhere that aamir is planning to boycott the oscars as well, someone said ..
And he performed in an award funtion recently
Amir said he needs a month to prepare
>Amir said he needs a month to prepare
Actually *that* is the real reason for his absence from these award ceremonies. Instead of accepting his inability he thought it was better to reject the awards and show his superiority instead.
aamir did really superb job here. I think he is humble guy for all the success he does have
No humble person announces/rejects awards because he isn’t getting one.
But LOL! Are you just provoking me to come up with all the negative things about him that I have at the tip of my fingers, you knew I would never agree with this statement of yours.
I only know one thing (satyam like abhishek and alex like fuckiri)..I forget who else is loyal to what….;-)
>I forget who else is loyal to what
In this case it isn’t a question of ‘loyalty’ at all. In fact it’s the opposite
What is this obsession with dragging Aamir’s name in every conversation? Aamir has banned only likes of Filmfare & Stardust type awards. Otherwise he attends National awards (even though they are also mired in controversy) and some others such as Indian of the Year awards from CNN-IBN, NDTV, Gollapudi Awards, Dinanath Mangeshkar awards, Business awards given by likes of CNBC etc. It’s not like he doesn’t attend any Indian award at all! And he did not stop attending awards merely because he did not get one. He stopped because of a controversy started between him & RGV by that Filmfare editor Khalid Mohammad! So he not only refused to attend their awards but also stopped speaking to film magazines from that time. And he’s not the only actor to “ban” awards! Ajay Devgn, Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah and now even Anupam Kher have spoken against these awards & don’t attend them! Akshay Kumar & Kareena Kapoor attend them but they have also spoken about the machinations which go behind these filmi awards. Why only single out Aamir?? As for Oscars, I think some people are simply jealous of the fact that his film got nominated there! Aamir doesn’t worship Oscars or BAFTAs. He has clarified umpteen times that he only considers them as a platform to showcase Indian films worldwide. And he’s never tried to lobby or do any special campaigning to get his films nominated for Oscars! As for Oscar entries, Kamal Haasan has more films sent as India’s official entries to Oscars, why doesn’t media or guys like you single him out the way you go after Aamir??!!
Aamir used to do concerts & stage shows till 2001 and has enough experience of performing on stage. So these “he needs one or six months to prepare” or “he banned awards as he is uncomfortable on stage” are useless jokes! His attending awards like Filmfare are his own choice. And he stopped performing on stage after he turned producer. He is doing films, co-producing one of them, producing & anchoring a TV show and is in process of directing & producing another film in near future. Also we’d prefer to see good films than crap overhyped films & even worse performances on stage with insults at film fraternity being termed as humour! Attending or performing at Filmfare is not compulsory for all stars! As long as audience gets good films, it doesn’t matter whether a star performs or attends award functions or not.
Thank you for this detailed clarification which actually doesn’t relate to what I said. As for the long list of people you have given against awards…ever heard of bhed chaal? Hopping on the band wagon)?
On the other side of the spectrum are people like Ushauthup, Aruna Irani, who were so overcome with emotion at getting the award, even Ranbir.
Let them not spoil it for these people who are humble enough to appreciate it.
Anyway, Best Actor is *not the only award*.
>why doesn’t media or guys like you single him out the way you go after Aamir??!!
ummm…because I don’t like Amir, and I have several reasons for that…crassness is not the only reason one can have you know, for not liking a star. I don’t like him on some principles, and….because I don’t get much information about Kamalhasan’s films. We all know Bollywood is more in the news. Not being from the south I don’t understand the language, and so no interest. Plus…has Kamalhasan rejected ‘desi’ awards. I don’t
Prateek, there is really no use,people like you and self speaking up whenever Aamir gets bashed up here ad nauseum byyouknowho–she obviously dislikes him to such an extent that she feels the need to make the point again and again. But, yes, one feels the injustice of it all and occasionally some of us feel constrained to speak up.
Thankfully, some of us don’t go on a bashing spree against a pet hate–if one is judgemental enough to have one.
Btw did anyone else watch stardust max awards
Nargis f doing a ‘spirited’ female take on ‘saada haq’
So hilariously cute -that I’m giving her an Oscar or it
Also she did ‘munni badnaam’
Looked like a cute kid trying her best to please
Does anyone have a link
OG aunty wants to escape without spending any money
It’s like showing someone a photo of Swiss chocolate and asking ‘how did it taste’
Cmon. We want more
We were starved @ the pool party (oops shouldn’t be telling)
Nostalgia Swamped the Oscars, but Don’t Blame ‘The Artist’
By Spencer Kornhaber
In a year where small, arty films were being recognized, the ceremony pined for a return to the days of big, iconic blockbusters.
That was the question the 84th Academy Awards asked again and again Sunday. Throwback montages about “movie magic,” venerated stars giving their venerated stump speeches, reminiscences about the various good ‘ole days: We’ve seen all these things at past Oscars, but this time it was practically all we got. While this was the safest, slightest ceremony in a while, there was something almost political in its fixation on cinema pre-2011. The here and now, the Oscars implied, is defective.
Yes, ‘The Artist’ is a nostalgia trip. But it’s also pro-future, pro-innovation, and anti-memory-wallowing.
The message was clearest during one of the night’s highlights, a mock archival segment from Best In Show/This Is Spinal Tap mastermind Christopher Guest. The set-up: What would have happened if The Wizard of Oz had been focus-grouped for audiences during the FDR administration the way films nowadays are? Some schmuck would want to nix “Over the Rainbow,” obviously. Another would colorize the black-and-white stuff. It was a fairly hilarious bit, but also a jab at the way things are done today versus the way things were done back in the day.
Host Billy Crystal, himself a relic, leaned heavily on jokes about how modern society degrades the film-viewing experience, snarking about texting during screenings and watching movies on iPads. Pan-Am-ish hostesses walked down the Kodak Theatre’s aisles, offering popcorn the way that movie houses once did. Morgan Freeman was the first of the night to speak, giving a tried/true/tired preface about the magic of movies. Cirque du Soleil, which like Crystal and Freeman was at the peak of its relevance a decade ago, pulled off a spectacular routine paying tribute to not-so-of-the-moment titles like North by Northwest and Gone With the Wind. Peppered throughout the night were self-serious testimonials from well-known actors described their first filmgoing experiences.
This, of course, was all to be expected. An affable but reactionary ceremony was nearly guaranteed after two recent attempts at edginess: the widely panned performances of fresh-faced hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway in 2011, and the implosion of a plan for action-film director Brett Ratner to produce and Eddie Murphy to host this year’s Oscars. The common advice to the Academy—including from The Atlantic—following Murphy’s exodus was to stop trying to be hip, to abandon plans to court young viewers. It’s advice that apparently went heeded. And that’s fine; Sunday’s show was boring but not a train wreck. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging film history. But shouldn’t a celebration of the past year’s movies feel tied to, well, the past year?
A lot of people are going to point to the Best Picture win for The Artist—a silent, black-and-white film set in Hollywood’s 1920s/30s golden age—as yet another sign that retromania has strangled our culture (you can read that very take on this website). The truth is, though, that The Artist is smarter than that. Yes, it’s a nostalgia trip, laden with homages to great, old films. But it’s also pro-future, pro-innovation, and anti-memory-wallowing. The Artist charms and grins and winks for most of its runtime, but its middle third turns sour as its protagonist—played by Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin—faces greater and greater levels of debasement for clinging to silent acting. He obsessively watches reels of films he shot in his glory days; his stubborn refusal to change brings very ugly consequences.
The genius of The Artist and, to varying extents, its nominated peers Midnight in Paris, Hugo, and Moneyball, is the acknowledgement of how alluring it can be to mythologize the past. These films even harness that allure to tell their stories. But they all ultimately reject the idea that the past is necessarily better because it is the past.
That’s why it was so strange Sunday night to see an early montage so generic that it could have been pulled straight from a TCM promo. The films spotlighted—stuff like Jaws, Star Wars, and Avatar—were big, culture-uniting blockbusters. But there were no big, culture-uniting blockbusters in 2011′s class of Best Picture nominees. In fact, on a whole, this year’s nominated films made shockingly little money. For whatever reason—new nominating rules, changes in culture and tech, quirks of history—we had an eclectic mix of adventuresome, forward-looking contenders. You wouldn’t have really known that by watching the Oscars, though.
February 27, 2012
The Oscars: Man or Muppet?
Posted by Anthony Lane
“Man or muppet?” That is the question. Even Socrates, rarely a man to flinch from candor, never dared to ask it outright. But the question bounced into the foreground on the afternoon of the 84th Academy Awards, and it lingered well into the evening, despite the astonishing fact that nobody sang it out loud. Why not? It was the title of a musical number, from the new film of “The Muppets,” which was nominated for Best Original Song. (There were only two such nominations in the category. More astonishment, not to mention grief over glories past.) The producers found time for several oddities, including a skit about a focus group—supposedly convened to weigh “The Wizard of Oz,” performed in black-and-white by Christopher Guest and his repertory company, and utterly unconnected to last night’s event. Yet, somehow, a song that had a fifty-fifty chance of laurels, (and won them), did not merit an airing. We can only conclude that the question it posed was just too discomforting and hard.
Ryan Seacrest, for example, whose very name resembles a brand of luxury yacht, so smooth are the waves on which he sails through life: man or muppet? Well, put it like this: a man arrived on the red carpet, in the service of E!, and went home fully muppeted. In retrospect, the identity of the muppeteer should have been simple to call: Sacha Baron Cohen, clad in the costume of his latest character—or, to industry skeptics, cannily grabbing some free publicity for “The Dictator,” the next chapter in his saga of calculated outrage. Resplendent in milk-white, and bemedalled to the hilt, he tipped an urn of ashes—allegedly those of the cremated Kim Jong-il—all over Seacrest. For once, even Ryan’s Olympian standard of serenity was breached; like many of his fellow Californians, he is not wholly at ease with mortality, or prepared to agree, at any foreseeable juncture, to its stringent terms. Olivia Wilde, interviewed as she approached the “Vanity Fair enclave,” and therefore in a soothing mood, argued that Ryan was to be envied: “How many people can say they have human remains on their tux?” Again, a profound query, worthy of Luis Buñuel, though Seacrest himself was in no condition to discuss it. With his smile nailed into position, he was clearly a flustered spirit, and a kindly program manager insured that we switched from dust to dust, leaving Ryan with his floury sorrows and spending most of the pre-show period back in the ringside studio, amid the fashion therapists.
Over the years, I have come to prefer the gibberish of these experts, lightly powdered with panic, to the coarse-ground rhetoric that prevails inside the auditorium. When one of the resident style queens, epistemologists to their nail lacquer, gazed at Tina Fey and said, in tones of unfeigned awe, “I’ve never seen this hair on her,” we were vouchsafed a genuine insight into the unreliable surface of reality, as it shimmers on Pacific shores. It made you wonder if the hair, like the dress, was something that could be lifted off and replaced with other hair, or perhaps clipped onto the scalp of another woman entirely; and from that, in turn, arose a tempting vision of the whole Oscar preparation zone as being governed not by Burberry or Balenciaga or Givenchy but, more robustly, by Playmobil, with hundreds of excited six-year-old girls taking the stars apart and swapping body parts, heads, and accessories in a never-ending quest for the shiniest doll.
What else would explain the magnificence of Angelina Jolie, with her streaming tresses, the two and a half hectares of scarlet lip gloss required to cover her mouth, and, most telling of all, the single, flawless leg that was permitted to emerge from the slit of her long skirt and planted cockily in full view? She was merely doling out the screenplay awards, but her pose bore a definite, don’t-fuck-with-me trace of the gunslinger, and so it was, across the time zones, that a billion people sat there with their hands up: Freeze. I have seen nothing like it, in terms of the power to strike dumb and stupefy, since Jack Nicholson, introducing a tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni, showed the scene from “Zabriskie Point” in which a television set explodes into a thousand angry shards. That was Oscar night, 1994. Those were the days.
It is easy to forget, harking back to last night’s hoopla, that somewhere at the core of it sat an actual awards show. The fact that the Oscar telecast is a bust, that it is doomed—almost designed—to be a bust, and that the varying degrees of bustness are all that separates one year from the next, should neither surprise nor even dismay us, because the Academy Awards are like teen-age sex. It’s all about the fizzing buildup, and the self-persuading aftermath: the occurrence itself, nowadays, is nothing but fumble and flub, though, to hear the crowing tones of the participants, you’d swear that they were souls in bliss. The fizz has increased, of course, in the past decade, to the brink of the intolerable, thanks to the Internet, which encourages the fomenting of preëmptive critical clamor—the sole stipulation being that the dafter the matter in hand, the more swollen the spleen of our opinions. The tussle between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin, say, for the honor of Best Actor in a Leading Role, has been cried up for weeks, if not months, to a degree that would certainly embarrass both gentlemen, each of whom seems the kind of guy to preserve a commendable cool. Clooney, it is fair to soothsay, will have other chances; whether they will come Dujardin’s way, through no fault of his own, is less of a sure bet. Anybody who clutches his Oscar and thanks Douglas Fairbanks, as Dujardin did, is fine by me, and, besides, George didn’t need another golden statue. He had already taken the precaution of bringing one along; her name was Stacy Keibler, and she was wearing Marchesa.
Highlights? Well, Chris Rock yanked us from our snooze. Asghar Farhadi, a deserving winner for “A Separation,” took a moment to reassure us that his fellow Iranians “despise hostility and resentment,” the implication being that they do not, contrary to certain claims made on the U.S. campaign trail, spend their weekends cooking up helpful specks of uranium-235. A remarkable creature named Thomas Langmann, in his capacity as the producer of “The Artist,” was granted the highest crown: a victory made all the more endearing by the fact that Langmann, infringing the laws of nature, looked like an extremely happy Peter Lorre. He exchanged a passing high-five, on his path to the podium, with Harvey Weinstein, not unlike a Wimbledon winner gratefully greeting his coach. Christopher Plummer, by contrast, struck an effortless chord of decorum, mellifluousness, and pride, though, as he himself conceded, he had had plenty of time to rehearse. Billy Crystal acknowledged that suavity, adding, “When my grandfather was eighty-two, we didn’t let him go to the movies.” Crystal, if anything, sharpened and polished his facets as the evening progressed, being enough of a pro to realize that a shockless broadcast is a menace to the ratings, and that dull is dull, even if it springs from the mouth of the Academy’s President: “Thank you for whipping the crowd into a frenzy,” Crystal said, his features masked in deadpan, as Tom Sherak completed his laudatory drone—the last and least attempt to conjure up a binding theme for the occasion. I never quite worked out what this was, but it appeared to be something along the lines of, “How nice it is to go to the movies.” Genius. How do they come up with these things? “Our mission,” Tom declared, slipping into fluent Kirk, “is to promote excellence in the motion picture industry.” No question. Muppet.
My reactions: Isn’t she mother of 6/7 who wants to retire from HW, as she has been claiming for some time? So Y this publicity stunt of “sexual objectifying” (using ami’s words) herself in such a crass manner? It was almost hilarious instead of classy (and she has been acting classy for sometime now). Also that leg was super-duper chicken leg skinny and not interesting at all.
“She must have shown her leg(s) and much more before”
That was before she turned “classy”.
Not sure if someone would want that kind of leg shown to the world. What would her kids think of mumma’s day job..ha!
Some birdies just told me that angelina Jolie had loads of offers from various designers to launch their dress
Think she looked well
And the famous pout was there
Missed it earlier -now hope to catch the oscars when I get time
The thing is this was clearly pre-planned and Mila is obviously comfortable with it. SRK usually victimises women who are unaware and/or uncomfortable. Besides it’s just less creepy when it’s an attractive man and woman of the same age indulging in this and not a haggard old married superstar flirting with much younger women.
And it’s not just is flirting- it’s his ego, his jokes etc.
Nahi yaar…I wonder if people are just making him into this demon…not that he doesn’t have his demons…I kinda feel that he trys to over compensate for all the losses he has had in his life. Poor thing. Salim Jakhra’s couch will surely help him
The demonizing of SRK continues!!!
I just read another comment somewhere about how the superior fans of Amir don’t involve in ridiculing other stars.
OG- I’m not particularly an Aamir fan or a Salman fan- and I am not at all saying that my taste in actors is superior to yours.
My opinon of SRK as a person is very low- although I like some of his movies a lot- but that does not mean I am going to demean or insult his fans or that I think they are stupid or inferior.
And I wish you would stop dragging the whole fan, lover, hater aspect into this. Can’t we just stick to discussing our opinions about movies and celebrities instead of getting personal with each other? I’m not looking to pick a fight- again- over here.
>I’m not particularly an Aamir fan or a Salman fan
You’re not?!! OK!!
>My opinon of SRK as a person is very low
>And I wish you would stop dragging the whole fan, lover, hater aspect into this.
low opinion= not liking/dislike, can be hate too (depending upon the intensity of ones ‘low opinion’.
Anyway, if you aren’t a fan of Amir/Salman let me rephrase what I said. “I read somewhere that it was the favourite past time of SRK fans to start attacks.”
>Can’t we just stick to discussing our opinions about movies and celebrities
Yes, that’s exactly what I did. In addition we shouid express our opinion about the comment of another expressing their opinion about a star/film etc. So;
Your comment was not jusrt a simple statement. It was the usual unnecessary exaggeration and making something look far far worse, which I termed as ‘demonizing’.
Personally I don’t care for older actor and much younger heroine too, BUT, what is it you are expressing your opinion about?
-it is bad to place hands on a woman’s breast
-but it is alright if they are of the same age, and can do it in public
-in private life it is alright for a much older man/hero
-it is also alright if they don’t look old as opposed to being old
So with these confusing conclusions that I’ve drawn from your comment I’m looking for some explanation.
In conclusion, just stop always imagining I’m getting personal.
I see that as a ‘trick’ to destabilize any discussion. I have ‘not’ called you names.
It is an established fact on this blog that the people here think that SRK fans are inferior, lacking in intelligence, and manners. That’s what I was referring to.
You’re getting unnessarily insulting towards me again- and when I retort in the same manner you’ll start crying victim and ‘quit’ the blog temporarily so I’m going to ignore any comments directed at me.
As for the Mila-Justin comparison- it’s very different for several reasons:
Mila and Justin cleared planned this earlier and they were both okay with it. Most of SRK’s ‘flirtatious’ interactions with women are not pre-planned and you can see that the women are uncomfortable. The journo at the conference where he goes on about whats inside a muslim man’s pants for instance- or Madhuri at the Filmfares.
Even if it’s something that the woman is OK with- it is different when it’s two co-stars of the same age- as opposed to when it’s one famous older married superstar flirting with much younger women who are in awe of him while his wife is in the audience smiling awkwardly. The Priyanka- SRK flirting at award shows looks a lot creepier to me than Mila-Justin for this reason.
The cultural connotations are different- in the US female celebrities can be more risqué/ raunchy without being chastised for it. In India actresses have to act all sweet and demure or they get criticised for it. Case in point- all the harsh judgement coming Priyanka’s way. So when SRK flirts with a woman but she is forced to put up a coy and uneasy front it looks bad- like Kat and SRK at the Zee Cine Awards- as opposed to Mila and Justin where they are both groping each other and just joking around together.
And BTW- when I talked about Sacha Baron Cohen’s act at the Academy Awards- I was comparing him pouring ashes on Ryan Seacrest to the sort of humour found in Bollywood Award shows like the ‘spoofs’ and cross dressing that SRK does- which are the results of a script written by comedians and not his own imprivisation. So the comment was meant to disparage the humour at Bollywood award shows- not SRK himself- it’s just that he is the one who is most often hosting these shows. And it was SI ply something I mentioned in brief while commenting on the Oscars. I wasn’t referring to his behaviour with women over here.
It was Alex who chose to focus on it and bring up Justin and Mila as a parallel for some reason. So it wasn’t like I set out with the intention of demonising SRK as you put it.
OK, so here’s an insult that you keep imagining;
My gut feeling is you’re not Ami but one of the men of the blog. I have alway had this feeling.
So there you go. Quitting the blog does seem like a bright prospect with you around with your whiny ways.
Oldgold, Ami is definitely not anyone old with a new ID.
I’d also say this. while many of us might be unfair on SRK (let’s accept this hypothesis for the moment) and while there might be more of us in this sense it is also definitely the case that you too are the sort of SRK fan who finds it impossible to imagine that there could ever be a serious case made against SRK in any sense. And so beyond a point you’re always shooting the messenger. It cannot be that everyone in the world who does not share your views on SRK is either a rabid anti-SRK partisan or has some other nefarious agenda or what have you. In all the time you’ve been here I’ve never seen you to accept even a single bit of criticism on SRK in any constructive sense. You either make it about the messenger or you make it about the messenger’s stars. And of course Aamir is privileged in every sense. I think beyond a point it’s a comfortable position to be in — if one is always attacking those who criticize SRK one never has to address that about SRK that might qualify as material for genuine criticism. So even if what you say about everyone is totally right that still doesn’t mean that SRK is defensible on everything he says or does.
I hardly agree with Ami on everything but she doesn’t come across as a partisan to me. And again I define partisan in this context as someone who’s loyal to a star irrespective of anything else. I think Ami has some strong ideological positions but she’s criticized even some stars she likes on these grounds. The fact is that some things are clear as daylight. For example you don’t have to be a fan of Abhishek’s or a ‘SRK hater’ (to use the term of choice) to figure out that on most days and probably all Abhishek is just a much more refined (classier if you will) public presence than SRK. You don’t have to be a partisan either way to accept that Aamir similarly doesn’t say a lot of the crass stuff SRK says in many contexts (the dog thing was a bit of an exception.. and it animated many precisely because Aamir usually doesn’t say this stuff). I could keep going on. Hrithik doesn’t usually say these sorts of things either. Now many of these stars might say foolish things from time to time, they might be better diplomats or whatever. But all of that is beside the point. We’re talking about basic codes of behavior here. And this is just one example.
Don’t want to get into a long debate here. But I don’t think the blogger exists with whom you’d be willing to accept any serious criticism of SRK.
OK…calm down people…lets get back to chicken legs and bushy caterpillar brows controversies
OG: big hugs.
Why does everyone who criticises SRK appear to you as an Aamir Khan fan? I don’t think everyone who dislikes SRK must be an Aamir Khan or Salman Khan fan only. There could be several neutrals (and there are!) who dislike SRK!
And don’t mind, but there are several people who dislike his crass acts at award shows & sometimes his own fans have also expressed dislike for some dirty jokes he cracked at award shows. He was genuinely entertaining earlier but in recent years there has been an overdose of crass jokes in his acts at award shows. And this is criticised – regardless of anyone being his hater or lover!
What about the Artist? Personally found it flawless. There are some similarities between ‘The Artist’ and Dujardin now, and ‘Life is Beautiful’ And Benigni in 1999, ie; sweeping the oscars , a great script and brilliant lead performances and a tragic-comical feel to both, more so in the latter.
Saw both films. Shame I thought contained one of the year’s best performances by Fassbender and was actually a far better film than most. Don’t think it’s just about sex addiction, there’s a reason this is a film taking place in New York in our time. Artist I thought was a perfectly harmless little gem but it’s more a facsimile of silent film hallmarks, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a very profound film. Certainly found Hugo a better film about the magic of cinema and its silent roots than this one. Not that I think this was the filmmakers’ intent anyway. It’s a fine entertainment and Dujardin is wonderful here. His wasn’t my favorite performance of the year but among the Oscar nominees he was definitely the most deserving.
Incidentally while I couldn’t possibly sit through the entire ceremony one of the nice things I noticed about the Oscars this year was Rahman performing with the house orchestra throughout the night. A really nice surprise there.
Thought I haven’t seen all the films on that list I would have wished for either Hugo or Tree of Life to win best picture. The latter even moreso but then good luck on Malick ever winning one of these! They’ll give him an honorary lifetime thing at some point!
On a related note here’s an interesting piece by Thomson on A Separation:
A Separation is pretty much topping my list of must-watch films at the moment. Hoping to catch it this week. In any case the Oscar win will probably ensure an extension of its theatrical life for a while longer.
A Separation is Just Pure, unadulterated, Innocence Personified …. Just a Slice of one life being depicted on screen and one just marvels as its seems so natural, both in direction and acting wise. and taking subtle look at Iranian Society, family, relationships, marriage, religion, politics and growing up. A MUST WATCH.
hope to do the same this week..
@bliss: Didn’t you recommend Haasil (or was it someone else).
I watched the first part (on youtube). I sort of recall seeing this movie. I find it very interesting. Trying to get hold of it. Will keep you posted. Thanks for the reccos.
Haven’t still watched Haasil (turned my netflix off recently) but have been watch Tigmanshu’s interviews everywhere. Am liking the guy (his thinking)!
Thanks again for the recos
“..Don’t think it’s just about sex addiction, there’s a reason this is a film taking place in New York in our time…”
I’ve written on this elsewhere though I can’t recall which thread it was in. In any case, McQueen alludes to the ideas I’d touched upon in an interview:
“The content and idea of the film was New York’s access and excess. You can have what you want, when you want it, 24 hours a day. I thought it was ideal for the main character to be at the epicenter of Western capitalism. You want the extreme of that.”
McQueen at least on evidence of his previous feature Hunger is very much a politically conscious filmmaker and I don’t think Shame evades political thought even if it’s not overtly “about” a political event. A story about an executive (and a nondescript, “every-executive” at that – we never quite learn what he actually does) who lives in Manhattan and who wallows in a certain kind of overconsumption to my mind reflects McQueen’s own ideas of the city and the economy in his age, (on a related note one of the things I appreciated about the film is how its Manhattan is visually distinctive) and Fassbender’s plight could quite easily be interpreted (as McQueen hints at in the quote above) as symbolic of capitalist excess.
“Funny you should mention that…saw Shame last night. Even with its problems I thought it was easily one of the year’s very best and really one that hasn’t been talked about enough for its political symbolism. A movie set in present day New York, centered on a successful businessman who at the end of the day is really trapped by a certain kind of overconsumption seemed to my mind much more interesting than the movie most critics have seen here – that is, a literal portrait about sex addiction. The first shot of this film has Fassbender’s character looking at a homeless man on a train before turning away and looking at an object of blind desire. In some ways this moment speaks most to what this movie is about, and for my viewing set the stage for what followed. Fassbender is as expected incredible here.”
Ok. So this is why. Maybe I need to watch it sometime although it takes a lot of effort from my side to watch an Amer film..
Thanks for the link Satyam….
V good points there, gf
Would be worth if u ‘cum up’(no pun intended) with a more definitive piece in fassbenders ‘performance’ here
Imp since felt perhaps his ‘member’ cost him the oscars here !!!
Arthi-interesting name u have
My language skills aren’t perfect
But it should either be aarthi
Arthi-in Hindi means something else not pleasant
Pray pardon my ignorant rantings
Not meant to be naughty, just for edicational purposes( as usual)
In rare cases it is spelt as ‘Arthi’ too. Yes, once someone in class before did mention the meaning of Arthi as in the Hindi word. I’m ok with that too. Well, if Arthi (i.e. Aarti) is a ritual to welcome the good, it’s also one of the necessities for the departed before they are welcomed into the other world.
One folds his/her hands and circles it over the diya in the Aarti, he/she also touches the Arthi (with the body) and prays before the final journey. Nothing unpleasant in this….
So, Arthi (i.e. the Hindi word) is needed as much as Aarti (the ritual), I guess…
All this coming from a person who isn’t even a wee bit religious…
Anyways, this is off topic again so before Satyam gets bugged again, I’m stopping now.
No all of this is quite interesting.. and welcome..
with these few lines on shame, gf emphasises his place as perhaps the finest writers on this blog…
Arthi–plz stay away from ‘shame’ and the talk of ‘sex addiction’
we dont wanna ‘spoil’ an innocent religious
Di–so your name is Dimple…hmmm
reminds me of (the one and only )dimple kapadia
The Oscars stopped being interesting when they stopped allowing people to designate whom they want to pick up their awards in their absence (*ahem* after Sasheen Littlefeather for Marlon Brando), increasing security to prevent “surprises” (like the streaker) and generally getting rid of any possible acknowledgment that there is a world out there beyond the movies, that matters at least as well as what goes on on screen.
Actually they stopped being interesting when Bob Hope stopped hosting the show.
Oh Yes, Not taking anything away from Pulp fiction. Hands down, one of the best that year. Agreed on its lines though, Tarintino didn’t quite pick that up in his following films. His writing’s has been somewhat, rushed if I can say that. I was definitely impressed with his Inglorious Bastards opening scenes and his narrative was a bit different from his style of filmmaking (good nevertheless). Awaiting his Django Unchained. Will be interesting to see Leo in Tarintino’s hands.
Yeah, Tarantino somewhat got busy with backing up his friends’ directorials and lost some of the spark he showed in RD and PF.. got involved in paying homages to pop culture and exploitation films with Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Death Proof. Though I did like both the KB volumes and Jackie Brown overall. Inglourious was fantastic, if only for Hans Landa in its opening scene and the bar scene confrontation !
I dont know if this is a fair comparison, But I always compared QT and Ramu. Ramu was one of those filmmakers (in early stages) that always thought out of the box. And just like tarintino he has lost his touch in the past few years. Given, that Ramu churns out more films than QT but still felt that both were in similar boats when they first started out. With Ramu now though, one just hopes that he is in the right frame of mind to come up with a winner (not speaking about Sarkar series)
I find Shawshank Redemption a touch overrated.I know it has a legion of followers but I was little underwhelmed.PulpFiction on the other hand is an iconic moment.
agreed on shawshank..
in revent times seeing huurt locker getting most of the oscar and movies like inception and even avtar gets ignored is more baffling
haven’t done anything on it.. have put up brief comments on the rest of Tarantino’s oeuvre.. Pupl fiction is certainly a very compelling work and obviously influential in many ways. I don’t quite see it as anything revolutionary (the way it was defined in the US media at any rate) but I also don’t have any serious objections to it. Do think that some of the weaknesses of the Tarantino project here are revealed in his work following this film and on that here are those older comments:
[That initial sequence in Inglorious Basterds though seems to me to be a better ‘homage’ on Tarantino’s part than anything else he’s attempted. The most obvious examples are the Kill Bill movies. But here from Lady Snowblood to Leone the ‘originals’ already seem to be a bit like Tarantino avant la lettre! In other words the sense of a postscript to an entire genre that is also ultimately comic because it’s reflexively ironic is a move already present in those older works. To ‘spoof’ Lady Snowblood or Leone seems beside the point. To look at it yet another way the older films are sort of Desai attempts, essentially comedies but which nonetheless take their ‘epic’ gestures very seriously. Tarantino though wants to deconstruct the latter as well and in some ways misses the encounter.
I haven’t seen the original late 70s Inglorious Bastards which was again an Italian director’s spoof-like take on the Dirty Dozen kind of genre. Again Tarantino has this disturbing habit of deconstructions of that which is already deconstructive! He’s a gifted guy in many ways so he nonetheless entertains in part or whole but his films often seem beside the point. What’s there to really do ‘on’ Leone?! Similarly so with Lady Snowblood (and other such films which already ‘spoof’ a whole Samurai genre)!
As an aside I should add that the Samurai genre much like masala is a really a ‘super-genre’ as it often encompasses all other genres too. So within this you get the romance, the thriller narrative, the action, the epic format and so forth. The only clear distinction is of course the fact that one always involves a period setting and the other is mostly contemporary (though there are important period exceptions).]
Its unfair to compare a legend like Tarantino to either Ramu or VB.. Coz Tarantino, despite not making a film as good as PF after that, is still miles ahead to be sailing even in the same boat as Ramu.. I thought Jacie Brown was a very mature effort, and the Kill Bill series was simply a marvellous cinematic treat. Not to forget his IB, which contains the stamp of a genius. Ramu on the other hand, has failed to come up with anything worthwhile after Sarkar, and its een almost 7 years..
as far as VB is concerned, let’s just say, he still has to come up with an entirely convincing masterpiece though Omkara was brilliant
As I said, not sure if its fair to compare. But I was not comparing them and pitting ones credentials against others, I was comparing the thought process of these two, On how Ramu was one of the first to bring in the different technalities in Shiva and few others also his narrative was a bit different, just like QT. Not comparing two filmmakers perse, comparing that if HW has QT then Indian films have Ramu, who (used to) think outside the box. Agreed on all counts for QT and his skills, no comparison there whatsoever.
Ha, Speaking of Rock and Rock Bands. Awaiting Rock of Ages, Looks good (not really into musicals) But did enjoy the broadway, Another broadway that I would love to see on screen is Jersey Boys. Not sure if you are from US but if you are have you seen Jersey Boys? Specatucular, dont miss it.
“The book was already a screenplay in disguise and the Coen Bros fashion a masterwork out of this material. It is not a ‘meta-narrative’ operating from ironic distance as is often the wont of the directors but it offers in many ways an analog to their earlier (possibly finest work) O Brother Where Art Thou?”