Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Thoughts

Today is traditionally the day when everyone complains how boring the telecast was, how awful the fashions were and how out of touch the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is.

I've stopped watching the Oscar telecast, finding it much more efficient to read the list of awards the next day in 5 minutes or less.

My take on the Oscars has always been that it's just a fancy marketing tool. A film that wins or loses is the same as film it was before the win or loss. Perception may change, but not the actual film. And as perceptions keep changing over time anyway, an win or a loss is just a blip in the how the world judges a film or the people who made it.

While La Luna lost for best animated short, it will have the last laugh. Being paired with Brave this coming summer, it will be seen by more people than the winning film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Rango's win will probably allow ILM to make another feature, but the film's influence will be slight for the immediate future. This year's releases are essentially done, so it will be next year at the earliest that any Rango qualities deemed attractive will be filtered through other studios' animated features. Personally, I found the film's tone wildly inconsistent and its references to other films distracting.

I called the probable Rango win last November (though Tintin was the wild card and it didn't even get a nomination). It wasn't difficult as the field was so weak last year. Admittedly, I got the nominations very wrong. However, the nominations were better than I expected. I'd much rather see drawn features like A Cat in Paris and Chico and Rita get nominations than The Winnie the Pooh Film.

Let's hope that this year will be a better year.


Michael Sporn said...

Ho hum. More astute and intelligent observations from a smart voice.

Obviously, everything you write is right. One just wishes the system were better. The voters for the Best Animated Feature category were the entire Academy, regardless of whether they'd seen the films (never mind heard of CHICO & RITA.) At least my favorite of the mediocre cgi nominees won, for what that's worth.

Perhaps next year ARRIETTY will be in the running. It's the first new film to have opened this year and is better than anything released last year. Sensitive and beautiful HAND-DRAWN animaton.

Bruce said...

Here's looking forward to an Oscar showdown between Arrietty and Brave next year!

Jonah Sidhom said...

I've seen every feature film Studio Ghibli has made so far and I have to say, Arietty doesn't rank that high for me. Probably somewhere along the lines of Pom Poko or Earthsea. It was just remarkably underwhelming, sad to say, and that's coming from someone who really appreciates slower, quiet films. The ending was really sudden too, and anticlimactic. I hate reading all the praise for it because it makes me feel like I didn't appreciate it the way I should have... Oh well.

Floyd Norman said...

I agree with you on "La Luna." That film will be seen by millions while the Academy's choice will be largely forgotten.

Not that winner didn't deserve the accolades. It was well done, and probably didn't have the resources of Pixar's war chest.

Tom said...

Doesn't the video release (in other parts of the world) prior to the US theatrical release disqualify Arrietty for Oscar consideration. - tom

Michael Sporn said...

Tom, the video release doesn't disqualify a film for an Oscar; a TV broadcast does. Many of the films nominated were out on video in the US prior to their Oscar nominations.