Friday, February 24, 2012

I DON'T WANT MY DAUGHTERS GROWING UP ENTITLED AND SPOILED. AND I AGREE WITH MY FATHER--YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN ENOUGH MONEY TO DO SOMETHING, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO DO NOTHING:  As we round the corner into Sunday night's low-hype, low-suspense Academy Awards, is there anything you're hoping to see on Sunday?  Any viable surprises that would delight you?  Any level of expectation for Billy Crystal's hosting?  And are there odds on Crystal's singing the name of The Artist's director's name to the tune of "Hava Nagila"?

I'd like to see The Descendants nibble away at The Artist's expected romp -- George Clooney and Dean Pelton, especially. As I've said before, The Artist is a nice movie -- but it does not deserve to dominate the evening.

Also, FYI: I believe wagering is off on the Necrology Applause-O-Meter this year; despite the sad news of two Saturdays ago, it's still Elizabeth Taylor (assuming she doesn't receive a separate tribute), right?  And I believe that Twitter has eliminated the need for us to establish a Cover-It-Live window here, though we'll set up a live comment thread as always.


  1. carried10:00 AM

    I'm resigned to The Artist winning best picture, but if Brad Pitt could somehow upset for Best Actor, that would be keen.  My number one rooting interest is Brett for the Muppets, even though 1) Life's A Happy Song was better, and 2) we wuz robbed of a Muppet performance.

  2. lisased10:19 AM

    I would be delighted with Oldman or Pitt winning Actor and McCarthy winning Supporting Actress. I will be shocked and angry if anyone but Plummer wins Supporting Actor. And after watching The Iron Lady last night, I need Viola Davis to win. I'm seeing The Artist tonight, but I suspect it won't change my suspicion that it's not the best thing out there.

    Having watched nearly all of the nominated films (five more to go), I am here to tell you that Maddona's W.E. will win for Best Costumes. Itw as not a good movie, but everyone looked gorgeous in it.

    If any Thing Throwers in the D.C. area want to see Chico & Rita or A Cat in Paris before Sunday, I'm hosting a viewing on Saturday night. I couldn't find them playing anywhere in the D.C. area, so I bought the region 2 DVDs.

  3. No Cover-it-Live?  Awww.

    I'd love to see Clooney win - I thought he deserved it for Michael Clayton, and I think he deserves it now.  And not just because he's my movie husband.

    I'd love to see McCarthy win best supporting actress, but I think Octavia Spencer has it locked up.  However, this is the category that often has surprise winners - Anna Paquin, Marisa Tomei.

    The IFC Center was showing all of the nominated short films, and we went to see the Live Action Shorts last weekend, which was fantastic - I highly recommend seeing one of the three series if it's in your area.  Of the five live action shorts, I think Raju or The Shore will win. 

  4. I commend Terry Gross' extended interview with Bret McKenzie to all Muppety people, in which he talks about the songwriting process, teaching Chris Cooper to rap via Skype, and what exactly "Muppety" is.

  5. Nigel from Cameroon11:27 AM

    Expectation for crystal: terrible, awful, ackward, irrelevant. I doubt I'll watch.

  6. I saw the Animated Shorts Monday night.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (free on iTunes) will win, but I took against it mightily. Of the nominated shorts, I would've chosen Wild Life.  If the Academy feels like being edgy they'll give it to "Morning Stroll." They surprised me by choosing "Logoland" a couple years back, so who knows?

  7. My against-the-odds hope are for Oldman to win Actor and "A Separation" for original screenplay.

  8. kd bart12:10 PM

    At this point, hasn't Billy Crystal just morphed into Buddy Young Jr?

  9. Andrew12:58 PM

    Now having seen The Artist, I don't understand why it is getting the hype and buzz that it is. It's a very nice film, but a very slight one, too. I quite enjoyed it, but don't really think it's a great film or likely even the best of the year. (Or it's just a weak year, in which good, but not great, films like Moneyball and The Artist, the only two Best Picture nominees I've seen so far, are among the best pictures of the year.)

  10. Watts1:04 PM

    I feel like it's been a weak year - I've seen plenty of movies I've liked, but nothing that I've LOVED. I mean, I saw "Midnight in Paris" three times in the theater and I liked it every time but still wouldn't say it's a Best Picture.

    I'm doing the second half of the AMC Best Picture Showcase this weekend, where I'll see Hugo (in 3D), The Help, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Artist, and Midnight in Paris (if I feel like a FOURTH helping). I'd already seen The Descendants (and was underwhelmed).  I'll be watching Moneyball and Tree of Life at home tonight. So by Sunday the only Best Picture nominee I won't have seen is War Horse.  I'll let you know if I change my "2011 Meh" opinion.

  11. lisased1:13 PM

    It was a meh year for me too. I think the best movie I saw was "A Separation".

  12. Adam C.1:21 PM

    So you can take this to Howard, and you can shove this right up Howard's stupid f**king ass, OK?

  13. I'm debating, for me, whether it was A Separation, Tinker Tailor, or Page One.  Tinker Tailor loses points for being (I suspect) nearly unintelligible to most folks who were not already familiar with the book.  Page One may lose points for a somewhat too ambitious attempt to stitch together a bunch of different points/issues without a great framework.  (But I still loved it, and wish it had gotten more attention.)  So probably "A Separation" for me.  A really amazing movie that was well acted and well written, thought-provoking, morally ambiguous, and (for me and I suspect most Americans who know little about daily life for middle-class Iranians) educational.

  14. Maggie2:45 PM

    I just saw Tinker Tailor this weekend, and while I was a bit confused not having read the book, I still found it very enjoyable.  Oldman is fantastic and the look/feel of the movie was note perfect. 

    I think Beginners is the movie I enjoyed the most this year, with Tinker Tailor and Midnight in Paris following closely behind. 

  15. I believe Page One wasn't even on the longer list for Academy consideration, though I'd bet it doesn't matter--given the spotlight nature of Paradise Lost 3, I fully expect that's going to win.

  16. Randy3:37 PM

    PL3 will likely win, but in a way I hope it doesn't.  It's obviously a compelling and important story... but I don't think it's a great film.  (It felt very perfunctory in a lot of ways, like a really good feature on 60 Minutes or something.)

    The movie that I hope wins Best Documentary feature is Pina, Wim Wenders' extraordinary tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch.  It's not *really* a documentary, in the traditional sense.  It's a mixture of performance of some of Bausch's work - both on stage and in incongruous public locations - and interviews with many dancers in her company.  And almost all of it is completely breath-taking.

    Also, it's a much more complete *film* than PL3, and the use of 3D (mainly to add background depth than foreground nonsense) is among the best I've seen.  (Here and Herzog in Cave of Forgotten Dreams -- those German auteurs certainly know how to use 3D in documentaries!)

    There's a good chance Pina is the best 2011 movie I've seen... but I remain a strong supporter of Melancholia, and I loved the hell out of Hugo.  Those would be my big three.

  17. Watts4:30 PM

    What I've been telling people about "Tinker Tailor", which I liked quite well, is:
    Just let the movie wash over you. If you see something that doesn't make sense, don't try to figure it out, let the movie tell you at its own pace. Trust me: all the pieces fit together and by the time the end credits roll it'll all make sense. But not if you let yourself get distracted by trying to fill in the gaps on your own, prematurely.

    It's very much like an old-fashioned mystery novel in that way - possibly part of the reason I liked it.

  18. Megan7:58 PM

    I also really liked Beginners, but was too confused by Tinker Tailor to really enjoy it. It moved very slowly too.

  19. KCosmo's neighbor8:20 PM

    Hey Sue and Watts...I was at the IFC on Monday with my kids--we saw the nominated Animated Shorts. It was a fun change of pace for me and the kiddies. I can't tell you which one will win, but my 11-year old daughter felt strongly about The Fantastic Flying Books (admittedly, I dozed off during that one). I woke up in time for La Luna, which I found adorable and clever. I love when people comment about local city stuff...makes me feel as one with you all.

  20. KCosmo's neighbor8:28 PM

    By the way on Earth will you be watching all those movies this weekend? I guess sleeping is not a big priority. More power to ya. Back to the Animated Shorts (a topic for which I can offer some insight), I did think Morning Stroll was a bit creepy. My 8-year-old, edgy as she is, loved it. She has a high tolerance for creepiness.

    As for feature films...saw the Artist, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball...I think that's it. I think the Artist is a testament to good marketing. THAT should have been a short film...I think it would have been brilliant if it were 15 minutes long. Full got a bit boring.

    Happy viewing. For me, it's mostly about the dresses. I'm sure I'll be fulfilled.

    1. Watts7:18 PM

      Last year and this year I've gone to AMC's Best Picture Showcase, so that's five movies in one day. No sleep deprivation, but you have to have the free time.

  21. My view is that the Artist and Avatar both use a visual gimmick (silent/b&w and mo-cap/3-d, respectively) to distract from the fact that the stories they're telling have been told many times before and just as well, if not better.

  22. Maria8:41 AM

    Wooden bookshelves are an ideal way to improve the style and interior design of your home. Whether you go for the archaic, antiquated look, or prefer the modern wooden style, a well-made wooden bookshelf will enhance the look of any room.
    Wooden bookshelves