Oscar voters are out of touch, milquetoast, hopelessly middlebrow, and so old that they couldn’t even figure out how to e-vote, but it’s always been this way, and we still argue about it anyway. Even after Forrest Gump over Pulp Fiction, The English Patient over Fargo, Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan, etc. The list goes on, and we should know better. In 2013, no one should be surprised that the Academy’s choices are two parts wrong and ten parts boring, but if we’re going to bitch somewhere, it might as well be here. I may be a lot of things, but allergic to money isn’t one of them. And hey, as bad as the Oscars are, they’re still a thousand times better than the Grammys and the Emmys put together. So here they are, the best and worst of this year’s Oscar nominations. KNIVES OUT, SHITHEADS! IT’S TIME TO END SOME FRIENDSHIPS!
(FYI, you can find my reviews and best-of list and Burnsy’s Worst list at these links. The full list of nominations is at the bottom below).
Django Unchained. After getting snubbed at the DGAs and WGAs, it’s nice to see Tarantino’s latest get some love from the Academy, even though the very things that make me love it instead of just like it – that it’s so gleefully vulgar and deliberately lowbrow – are the same reasons it won’t win and didn’t receive more nominations.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Les Misérables. I’ve already gone over in great detail why Beasts isn’t a great movie. Even in terms of movies that appeal hard to pedantic white liberal fantasies, Life of Pi did it better, and in a much nicer way (not to mention, it had a carnivorous island full of meerkats).
Les Mis is just… God, it’s so predictable. You had the choice of nominating less than 10 (you’ll notice there are only nine nominees this year – here’s a refresher course on why), and Les Mis still made the list? I think of it like this: There are times in my life when I’ll be riding my fixed gear down to my local San Fran latte shop listening to This American Life on my iPhone; and other times when I’ll be eating chicken wings with my bros while we watch football and trash talk each other’s fantasy teams down at the sports bar. In both instances, I’ll think to myself, “God, I feel like such a stereotype right now,” and try to change something up. Oscar voters… never seem to have that thought. “A movie full of famous actors with dirty faces singing French songs about poverty and trying to f*ck each other? Oh hell yeah, more of that plz.” Les Mis would be insulting to Academy voters if they weren’t so dumb. Les Mis can derelicte my balls, capitan.
No Magic Mike? Are you kidding me? But I’m not surprised. It was inevitable that the Academy voters would only see the guy pumping up his blurry dick in the foreground, and not the nuanced, melancholy story about trying to find a place in the modern economy that those blurry dicks were framing. Looper? The Master? Again, not surprised, but the fact that Les Mis got in but not the best original sci-fi in years and Joaquin Phoenix’s most watchable performance isn’t going to go unmentioned here.
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