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 Award Season In Hell 
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
aww guys, don't give the Razzies attention.....

OK, fine. Anyone got any hot Oscar predictions?

I don't. Because "hot" is not in style this season. I'm guessing on a very safe rollout tomorrow.


Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:06 am
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No one enjoys a movie/performance they enjoy being shat on, I get it. The Razzies are about throwing stones at rich and successful people, it makes sense the choices they make are motivated by spite and vindictiveness and a sense of comeuppance. Also, maybe they really hated Mother! a lot of goddamn people certainly did.


Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:26 am
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I wonder if the powers that be at the Oscars can make a command decision to scrub Franco from the record in a Stalinesque move, cause tgat would be a smart and safe play.


Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:29 am
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Evil Prevails wrote:
No one enjoys a movie/performance they enjoy being shat on, I get it. The Razzies are about throwing stones at rich and successful people, it makes sense the choices they make are motivated by spite and vindictiveness and a sense of comeuppance. Also, maybe they really hated Mother! a lot of goddamn people certainly did.

The Razzies are like People magazine in reverse. Their scorn is very rarely rooted in whether a film is actually any good or not. Unlike a lot of people who hated mother!, I've taken the opportunity to read their complaints. The problem, typically, is that those who claim to hate the film haven't bothered to try to look into the possibility that they could be wrong. It's a provocative film, it's an unusual film. There's lots of provocative, unusual films that become cult classsics. The only problem with mother! is that it was laid onto mainstream audiences unaware.

By any objective metric, there were dozens of worse films in 2017, and worse by being bereft of creativity or risk. Aronofsky rolled the dice, and the audience saw their reflection in the irrational, stupidly arrogant masses on screen. I'm glad they left, but now they're throwing stones from the yard.


Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:47 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
By any objective metric, there were dozens of worse films in 2017,

And I didn't even bother listing any of the growing genre of Christian-audience films from last year, which amounts to two dozen titles alone. I'm sure some of you just adored The Shack, Let There Be Light or The Case For Christ.


Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:56 am
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Pretty safe with a handful of pleasant surprises.

The top of the latter has to be the nomination of Paul Thomas Anderson, a director who had been inexplicably omitted from previous director categories for his otherwise praised work in Phantom Thread. (And slightly sweeter since he bumped Martin McDonough out of a slot, but McDonough still got his shitty script recognized; here's hoping for a Get Out win where it truly deserves it.)

I'm also happy to see Denzel Washington get recognized, and that his Globe nom wasn't a fluke. I think that Roman J. Israel, Esq. is one of the most overlooked films of 2017, with Dan Gilroy making a distinctly different film than his previous Nightcrawler (which may have skewed critical expectation), but also a film that is a more sympathetic character study.

It's also disappointing to see The Florida Project being stripped down to DaFoe's supporting performance, ignoring the film's many other positive attributes. Also sad to see I Am Not Your Negro snubbed in the documentary category (although I'm unfamiliar with a couple here, like Abacus or Strong Island).

And I won't run it too far into the ground here, I'm well prepared to not see any major noms for my beloved mother!, but any fool with a glancing familiarity with the technology has to appreciate the film's excellent sound design all else aside. It is disappointing that the Academy couldn't see fit to offer a meager nom in one of the grunt awards, even ignoring Libatique's amazing camerawork or any of the more *subjective* creative assessments. I will suffer alongside Scorsese on this one.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:55 am
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I Am Not Your Negro was nominated for the 2016 Oscars if I remember correctly.
I'm pleased that The Big Sick got a screenplay nomination, but it would have been nice if Romano and Hunter slipped in as well.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:35 am
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Torgo wrote:
I Am Not Your Negro was nominated for the 2016 Oscars if I remember correctly.

Ah. I guess that in addition to seeing it this year, I've seen it on so many year-end lists to assume it was from 2017.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:45 am
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Torgo wrote:
I Am Not Your Negro was nominated for the 2016 Oscars if I remember correctly.
I'm pleased that The Big Sick got a screenplay nomination, but it would have been nice if Romano and Hunter slipped in as well.

Yea that would have been great. I think they had a real incredible dynamic in that movie.

This is an off topic post, but I saw Simon Pegg in I'm Alan Patridge just now. I realized that he probably should have had a few Oscar nominations by this point. Mainly for Shaun of the Dead and The World's End


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:01 am
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I have not seen many of the nominated films (because most of them are not yet released in Belgium) but here are some people who imo deserved a nomination:

Best Leading Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)
Best Leading Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (mother!)
Best Supporting Actor: Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
Best Supporting Actress: Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:17 am
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Slentert wrote:
Best Supporting Actress: Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Good call. Her and Sylvia Hoeks would have been worthy of a nomination.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:32 am
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Surprised The Boss Baby took a spot while The Lego Batman didn't, but the Academy similarly shut out The Lego Movie, which was one of the best movies of its year, so, y'know.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:34 am
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DaMU wrote:
Surprised The Boss Baby took a spot while The Lego Batman didn't, but the Academy similarly shut out The Lego Movie, which was one of the best movies of its year, so, y'know.

Didn't Lego Movie win Best Song that year?

Is no one brave enough to champion Captain Underpants?


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:57 am
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Slentert wrote:
Best Leading Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)

Haven't had a chance to see this one yet. A lot of smaller films I still have to see (like all of the foreign noms). Of course, people love to complain when the nominations are dominated by films that never went wide release, however deserving they may be.

I've noticed that quite a few folks are upset that Wonder Woman got nothing. I suppose that some technical awards would have open to it, maybe Costume (that backless blue dress should count for something!) or Visual FX (I thought Skull Island was a blast, but not exactly visionary or anything).


Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:04 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Didn't Lego Movie win Best Song that year?

Guess not.

In terms of screenplay, I can't believe that Imitation Game actually won the Adapted category that year. Yuck. Maudlin melodrama instead of subversive corporate satire? I thought the Academy were notorious for letting their children vote!


Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:12 am
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Apparently, You Were Never Really Here has yet to be released in the USA, for some weird reason. So the Academy has an excuse for not nominating Joaquin Phoenix.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:45 am
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Guess I'll try to cover some bases on my days off, plus final see PT. What do you guys see winning best pic this year? I'm getting a feeling it's Lady Bird or maybe TBBOEM.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:22 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I've noticed that quite a few folks are upset that Wonder Woman got nothing. I suppose that some technical awards would have open to it, maybe Costume (that backless blue dress should count for something!) or Visual FX ....

[sigh] I guess you can only give so much attention to female directors and their projects in one year...wouldn't want them to get a big head or anything. :roll:

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:36 am
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topherH wrote:
Guess I'll try to cover some bases on my days off, plus final see PT. What do you guys see winning best pic this year? I'm getting a feeling it's Lady Bird or maybe TBBOEM.


if anyone asks me, I'm just going to go with 538's predictions.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/oscars-2018-early-predictions-nominations/


Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:48 am
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Gort wrote:
[sigh] I guess you can only give so much attention to female directors and their projects in one year...wouldn't want them to get a big head or anything. :roll:

Well, when they start a category for Best Comic Book Origin Story, then let me know. Otherwise Patty Jenkins can move on to more personal projects.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:22 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Didn't Lego Movie win Best Song that year?

Is no one brave enough to champion Captain Underpants?


From the snippets I saw, I think I would like Underpants. It has a nicely subversive air about it.

Then again, Boss Baby did have that one scene that I found hilarious.

I thought My Life as a Zucchini was snubbed until someone pointed out that got nominated last year.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:08 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
It looks like mother! has racked up a few Razzie noms. Cute. Let's look at some of the films that did not receive Razzie noms, shall we?

The Dark Tower
Justice League
Wonder
Pitch Perfect 3
Power Rangers
The Bye Bye Man
The Great Wall
Going In Style
King Arthur
xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Jigsaw
American Assassin
Geostorm
Kidnap
Underworld: Blood Wars
Life
Rings
The House
Resident Evil: Final Chapter
Tulip Fever
CHiPs
Father Figures
Flatliners
The Snowman
The Book of Henry

Friend Request
9/11
The Last Face

And Box Office Mojo just crashed, no doubt under the weight of this depressing disappointment.

We're either supposed to pretend that all of these films are better than mother!, or perhaps the Razzies are really in the business of spitting on stars.


It's about the big people who made the big mistakes in 2017.

I'm shocked, shocked that they didn't find room for the bolded entries. I think I would have thought 9/11 (for Sheen, naturally) and Flatliners (worst ripoff, remake or sequel) deserved nods.

But unstop right there for Wonder (85 percent RT) and Life (67 percent). Both are fairly good flicks (supposedly).


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:16 pm
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Torgo wrote:
I Am Not Your Negro was nominated for the 2016 Oscars if I remember correctly.
I'm pleased that The Big Sick got a screenplay nomination, but it would have been nice if Romano and Hunter slipped in as well.


It was. It did get a 2017 release which causes confusion.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:22 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
But unstop right there for Wonder (85 percent RT) and Life (67 percent). Both are fairly good flicks (supposedly).

I will not suppose, AP.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:42 pm
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Blade Runner 2049's snubs in non technical categories were offset by the nominations that Phantom Thread received for me. Best Picture is basically a coin toss between Three Billboards and The Shape of Water.


Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:56 pm
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This will probably be the first time I watch the Oscars in years. What an exciting bunch of nominees. Lady Bird and The Shape of Water are both great. Maybe watch Three Billboards tomorrow.


Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:11 pm
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The theaters 'round here have been dry as a bone for weeks, and all of a sudden, we've got Phantom Thread, Shape of Water and Hostiles all at once. Going to be a busy week.


Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:59 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Pretty safe with a handful of pleasant surprises.

The top of the latter has to be the nomination of Paul Thomas Anderson, a director who had been inexplicably omitted from previous director categories for his otherwise praised work in Phantom Thread. (And slightly sweeter since he bumped Martin McDonough out of a slot, but McDonough still got his shitty script recognized; here's hoping for a Get Out win where it truly deserves it.)
While, as imagine you already know, I wouldn't have nom'd Get Out for Best Pic or Director (especially not the latter, as the general lack of atmosphere throughout most of GO was my biggest issue with that film), I actually don't mind it getting a nod for Screenplay, as that aspect of the film worked for the most part, and I don't mind Kaluuya getting a nom either, as he put in a good, empathetic performance in it. Anyway, in other news, even though it should've gotten some acting nods (as well as Best Picture, if I had my druthers), I still very pleased to see Logan become the first superhero film to get a nom for Best Adapted Screenplay; not saying it'll win or anything, but it's a step in the right direction for the genre in terms of serious recognition, and hopefully, is a forebear of more good news for comic adaptations in the future (Infinity War for Best Picture...? Who knows!).

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Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:00 am
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I'm hoping that the award trend continues, and that Guillermo del Toro will walk away with the Best Director award, although this will probably mean another year with split winners at the top.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:25 am
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I have not even seen The Shape of Water yet (it will be released here next week) but I'm already rooting for Del Toro to win Best Director. I don't know why, I just like the guy.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:27 am
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Slentert wrote:
I have not even seen The Shape of Water yet (it will be released here next week) but I'm already rooting for Del Toro to win Best Director. I don't know why, I just like the guy.

And I still need to see Phantom Thread when I get a chance, which I believe will be the primary competition for the Director knob.

No offense to Gerwig, I'm happy to see her nominated, but Ladybird doesn't quite have the same effective vision, which is a lot to expect from a semi-debut (especially one schooled in mumblecore). I guess if Nolan wins, I won't be mad either. I didn't connect with his film like I did others, but it's technically accomplished, no doubt.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:41 pm
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Anderson deserves best director over del Toro, hands down. But that may be due to my feelings that Phantom Thread is an elegantly executed piece of intrigue while The Shape of Water is stupid trash.

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Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:43 pm
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BL wrote:
The Shape of Water is stupid trash.

This pesciphobia will not stand.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:13 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
This pesciphobia will not stand.
Setting aside the fish-fucking, which is stupid in its own right, the movie is just badly plotted and offensively simplistic in its treatment of social issues and minorities. We're asked to accept that Sally Hawkins has a plan for freeing the fish man, but she somehow doesn't account for removing his shackles, a detail that is entirely dependent on the intervention of Michael Stuhlbarg's character, which she couldn't possibly have accounted for. Fuck you, movie. We're also treated to the delight of Richard Jenkins's Tragic Gay Man who is so fucking shallow that he has to be explicitly rejected by his cartoon fantasy straight dude before he decides to accept the degradation of engaging in this idiotic scheme. Fuck you, movie. And then we have Michael Shannon's character. Is he the bad guy? I couldn't tell after his explicit racist and sexist dialogue, I guess we should just have him literally rot from the core. Fuck you so hard, movie. And that's not to mention the unbelievable minstrel act that Octavia Spencer performs in this movie. I'm just surprised she didn't utter the phrase "I don't know nothin' 'bout fuckin' no fish."

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Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:23 pm
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BL wrote:
We're also treated to the delight of Richard Jenkins's Tragic Gay Man who is so fucking shallow that he has to be explicitly rejected by his cartoon fantasy straight dude before he decides to accept the degradation of engaging in this idiotic scheme. Fuck you, movie.

This part was pretty cringe-inducing, I agree. He doesn't need to be explicitly rejected in order for us to understand his loneliness and alienation, which is pretty clear right from the start.

BL wrote:
And then we have Michael Shannon's character. Is he the bad guy? I couldn't tell after his explicit racist and sexist dialogue, I guess we should just have him literally rot from the core.

Yeah, but he's Michael Shannon, doing his Michale Shannon thing, and in terms of 50s archetypes, they weren't very dimensional either. Also, I never minded the clear villainy of Captain Vidal either.

BL wrote:
And that's not to mention the unbelievable minstrel act that Octavia Spencer performs in this movie. I'm just surprised she didn't utter the phrase "I don't know nothin' 'bout fuckin' no fish."

I strongly disagree. I've known black women who talk this way. Acting authentically black is not the same thing as shucking and jiving.

I'm going to just use this as positive reinforcement to hoping how good Phantom Thread will be. If it's that much better, than I will ride PTA all the way to the finish line.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:41 pm
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Some people clearly don't realize that The Shape of Water is a fantasy movie. You people are taking it apart like it's Citizen Kane. It's a good movie and took me away from real life for 2 hours. You people must have expected a social message.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:48 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
And I still need to see Phantom Thread when I get a chance, which I believe will be the primary competition for the Director knob.

No offense to Gerwig, I'm happy to see her nominated, but Ladybird doesn't quite have the same effective vision, which is a lot to expect from a semi-debut (especially one schooled in mumblecore). I guess if Nolan wins, I won't be mad either. I didn't connect with his film like I did others, but it's technically accomplished, no doubt.


That's Lady Bird. Two words.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:50 pm
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Best director will go to Del Toro. Best film will probably go to The Shape of Water but I wouldn't count Lady Bird out. It's nice to see Greta Gerwig nominated for best director (the academy needs to recognize more women) but she won't win. Anderson will again go empty handed. I don't think he got the award for any of his script nominations but he sure deserved it. At least for Magnolia.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:53 pm
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BL wrote:
Setting aside the fish-fucking, which is stupid in its own right


Image

also I haven't seen TSoW yet and while I like Del Toro as a director (and as a person), your review gives me flashbacks to when I saw Titanic and Avatar and realized a great commercial director a bit out of his depth when tackling the sort of Big Important Issues that usually garner the kind of Respectability that Roger Corman could never hope to achieve (whether he wants it or not). not that I don't fault him for aiming for something better than Mimic or Blade 2


Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:01 pm
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Janson Jinnistan wrote:
Yeah, but he's Michael Shannon, doing his Michale Shannon thing, and in terms of 50s archetypes, they weren't very dimensional either. Also, I never minded the clear villainy of Captain Vidal either.
I think Shannon's throbbing-temple portrayal of lunatic authority has devolved pretty far into shtick for me, and I never found Captain Vidal to be a particularly interesting character, either.

Janson Jinnistan wrote:
I strongly disagree. I've known black women who talk this way. Acting authentically black is not the same thing as shucking and jiving.
I suppose I shouldn't lay the blame entirely at Spencer's feet because it's not just about how her character speaks but how her character functions (or fails to) from scene to scene. It's a combination of script and performance that results in something that leans far too uncomfortably into a retrograde portrayal of a black character who only exists to enable the main character's journey or otherwise be laughed at. I don't think she's "authentically" anything.

She offers obnoxiously motor-mouthed comic relief and bug-eyed reaction shots until the movie needs her to instantly flip from potential obstacle to accessory to the main character's scheme. Then she just flips from any of those modes depending entirely on what the movie needs her to be to move any particular scene forward. There's no core to her character. I mean,
girl talk about the mechanics of fish dick is all well and good, but shouldn't her end of that conversation have gone more along the lines of "Hey, I didn't exactly make this decision to risk my job, my life and my family's well-being so you could get your interspecies fuck on..."
Instead, the movie just wants to go for the cheap, crude laugh, and whenever the movie wants to go cheap and crude, you can bet Spencer's character will be front and center.

I think all of this would be less galling if the movie didn't keep insisting on pushing the Civil Rights movement into the foreground. It's a clumsy thrust at allegorical relevance to try to link the political plight of black Americans of that era to a
housecat-eating
fish man, as that's a pretty dicey analogue any way you cut it. So instead, the movie is left to broad and uncontroversial condemnations of comfortably-in-past racism and homophobia, all while ignoring how shabbily it treats its black and gay characters, not as a reflection of institutional bias but because it can't be bothered to imagine interior lives for these characters beyond what will serve the main character's convenience.

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Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:23 am
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BL wrote:
I suppose I shouldn't lay the blame entirely at Spencer's feet because it's not just about how her character speaks but how her character functions (or fails to) from scene to scene. It's a combination of script and performance that results in something that leans far too uncomfortably into a retrograde portrayal of a black character who only exists to enable the main character's journey or otherwise be laughed at. I don't think she's "authentically" anything.

These characters are guilty of being tropes, and I'm only surprised that you left out Stuhlbarg, who also plays a picture-perfect Rosenberg stereotype out of a John Birch wet dream. I still don't mind that so much because the film is deliberately playing in these tropes. One could argue whether Jenkins or Spencer actually deserved nominations for their performances (neither of which are among their best), but I will still say that Sally Hawkins deserves hers.

BL wrote:
She offers obnoxiously motor-mouthed comic relief and bug-eyed reaction shots until the movie needs her to instantly flip from potential obstacle to accessory to the main character's scheme. Then she just flips from any of those modes depending entirely on what the movie needs her to be to move any particular scene forward. There's no core to her character. I mean,
girl talk about the mechanics of fish dick is all well and good, but shouldn't her end of that conversation have gone more along the lines of "Hey, I didn't exactly make this decision to risk my job, my life and my family's well-being so you could get your interspecies fuck on..."
Instead, the movie just wants to go for the cheap, crude laugh, and whenever the movie wants to go cheap and crude, you can bet Spencer's character will be front and center.

It sounds like you're confusing her performance with the one from The Help. Spencer, unfortunately or not, has bug-eyes. If you ask her to look astonished, she's going to look bug-eyed. I don't think this is enough to label her performance as "minstrely". Also, problems with her character's utility (which I can't really defend) is not an issue with her performance either. I think it's an unfair charge.

BL wrote:
I think all of this would be less galling if the movie didn't keep insisting on pushing the Civil Rights movement into the foreground. It's a clumsy thrust at allegorical relevance to try to link the political plight of black Americans of that era to a
housecat-eating
fish man, as that's a pretty dicey analogue any way you cut it. So instead, the movie is left to broad and uncontroversial condemnations of comfortably-in-past racism and homophobia, all while ignoring how shabbily it treats its black and gay characters, not as a reflection of institutional bias but because it can't be bothered to imagine interior lives for these characters beyond what will serve the main character's convenience.

Fair enough.

Speaking of which, I noticed that all three of the black quasi-characters in Three Billboards are also shallow, cardboard faces which only serve as devices for the other characters rather than existing as fully-fledged characters themselves. And maybe that wouldn't be an issue if the film wasn't also tied up in pushing some vague kind of message about racism and police brutality.


Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:55 am
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I have seen four of the Best Picture nominees so far. Get Out is great, Dunkirk is near great, Darkest Hour is good, and I liked The Post way more than I probably should have.

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Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:01 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Speaking of which, I noticed that all three of the black quasi-characters in Three Billboards are also shallow, cardboard faces which only serve as devices for the other characters rather than existing as fully-fledged characters themselves. And maybe that wouldn't be an issue if the film wasn't also tied up in pushing some vague kind of message about racism and police brutality.
The marginalization of black characters in Three Billboards is unfortunate, but I think what makes it a less fatal flaw is that I don't share the notion that the movie is ultimately concerned with taking a moral stand on racism or police brutality. Mildred makes a big stink about those issues, but I think the movie makes it clear that her anger is misdirected and not really about those things. She's no more a champion for oppressed POC than she is a defender against child abuse for back-talking a priest. She's a person lashing out against injustices not because she's a righteous person (the movie makes very clear this isn't the case) but because a less obviously explicable injustice has befallen her and she has nowhere else to channel her rage. Racism for Mildred is just another rhetorical point to score against those people she blames for that personal injustice. If black people are at the margins of her story, I think it's a reflection of how she isn't really walking the walk on that issue. And given how thoroughly the movie complicates our relationship with its characters, I don't think it's particularly interested endorsing any of their viewpoints on race relations in America.

By contrast, The Shape of Water's moral universe is pretty black-and-white. So I find the movie thoroughly hypocritical when it keeps pushing this Civil Rights angle while treating its own black and gay characters like accessories to its supposedly faultless protagonist. I'd have a lot more problems with Three Billboards if it opened with Peter Dinklage's character telling us in voiceover what a perfect little princess Mildred is. Disliking Mildred, her ethics and her treatment of other people is a reaction that Three Billboards leaves perfectly open to the audience, but when I find that Sally Hawkins's character is selfish and treats the people around her badly, I know I'm going against every cloying, forced sentiment of The Shape of Water.

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Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:04 am
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Phantom Thread is deserving of pretty much anything it's nominated for, and probably much of what it isn't. I haven't seen Darkest Hour yet, but it's hard to fathom how Oldman's jowls could possible compete. I also thought that Vicky Krieps was splendid, and totally deserving a nom beside Leslie Manville's invocation of Judith Anderson.


Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:44 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I also thought that Vicky Krieps was splendid, and totally deserving a nom beside Leslie Manville's invocation of Judith Anderson.
This was the real revelation of the movie for me. One of the faults I find with There Will Be Blood is how badly Day-Lewis steamrolls Paul Dano off the screen. With Krieps, you totally believe she's up to the challenge with this guy.

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Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:53 am
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BL wrote:
The marginalization of black characters in Three Billboards is unfortunate, but I think what makes it a less fatal flaw is that I don't share the notion that the movie is ultimately concerned with taking a moral stand on racism or police brutality.

I don't think that Civil Rights is the ultimate concern of The Shape of Water. Ultimately, the film is primarily a romantic fantasy. The stereotypes of the 50s are wed to the genre tropes of that era in a way that gives a more contemporary light on them. This can fall into the heavy-handed at times, just as Shannon is basically a cartoon, bizarro Elliot Ness, but any political message is ultimately subordinate to the fantasy tale itself.

In Three Billboards, the race aspect isn't central as you point out, but it does comprise a crucial arc regarding Sam Rockwell's Deputy Dixon character. So I see these aspects in both films to be significant themes that are comparable.

BL wrote:
I find that Sally Hawkins's character is selfish and treats the people around her badly

I disagree again. Hawkins (Elisa) here did not
rescue the creature for her own pleasure. We're not really informed at what point, or how spontaneous or impulsive, her affair was initiated. Her initial plan was to save the creature, and it was done selflessly enough to potentially sacrifice her own job and livelihood and likely freedom in order to do it. (Her only selfish impulse was in briefly considering suspending the plan to set him free at high tide.) Jenkins (Giles) is asked to participate in the escape, not forced or otherwise manipulated against his will. Giles made the choice to do it (in an otherwise manipulative scene that was not of Elisa's engineering). As for Octavia (Zelda), she was not involved at all, only stumbling upon the act as it was occurring. Elisa did not "treat her badly" by allowing Zelda to then choose to help her out further.


Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:02 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
In Three Billboards, the race aspect isn't central as you point out, but it does comprise a crucial arc regarding Sam Rockwell's Deputy Dixon character. So I see these aspects in both films to be significant themes that are comparable.
I've read a lot of grievances over Dixon's arc, and they tend to (and I'm not trying to put words in your mouth) focus on some notion that Dixon's story is one of redemption. I'm not buying that. I don't think Dixon is a better person at the end of the movie. I think he's tricked himself into thinking he's a better person, the same way Mildred at the beginning of the movie has tricked herself into thinking she's righteous. It's not a coincidence that we meet both characters in rearview mirrors or that they end up in a car together contemplating a very fucked-up mission of "justice." These are two characters with very broken moral compasses, but the movie goes about revealing that in opposite manners. The corruption in Dixon is apparent from the beginning, while the corruption in Mildred is unveiled over time. But fundamentally, I think the movie shows us it's there in both characters at the end.

Jinnistan wrote:
I disagree again. Hawkins (Elisa) here did not
rescue the creature for her own pleasure. We're not really informed at what point, or how spontaneous or impulsive, her affair was initiated. Her initial plan was to save the creature, and it was done selflessly enough to potentially sacrifice her own job and livelihood and likely freedom in order to do it. (Her only selfish impulse was in briefly considering suspending the plan to set him free at high tide.) Jenkins (Giles) is asked to participate in the escape, not forced or otherwise manipulated against his will. Giles made the choice to do it (in an otherwise manipulative scene that was not of Elisa's engineering). As for Octavia (Zelda), she was not involved at all, only stumbling upon the act as it was occurring. Elisa did not "treat her badly" by allowing Zelda to then choose to help her out further.
And what of
flooding her apartment to get her fuck on, thereby risking not just her residency but, given the landlord's apparent knowledge of their closeness, that of Jenkins, which is even more precarious due to the era and his sexuality? And what's with the lack of her even once thanking Spencer or even acknowledging the risks she's taken on her behalf?
This after Spencer apparently covered for her late ass every damn day at work. Really, we had more time for fish dick talk but not a "thank you"? And these subordinate characters just fucking smile and take it as part of her "charm." Sorry, she didn't charm me. She was just a fundamentally selfish character.

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Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:27 am
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BL wrote:
I've read a lot of grievances over Dixon's arc, and they tend to (and I'm not trying to put words in your mouth) focus on some notion that Dixon's story is one of redemption.

I think I said, in response to those reviews making this claim, that any such redemption narrative was unconvincing. I'm not entirely sure to what extent McDonaugh's plan for his arc was, but he has pointed out that "Sam's character starts off as someone who is totally reprehensible – or seemingly so – but it's his change is almost the most interesting one." Whether this "change" can be seen as redeeming or not is up for grabs. It's at least a regulating change, but I still didn't find it convincing. My biggest gripe with the film is that I found it unnecessarily spiteful, for little or no real purpose. Pointing out that these are simply flawed humans doesn't quite alleviate that spite from it.

Jinnistan wrote:
And what of
flooding her apartment to get her fuck on, thereby risking not just her residency but, given the landlord's apparent knowledge of their closeness, that of Jenkins, which is even more precarious due to the era and his sexuality? And what's with the lack of her even once thanking Spencer or even acknowledging the risks she's taken on her behalf?
This after Spencer apparently covered for her late ass every damn day at work. Really, we had more time for fish dick talk but not a "thank you"? And these subordinate characters just fucking smile and take it as part of her "charm." Sorry, she didn't charm me. She was just a fundamentally selfish character.

For the first point...well. OK, that was pretty foolish (and I don't believe she apologized for this either). For Zelda, you may be right, but I didn't notice it at the time. I seem to remember some non-verbal gratitude, but nothing specific enough to refute it.


Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:15 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I think I said, in response to those reviews making this claim, that any such redemption narrative was unconvincing. I'm not entirely sure to what extent McDonaugh's plan for his arc was, but he has pointed out that "Sam's character starts off as someone who is totally reprehensible – or seemingly so – but it's his change is almost the most interesting one." Whether this "change" can be seen as redeeming or not is up for grabs. It's at least a regulating change, but I still didn't find it convincing. My biggest gripe with the film is that I found it unnecessarily spiteful, for little or no real purpose. Pointing out that these are simply flawed humans doesn't quite alleviate that spite from it.
Problems with McDonagh's venom I can understand. It's a quality I think runs throughout his work, both theatrical and cinematic. Knowing how caustic and cynical he typically is, I may be unusually forgiving of this film. I think it's as close to genuine humanism as he's gotten while still retaining his biting sense of humor.

Jinnistan wrote:
For the first point...well. OK, that was pretty foolish (and I don't believe she apologized for this either). For Zelda, you may be right, but I didn't notice it at the time. I seem to remember some non-verbal gratitude, but nothing specific enough to refute it.
That's the thing: I have an inkling that I've seen the movie more recently than you and with fresher emotion, but there may be details you picked up on more precisely than I did (or that I've completely forgotten/ignored), and vice versa. But nonetheless, my impression of the main character on first viewing was supremely negative, and I think it accumulated based on several scenes that I felt showed distinct ungratefulness on her part.

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Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:29 pm
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BL wrote:
Problems with McDonagh's venom I can understand. It's a quality I think runs throughout his work, both theatrical and cinematic. Knowing how caustic and cynical he typically is, I may be unusually forgiving of this film. I think it's as close to genuine humanism as he's gotten while still retaining his biting sense of humor.

In my initial review of the film, I pointed out how his venom was less of a problem for me in his prior two films because I think that his characters are largely treated with a certain amount of cynical distance. So his humanism here actually creates part of the problem that I had with it, as it balances very awkwardly with the venom. The tonal shifts from sarcastic dark humor to emotional pathos basically made both sides seem more cheap to me. The issue with the black characters is just a minor example of what I saw as the film's insincerity. Maybe that insincerity is merely botched sincerity. I don't know. Either way, I wasn't buying any of it.

Jinnistan wrote:
That's the thing: I have an inkling that I've seen the movie more recently than you and with fresher emotion, but there may be details you picked up on more precisely than I did (or that I've completely forgotten/ignored), and vice versa. But nonetheless, my impression of the main character on first viewing was supremely negative, and I think it accumulated based on several scenes that I felt showed distinct ungratefulness on her part.

I think that there's definitely some subjective divergencies. As a romantic fantasy, I was probably more willing to excuse some of the more whimsically implausible stuff (certainly the bathroom scene), and as an exercise in throwing back to 50s sci-fi, I was less irritated by it being filtered through a less nuanced perspective on stereotypes. I saw it, essentially, as being more of a fairy tale than anything, and I thought, with those genre presumptions and its lovely visual aesthetic, that it was very engaging. Maybe engaging enough to ignore a lot of logical flaws.


Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:02 pm
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