Posts Tagged ‘It’s Complicated’

Frenzy on the Wall: A Sad State of Affairs

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Let me start by saying that I didn’t see Life as We Know It because I’ve already seen it. Chances are you’ve seen it too. Based on the premise and the trailer, I’m fairly confident that I could predict every beat in that film. Not only do I know everything that will happen in it, I’m pretty sure I can predict how the actors will say their lines, when the music will reach a crescendo, when a montage will occur, and how it will be shot and edited. This is the nature of romantic comedies today; no innovation, just re-purposing old tricks that have worked well in the past. It is the one genre where it seems like nobody has any interest in creating art.

Look at Katherine Heigl’s filmography over the past four or five years and you’ll see that it is littered with nothing but romantic comedies. And, other than Knocked Up, there isn’t a single decent one. It’s not just that she’s in films that are unoriginal and uninspiring, but that the characters she generally plays is the same: uptight, hard-working, no sense of humor, shrill, etc.

Frankly, she’s playing a very specific female stereotype and it’s difficult for me to see her movies as particularly empowering to women when all of them involve her not finding happiness until she finds love with a man who is usually irresponsible or loutish or a murderer (as in Killers). So, the message of these movies – like The Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses and yes, even Knocked Up – is that if you’re a hard-working and mature woman in your late 20s or early 30s, then just loosen the fuck up and lower your standards already!

How many films have we seen that follow this pattern in the last few years? Hollywood continues to churn out romantic comedies with the same theme. I just find it fascinating that in all of these films it’s the woman who has to be the one to lower her standards in some way. Look at She’s Out of My League; hell, it’s in the title! She’s a wonderful, beautiful woman and she falls for an unattractive, fumbling man because he makes her laugh with his awkwardness? Yeah, sorry, I don’t think that relationship’s going to last a long time.

There’s a strange kind of propaganda with these films about marriage. Every film like this ends with a proposal, a wedding, a flash-forward to a point where they are already married, etc. It’s bizarre to think that there can’t be a romantic comedy that doesn’t end with the leads either getting married or having children. It’s even more bizarre to think that in this day and age we can’t have a romantic comedy that ends with our leads single. Sometimes in life, avoiding a relationship is the smartest move one can make, so why can’t we have a film that shows us that?

Know what would have been a perfect film to show us that? Sex and the City 1 or 2. I will always be disappointed in the way that show unfolded to the point where four self-reliant single women all became dependent on rich men for their happiness. When the show ended with each woman involved in committed relationships, I was aghast that an HBO show didn’t have the balls to follow through on its initial premise and have at least one of the women remaining single and fabulous.

They compounded that mistake in the first film by having Carrie actually get married, then realized that they had to find a way to extricate Samantha from her relationship so that future films wouldn’t be about four married women. Still, in the sequel, we have four happy women and so the filmmakers have to create things for the characters to do that we might find interesting; they painted themselves into a corner. So instead of giving us a narrative we find compelling, instead we get two and a half hours of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing different outfits! I understand fashion is a big part of the show and the films, but I’m willing to bet most people aren’t going to the movies to see women in their 40s try on different outfits.

But women love shopping, right? That’s what Hollywood has taught us, which is why we get a scene of women going to boutiques and trying on clothes in every other romantic comedy. I can think of one time when it worked well: Pretty Woman. It was an empowering moment for Julia Roberts in that film because she had been denied the opportunity by those snobby women earlier in the movie. In most “shopping” scenes since then, it just feels contrived.

The reason people went nuts for 500 Days of Summer last year was the fact that for once there were real people doing semi-realistic things that couples actually do. But even that film couldn’t help itself and had the happy ending and the scene where he quits his job with a big speech in front of a board room full of co-workers. Still, at least that film was attempting something different. Same goes for Adventureland. But these are films about a younger generation, so there is no marriage on the horizon and we can assume that they are young enough that these relationships might not last a lifetime.

Know what my favorite romantic comedy of the last year or so has been? Drew Barrymore’s Whip It. I’m not quite sure that I would call it a romantic comedy, although there are definitely scenes of romance and it is definitely a comedy. I don’t think that film got enough credit for what it accomplished: it gave us an empowered young female who realizes she might be getting played by her boyfriend and instead of forgiving him or believing his (possibly legitimate) excuse, she just kisses him and walks away. She’s a strong, independent woman who has bigger dreams (and nightmares) in her life than some dude who may or may not be in love with her. I was surprised because it went in a direction I did not expect, which is so rare for movies in general these days and especially for movies like that one.

Films like The Proposal, He’s Just Not That into You, It’s Complicated, Bride Wars, etc. I just don’t understand why anyone is seeing them. I keep hearing over and over that it’s because they are “fantasies.” But fantasies are supposed to be empowering or exciting; they are supposed to show us that we can lead lives that are different from our own. A true “fantasy” is something that most mere mortals cannot attain, so I don’t understand how getting engaged or married or having a child is a fantasy when it’s completely within the realm of possibility for most people.

I could see how Eat, Pray, Love could be considered a fantasy since most people don’t have the means or courage to do what Julia Roberts’ character does in that film. Although, again, her journey is not complete until she finds a man of course!

Look, I’ve written a lot about romantic comedies in this column and it’s because it’s one of my favorite genres. I complain only because I love. I mean, the films of Eric Rohmer are mostly romantic comedies, but they have almost no resemblance to what America has produced in the last twenty years. There is no risk-taking with romantic comedies these days. Look at Annie Hall, a film that is hailed as one of the greatest films in the genre; spoiler alert, Alvy Singer doesn’t get the girl in the end. How about Billy Wilder’s The Apartment? That film deals with suicide and adultery. Doubtful we’d find those two topics in romantic comedies made fifty years later.

One of my favorite romantic comedies of all-time (and indeed one of my personal favorite films of all-time), something I watched with my mother when I was growing up countless times, is a film called Seems Like Old Times. Neil Simon wrote it and it stars Goldie Hawn. She’s a lawyer who represents small-time crooks who are mostly illegal aliens. She’s married to the District Attorney (played by Charles Grodin) and her ex-husband (Chevy Chase) is a writer who is on the run for as crime he didn’t commit. It’s a complicated film that deals with complex emotional issues, but does so in a hilarious screwball way. Hawn also gets to play a woman who is never shrill, always accommodating and yet she’s tough, but sweet. She’s, you know, an actual person.

The craziest part is that Goldie Hawn is actually stuck trying to choose between two men she loves very deeply. As an audience, our allegiance shifts constantly and we don’t know how it will end or who she will end up with. Then, in a stroke of brilliance, the film ends on a moment of ambiguity. Can you imagine? Ambiguity at the end of a romantic comedy? I just need to say something I almost never say: when it comes to romantic comedies, they really don’t make them like they used to.

March 5

Friday, March 5th, 2010
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x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
147
2
Avatar
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
3
2
2
138
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
4
3
3
113
4
Up in the Air
3
3
4
4
5
4
5
4
4
4
5
5
2
4
4
106
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
5
6
6
4
5
5
8
4
4
7
5
5
87
6
Up
6
7
7
6
9
5
7
6
7
5
7
6
5
7
7
68
7
An Education
7
6
6
8
8
8
6
7
8
7
6
7
6
6
8
61
8
The Blind Side
9
10
10
7
4
7
9
10
3
6
10
10
8
10
6
46
9
District 9
8
9
8
9
10
9
8
8
10
9
8
9
9
8
9
34
10
A Serious Man
10
8
9
10
7
10
10
9
9
10
9
8
10
9
10
27

* Greg Ellwood moved Avatar to #1.
* Anne Thompson moved The Blind Side from #7 to #10, A Serious Man from #8 to #9, District 9 from #9 to #8, and Up from #10 to #7.
* Anthony Breznican moved The Hurt Locker from #3 to #1, Avatar from #1 to #2, and Up in the Air from #2 to #3

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x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
59
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
2
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
44
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air
4
3
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
4
5
5
4
4
4
27
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
5
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
5
5
5
20
………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
2
2
5
4
2
5
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
51
3
George Clooney
Up in the Air
4
3
2
3
3
2
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
44
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
37
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
73
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
3
2
2
2
60
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
39
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
2
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
5
4
4
2
4
4
4
36
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
* Pete Hammond moved Meryl Streep to #2.
.
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x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Crazy Heart
3
4
4
4
2
5
2
3
3
4
2
2
2
2
3
45
3
Anna Kendrick
Up in the Air
4
2
2
2
5
3
3
2
4
2
3
4
3
2
43
4
Vera Farmiga
Up in the Air
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
3
4
3
4
4
37
5
Penelope Cruz
Nine
5
5
5
5
3
2
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
19
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x
1
Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
3
2
2
3
3
4
2
2
4
2
2
2
3
2
3
51
3
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
4
5
4
2
2
2
4
4
2
3
3
2
3
4
40
4
Stanely Tucci
The Lovely Bones
2
4
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
4
5
4
4
2
33
5
Matt Damon
Invictus
5
3
3
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
20
……..……………………………..
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
69
2
Inglourious Basterds
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
66
3
Up
3
5
3
3
4
5
3
3
5
3
3
3
3
3
4
37
4
A Serious Man
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
5
3
4
5
5
4
3
27
5
The Messenger
4
3
5
5
5
3
5
4
4
5
4
4
5
5
23
………………………………………
x
1
Up in the Air
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
73
2
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
2
2
4
2
2
2
2
3
4
2
2
3
2
3
4
51
3
An Education
3
3
5
3
4
4
3
2
2
3
1
5
3
2
2
45
4
In the Loop
4
4
2
4
3
5
4
4
3
4
5
2
5
5
5
31
5
District 9
5
5
3
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
25
……….……………………………
x
The White Ribbon
Germany
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
61
Un Prophete
France
2
2
3
2
4
2
3
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
2
55
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
Argentina
4
4
2
1
1
3
1
3
3
1
4
1
1
4
51
Ajami
Israel
3
5
4
4
2
4
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
3
31
The Milk of Sorrow
Peru
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
……….……………………………
x
The Cove
Nominees TBD
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
73
Food, Inc
Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
58
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
3
4
2
4
1
3
3
5
3
5
3
5
4
3
36
Which Way Home
Rebecca Cammisa
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
3
4
4
4
3
3
2
5
28
Burma VJ
Anders Østergaard , Lise Lense-Møller
4
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
5
3
5
4
5
4
27
………………………………………..
x
Up
Pete Docter
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
3
51
Coraline
Henry Selick
4
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
4
2
2
46
The Princess and the Frog
John Musker and Ron Clements
3
4
4
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
3
4
4
28
The Secret of Kells
Tomm Moore
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
16
……………………………………….
x
Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
74
Sherlock Holmes
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
3
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
5
4
2
2
2
2
44
Nine
Art Direction: John Myhre Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
2
3
3
4
3
5
3
2
3
5
3
3
3
5
37
The Young Victoria
Art Direction: Patrice Vermette Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
4
5
5
2
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
2
4
4
3
34
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
5
1
2
5
5
4
5
5
2
2
4
5
5
4
30
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Mauro Fiore
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
72
The Hurt Locker
Barry Ackroyd
2
3
2
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
4
3
2
58
Inglourious Basterds
Robert Richardson
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
3
46
The White Ribbon
Christian Berger
5
2
5
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
4
5
32
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Bruno Delbonnel
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
17
Greg Ellwood and Pete Hammond moved Avatar to #1.
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x
The Young Victoria
Sandy Powell
1
4
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
67
Bright Star
Janet Patterson
4
2
3
4
2
2
2
2
5
2
5
3
3
3
3
45
Nine
Colleen Atwood
2
5
2
3
1
5
3
4
1
5
2
2
2
2
45
Coco Before Chanel
Catherine Leterrier
3
1
4
2
4
3
5
3
3
4
3
2
4
5
4
40
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Monique Prudhomme
5
3
5
5
5
4
4
5
2
3
4
5
4
5
25
……..……………………………..
x
The Hurt Locker
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
70
Avatar
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
63
Inglourious Basterds
Sally Menke
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
42
District 9
Julian Clarke
4
1
3
4
4
3
4
5
4
5
5
4
4
4
30
Precious
Joe Klotz
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
4
4
5
5
5
17
Susan Wloszczyna moved Hurt Locker to #1.
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x
Up
Michael Giacchino
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
68
Avatar
James Horner
3
2
2
2
2
1
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
60
The Hurt Locker
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
2
4
5
5
3
2
2
5
3
3
2
3
3
5
3
41
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Alexandre Desplat
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
4
4
4
4
5
27
Sherlock Holmes
Hans Zimmer
5
4
3
5
5
5
3
4
4
5
5
2
4
25
Susan Wloszczyna moved Up to #1.
.
………………………………………
x
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)
Crazy Heart
Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
“Down in New Orleans”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
2
4
3
2
5
2
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
2
3
47
Take it All”
Nine
Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
3
2
4
4
2
4
2
2
2
4
5
2
3
4
41
“Almost There”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
4
3
2
3
4
3
3
3
4
3
3
4
4
2
39
“Loin de Paname”
Paris 36
Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
5
5
5
5
2
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
18
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
72
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottoson
2
4
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
2
1
60
Inglourious Basterds
Wylie Stateman
3
5
5
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
4
3
3
39
Star Trek
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
4
2
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
3
4
4
32
Up
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
5
3
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
19
Pete Hammond and Greg Ellwood moved Avatar to number one.
.
………………………………………
x
Star Trek
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
2
70
The Young Victoria
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
1
3
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
2
1
2
2
1
62
Il Divo
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
3
3
3
48
* Anne Thompson moved Star Trek to #1.
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
69
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
66
Inglourious Basterds
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
4
4
4
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
39
Star Trek
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson, Peter J. Devlin
3
3
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
4
5
4
30
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
18
* Anne Thompson moved The Hurt Locker from #5 to #2, Transformers from #2 to #3, and Star Trek from #3 to #5
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
District 9
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
3
2
2
3
2
2
3
3
3
2
2
2
3
2
50
Star Trek
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
2
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
2
3
3
3
2
3
48

NOTE: Changes from last week are marked in bold.

The Gurus

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times


David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 25

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
……….……………………………
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
146
2
Avatar
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
3
2
2
137
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
4
3
3
113
4
Up in the Air
3
2
4
4
5
4
5
4
4
4
5
5
2
4
4
106
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
5
6
6
4
5
5
8
4
4
7
5
5
87
6
Up
6
7
7
6
9
5
7
6
7
5
7
6
5
10
7
65
7
An Education
7
6
6
8
8
8
6
7
8
7
6
7
6
6
8
61
8
The Blind Side
9
10
10
7
4
7
9
10
3
6
10
10
8
7
6
49
9
District 9
8
9
8
9
10
9
8
8
10
9
8
9
9
9
9
33
10
A Serious Man
10
8
9
10
7
10
10
9
9
10
9
8
10
8
10
28

……….……………………………
x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
59
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
2
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
44
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air
4
3
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
4
5
5
4
4
4
27
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
5
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
5
5
5
20
………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
2
2
5
4
2
5
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
51
3
George Clooney
Up in the Air
4
3
2
3
3
2
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
44
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
37
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
73
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
3
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
3
2
2
2
59
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
40
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
2
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
5
4
4
2
4
4
4
36
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
………………………………………
x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Crazy Heart
3
4
4
4
2
5
2
3
3
4
2
2
2
2
3
45
3
Anna Kendrick
Up in the Air
4
2
2
2
5
3
3
2
4
2
3
4
3
2
43
4
Vera Farmiga
Up in the Air
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
3
4
3
4
4
37
5
Penelope Cruz
Nine
5
5
5
5
3
2
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
19
…………………………………….
x
1
Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
3
2
2
3
3
4
2
2
4
2
2
2
3
2
3
51
3
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
4
5
4
2
2
2
4
4
2
3
3
2
3
4
40
4
Stanely Tucci
The Lovely Bones
2
4
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
4
5
4
4
2
33
5
Matt Damon
Invictus
5
3
3
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
20
……..……………………………..
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
69
2
Inglourious Basterds
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
66
3
Up
3
5
3
3
4
5
3
3
5
3
3
3
3
3
4
37
4
A Serious Man
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
5
3
4
5
5
4
3
27
5
The Messenger
4
3
5
5
5
3
5
4
4
5
4
4
5
5
23
………………………………………
x
1
Up in the Air
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
73
2
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
2
2
4
2
2
2
2
3
4
2
2
3
2
3
4
51
3
An Education
3
3
5
3
4
4
3
2
2
3
1
5
3
2
2
45
4
In the Loop
4
4
2
4
3
5
4
4
3
4
5
2
5
5
5
31
5
District 9
5
5
3
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
25
……….……………………………
x
The White Ribbon
Germany
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
61
Un Prophete
France
2
2
3
2
4
2
3
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
2
55
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
Argentina
4
4
2
1
1
3
1
3
3
1
4
1
1
4
51
Ajami
Israel
3
5
4
4
2
4
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
3
31
The Milk of Sorrow
Peru
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
……….……………………………
x
The Cove
Nominees TBD
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
73
Food, Inc
Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
58
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
3
4
2
4
1
3
3
5
3
5
3
5
4
3
36
Which Way Home
Rebecca Cammisa
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
3
4
4
4
3
3
2
5
28
Burma VJ
Anders Østergaard , Lise Lense-Møller
4
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
5
3
5
4
5
4
27
………………………………………..
x
Up
Pete Docter
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
3
51
Coraline
Henry Selick
4
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
4
2
2
46
The Princess and the Frog
John Musker and Ron Clements
3
4
4
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
3
4
4
28
The Secret of Kells
Tomm Moore
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
16
……………………………………….
x
Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
74
Sherlock Holmes
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
3
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
5
4
2
2
2
2
44
Nine
Art Direction: John Myhre Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
2
3
3
4
3
5
3
2
3
5
3
3
3
5
37
The Young Victoria
Art Direction: Patrice Vermette Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
4
5
5
2
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
2
4
4
3
34
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
5
1
2
5
5
4
5
5
2
2
4
5
5
4
30
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Mauro Fiore
1
1
2
3
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
69
The Hurt Locker
Barry Ackroyd
2
3
1
1
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
4
3
2
61
Inglourious Basterds
Robert Richardson
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
3
45
The White Ribbon
Christian Berger
5
2
5
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
4
5
32
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Bruno Delbonnel
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
17
…………………………………….
x
The Young Victoria
Sandy Powell
1
4
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
67
Bright Star
Janet Patterson
4
2
3
4
2
2
2
2
5
2
5
3
3
3
3
45
Nine
Colleen Atwood
2
5
2
3
1
5
3
4
1
5
2
2
2
2
45
Coco Before Chanel
Catherine Leterrier
3
1
4
2
4
3
5
3
3
4
3
2
4
5
4
40
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Monique Prudhomme
5
3
5
5
5
4
4
5
2
3
4
5
4
5
25
……..……………………………..
x
The Hurt Locker
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
69
Avatar
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
1
64
Inglourious Basterds
Sally Menke
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
42
District 9
Julian Clarke
4
1
3
4
4
3
4
5
4
5
5
4
4
4
30
Precious
Joe Klotz
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
4
4
5
5
5
17
………………………………………
x
Up
Michael Giacchino
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
68
Avatar
James Horner
3
2
2
2
2
1
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
1
60
The Hurt Locker
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
2
4
5
5
3
2
2
5
3
3
2
3
3
5
2
41
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Alexandre Desplat
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
4
4
4
4
5
27
Sherlock Holmes
Hans Zimmer
5
4
3
5
5
5
3
4
4
5
5
2
3
25
………………………………………
x
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)
Crazy Heart
Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
“Down in New Orleans”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
2
4
3
2
5
2
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
2
3
47
Take it All”
Nine
Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
3
2
4
4
2
4
2
2
2
4
5
2
3
4
41
“Almost There”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
4
3
2
3
4
3
3
3
4
3
3
4
4
2
39
“Loin de Paname”
Paris 36
Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
5
5
5
5
2
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
18
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
1
1
2
2
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
70
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottoson
2
4
1
1
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
2
1
62
Inglourious Basterds
Wylie Stateman
3
5
5
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
4
3
3
39
Star Trek
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
4
2
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
3
4
4
32
Up
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
5
3
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
19
………………………………………
x
Star Trek
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
2
2
69
The Young Victoria
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
1
3
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
2
1
2
1
1
63
Il Divo
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
3
3
3
48
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
69
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
5
1
63
Inglourious Basterds
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
4
4
4
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
39
Star Trek
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson, Peter J. Devlin
3
3
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
4
3
4
32
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
2
5
19
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
District 9
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
3
2
2
3
2
2
3
3
3
2
2
2
3
2
50
Star Trek
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
2
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
2
3
3
3
2
3
48

The Gurus

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times

David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 11

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Has anything changed in your
opinion since nominations?
If so, what?
Scott Bowles Nope
Anthony Breznican I don’t think much has changed. Jeff Bridges wins. Sandra Bullock wins. Christoph Waltz. Mo’Nique. Best picture — Avatar? Probably. But looking at the formula for calculating the 10 votes to include second and third choices makes me wonder how solid that is. Does that potentially benefit The Hurt Locker? Dark-horse Up in the Air? Invictus? (Wait, nevermind …) Probably Bigelow for director. Avatar for picture. Up in the Air gets adapted screenplay for Reitman, while Inglourious Basterds wins original screenplay for Tarantino. And overall, the Academy spreads the wealth during a very strong year.
Gregory Ellwood I think the only thing that has changed – ever so slightly – is that people would actually be surprised of Streep won Best Actress. It’s pretty much expected that Bullock will win.
Pete Hammond I think the Best Picture race is appearing more fluid because of the uncertainty of how the preferential balloting will affect certain films. Still no matter how many times I come up with an alternative premise that tries to make the race interesting and suspenseful I then talk to a handful of Oscar voters who tell me they are voting for The Hurt Locker. Go figure. No other changes in the acting races. They appear locked as far as I can see although the actress race has gotten more aggressive but will it help? We’ll see. It’s Bullock’s to lose at this point.
Eugene Hernandez In the wake of her DGA win and continued momentum for The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow seems to be solidly on track for the directing Oscar. Meanwhile Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique appear headed for wins, as well. I think Sandra Bullock is well positioned, but keep an eye on Meryl Streep. At this stage, is anyone willing to consider a surprise in this category: Gabourey Sidibe or Carey Mulligan. Not out of the question. Also, I’m keeping an eye on the doc category. Food Inc. seems solid, but The Cove got a boost this week with news of a release in Japan. Don’t count out Daniel Ellsberg, which is a strong film. Finally, best picture: In any other year I’d predict The Hurt Locker at this moment, but given the new ballot with ten nominees… We’ll all be holding our breath down to the final award of the night. Just what the Academy ordered.
Peter Howell I don’t think anything has changed, apart from firming up of the top prospects. I’ve talked to lot of people who are FINALLY going to see The Hurt Locker as result of the noms — which is good.
Dave Karger No, we’re definitely in a lull right now…
Mark Olsen
Nothing has changed, things have just solidified/been confirmed. It’s kind of the scourge of the extended awards season and our microscopic coverage, that we take much of the surprise out of it both for ourselves and anyone else who actually follows along. Of course, if things weren’t quite so predictable/understandable we’d all be out of business, so…
David Poland Well, there’s a lot of talk. Seems to me that the thing that has changed is that viewers of The Hurt Locker in The Academy has probably jumped from 40% to 90%. That’s a huge win.
Steve Pond What’s changed is that we’re looking for things to write about, and there aren’t as many of those things as there were a week ago.

Movement in the races, momentum shifts, that kind of thing? Not so much.

Sean Smith
Sasha Stone What has changed is that we are entering the second phase of the Oscar race. Not many people seem to notice that there was a date extension, which means that there are a few weeks with ballots outstanding. This is very different from the past several years when there wasn’t any time to mull over the frontrunners. That means there will be more careful consideration of the contenders.

Avatar has been seriously hurt by not winning the DGA or the PGA, or having any SAG nominations — heading into the Oscar race with no acting nor writing nominations means that it is weakest at the heart of the voting academy, where actors kind of rule. This change took place, it feels like, because of the momentum put forth by Cameron’s winning the Golden Globe. Voters after that in the various races seemed to go, “hold on a minute, THAT is the best film of 2009?” At the same time, though Avatar has become the highest earner, the week that ballots went out its position dipped to one behind Dear John. Had it remained in a dominant spot throughout these next few weeks it still might have been enough.What has changed, though, ultimately, is not a question we can answer because none of us have ever been through a ten-picture race. What is exciting is that anything is possible and no one should be surprised if a film not expected to win turns up in the number one spot, like Up or Precious, or even Inglourious Basterds. For me the miracle of this race, the truly surprising thing about it so far, is how well a small film written off by almost everyone (one that continues to be written off) keeps winning despite its box office returns. On the one hand, this could be seen as an anti-Cameron vote, on the other hand, wow.

The Oscar race is usually about the team who played it best. But this year it feels like it’s actually about the movie. That means that, perhaps, Hollywood might not be ready just yet to give up their nuts and bolts filmmaking and embrace the brave new world of computer-generated worlds and emotion-capture actors. On the other hand, maybe they are.

Kris Tapley Immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, journalists in the broader media began to dig into the red meat of ” Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker” and all the nifty headlines it conjured.  But at least in fringe corners of the web — where this nonsense is a focus (raises hand) — an awareness of the Best Picture category’s use of the preferential ballot has begun to pick up steam.  This is, after all, one more change in protocol that could have as big an impact as “the 10.”  Suddenly Avatar is understood as a more polarizing film than its competition, and therefore weak to surprise attacks from consensus favorites like Up, Up in the Air or even Inglourious Basterds.  That The Hurt Locker rarely inspires active disapproval probably makes the slow realization moot, but the simple fact that the race can’t be boiled to two contenders is at least making the rounds.
Anne Thompson It’s hard to imagine anything dive-bombing Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique’s Oscar chances. Sandra Bullock is not a lock to beat Meryl Streep. Many older Academy members are rooting for Hollywood’s most-nominated actress, who hasn’t won an Oscar since 1983’s Sophie’s Choice. And The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner, who actually played the piano and sang on The View, is challenging veteran Jeff Bridges, whose singing in Crazy Heart not only makes the movie, but should win him his first Oscar. Does Renner have a shot? Most folks didn’t call Adrien Brody’s win for The Pianist. But it’s Bridges’ turn.As for best picture and director, it’s Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker all the way. The trick is to convince people that Avatar isn’t just a great technological achievement but a movie to be taken seriously. That’s why I wonder: if Academy members vote for The Hurt Locker for best picture, wouldn’t they consider giving Cameron best director? Who else could have accomplished what he did on Avatar? It’s a director’s achievement. If it’s a popularity contest, self-effacing Bigelow wins against her egoistic ex-mate. But the Academy didn’t “like” Cameron last time, when Titanic won 11 Oscars. The major difference: Oscar voters took historic romantic period epic Titanic more seriously than tree-hugging sci-fi Avatar.
Susan Wloszczyna The excitement over Avatar and its record box office has subsided, Cameron gave a couple just-OK acceptance speeches and now it looks as if The Hurt Locker and — given the weighted voting — Inglourious Basterds might have a better chance at winning best picture. That surprises me since I would think Hollywood would celebrate the green the blue people brought in and how Cameron proved that 3D is not just a gimmick. Up in the Air seems to be deflating by the minute whereas Precious is taking its op-ed blows pretty well. As much as I am behind Team Bigelow, part of me would love to see a sci-fi film actually win the top prize.

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times


David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 2

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
……….……………………………
x
1
The Hurt Locker
3
1
1
1
2
1
2
2
1
3
1
1
1
2
142
2
Avatar
1
2
2
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
4
2
1
129
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
3
4
4
3
5
3
4
3
1
3
3
4
4
106
4
Up in the Air
2
4
3
6
5
3
5
5
4
5
4
2
3
3
100
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
9
8
4
5
6
5
5
79
6
Up
7
7
6
10
6
8
7
6
5
9
7
8
6
8
54
7
An Education
9
6
9
9
8
7
6
7
7
8
8
5
8
7
50
8
The Blind Side
8
8
7
3
7
9
8
3
6
10
10
7
9
6
52
9
District 9
5
9
8
8
9
6
9
8
9
6
6
9
7
9
46
10
A Serious Man
10
10
10
7
10
10
10
10
10
7
9
10
10
10
21

……….……………………………
x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
69
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
56
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
4
38
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air

2
5
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
4
3
4
3
29
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
17

………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
70
2
George Clooney
Up in the Air
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
3
4
3
2
2
47
3
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
3
5
4
3
5
2
4
2
3
2
2
2
4
3
40
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
4
3
3
4
4
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
3
4
32
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
68
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
2
2
2
2
58
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
4
5
4
3
3
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
32
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
3
5
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
3
3
4
4
3
32
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
3
5
3
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
20
………………………………………
x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
70
2
Anna Kendrick
Up in the Air
2
2
2
3
3
2
2
4
2
3
2
2
4
2
49
3
Vera Farmiga
Up in the Air
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
3
4
3
5
3
3
35
4
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Crazy Heart
4
4
4
2
5
3
3
5
4
2
4
3
2
4
35
5
Penelope Cruz
Nine

5
5
5
5
2
5
5
3
5
5
5
4
5
5
21
…………………………………….
x
1
Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
70
2
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
3
2
2
3
4
2
2
4
3
2
3
3
3
3
45
3
Stanely Tucci
The Lovely Bones
2
5
4
4
3
3
4
3
4
4
2
4
2
2
38
4
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
4
4
3
2
2
4
5
2
2
5
5
2
4
4
36
5
Matt Damon
Invictus
5
3
5

5

1
5
5
3
5
5
3
4
5
5
5
21
……..……………………………..
x
1
The Hurt Locker
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
62
2
Inglourious Basterds
1
3
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
1
4
1
1
61
3
Up
3
2
3
4
5
3
3
5
3
4
5
2
3
4
35
4
The Messenger
4
4
5
5
3
4
4
4
5
5
3
3
5
5
25
5
A Serious Man
5
5
4
3
4
5
5
3
4
3
4
5
4
3
27
………………………………………
x
1
Up in the Air
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
67
2
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
3
5
2
2
1
2
3
4
3
1
2
3
4
2
47
3
An Education
4
3
4
3
4
4
2
2
2
3
5
2
3
4
39
4
District 9
2
4
3
5
3
3
5
5
4
4
4
4
2
5
31
5
In the Loop
5
2
5
4
5
5
4
3
5
5
3
5
5
3
25
……….……………………………
x
The White Ribbon
Germany
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
43
Un Prophete
France
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
1
4
2
2
4