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Major suckfests. Major, major suckfests that the Academy endorsed because, like thees movies, the Academy is made up of retarded devil-spawn that have been sent to slay all that is righteous and holy.
Easy for me. Chicago is like one of the only musicals I enjoyed.
Oh, that's harsh, Cleckley. :-) Actually, I'm with fishbiscuit in that I don't normally like musicals, but I did like Chicago. I'm still choosing Avatar, though.
Chicago is an amazing as far as musicals go, Avatar is great too, but I got to go with Chicago here, just for the fact that it showed the genre doesn't have to be dead.
Chicago has the style and charm to win this.
Wow, the Academy hating is a little harsh. I'm a pretty big Oscar watcher, even if I don't necessarily agree with a lot of their choices over the years (Sorry Sandra!). But its a BIG win for Chicago here. One of the best movie musicals of all time, easily trumping Avatar. And not a suckfest =).
Perhaps once upon a time the Academy had some skid-mark size modicum of credibility. Not any more...Hurt Locker over Inglorious...Avatar nomination...Slumdog Millionaire...Crash...Baby over Aviator...Chicago...Titanic...Shakespeare in Love...DiCaprio jacked by Idi Amin...Crowe snubbed for brawling...Pianist beats Butcher...Roberts' tits over Burstyn...and finally SANDRA WTF BLLOCK!!!
I do agree with some of those points, including Bullock, Million Dollar Baby Over Aviator, the Whitaker win for his not so great performances as Idi Amin, and even Inglourious Basterds not winning. But really, as someone who likes Slumdog Millionaire, Crash, Chicago, Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, and even the Julia Roberts performance in Erin Brockovich, it seems to me that it might just come down to you're taste in genre. The one thing you can say about the Academy is that it has recognized a lot of different genres, and really, hasn't had a truly terrible movie win Best Picture since maybe The English Patient, though many people hate on Crash (though I like it). The way I take the Academy is that my tastes don't always line up with them, but really, can I be mad when a movie like The Hurt Locker wins over Basterds, when it is still a damn good movie? Nope.
I'd pick The Hurt Locker over Basterds, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. There's nothing wrong with Titanic; it's fashionable to hate on it, but it's a damn good movie. (I personally prefer L.A. Confidential, but I can't really argue with the Academy's choice that year.) No, I can't always agree with the Academy, but when it comes to Chicago, I'm much more comfortable with it having beaten The Lord of the Rings to Best Picture than I was with A Beautiful Mind...
Chicago isn't terrible. Sure it's not Best Picture worthy nor even Best Picture nominations worthy. Maybe the second best picture featuring Richard Gere in his undercrackers, but the Academy doesn't have a category for that yet. Ultimately, it just shows horrible the taste of the Academy is, and that it's no match for hindsight, posterity or film-ranking websites for picking the greats from the turds.
@marvelboy888 Well, if we're saying that it's all down to taste (purely subjective) than I hold firm to my snobbery and I say, with self-serving applomb, that my tastes are vastly superior to that of the Academy's. Of course, if it's all down to tastes then the whole existence of the Academy is rendered moot. If however the Academy is supposed to be someway objective about film-making (if you believe that that is possible - which I sort of do) then we do have an arguement here. Let's look at those films (I'll give you Hurt Locker 'cause, as you say, it's not a bad movie, just not a great one). Crash; mind-numbingly preachy simplification of an Avenue Q hook; dull examination of the human condition and the not so molten content of the American melting pot. Slumdog Millionaire; saccherine essay on love conquering all as viewed through the eyes of some charmless dude whose life is magically tracked through seemingly arbitrary questions on a faded quiz show; a movie unwilling (or unable) to dig into harsh poverties of the subcontinent (some of my forefathers are from there... it's really fucked up in some places). I don't remember much about Shakespeare in Love (other than the overwhelming boredom I felt while trudging through its runtime) so I can't mount an attack. Julia Roberts; did she really have a role that was halfway challenging? I mean she really didn't have to do much emoting (certainly not as much as Burstyn anyway).
@JohnMason and MarvelBoy888. Titanic is too a mediocre to crappy film. Ok, it has some great visuals, Billy Zane and an entertaining hour nearing the end (and even a cheesily catchy Celine Dion song). But c'mon. How about the horrible dialogue ("You jump I jump." Or "Of course it's unfair. We're women. Our choices are never easy." Or "Rose, you're no picnic, all right? You're a spoiled little brat, even, but under that, you're the most amazingly, astounding, wonderful girl...woman that I'll ever know")? Or the contrivances near the end (the returning violinists and the Captain suffering from some sort of catatonia)? Or the shameless historical inaccuracies? Or caricatured characters? Or how about the premise: taking a notable tragedy and turning it into a(nother) schmaltzy love story? Or how about that senile old woman throwing a priceless jewel into the sea? I don't hate on the movie (or the Academy) because it's fashionable. Nope. I have highlights in my hair and like to rock epaulettes because they're fashionable... Titanic bashing isn't really that high on my list. I do it because for honesty (not a cause I champion too often). I mean what's the point of posturing online?
@Cleckley. I guess the point where we diverge when it comes to the Academy is the fact that there is supposedly a way to look at two films objectively in terms of film-making, because I don't think there is a way to do that. Film is like many other forms of art (music, literature, etc.) in that everyone reacts differently to a specific film, and you can't quantify what makes one better than the other definitively. There is no way to say definitively that Chicago, Slumdog Millionaire, Inglourious Basterds, etc., is the 'Best' of the Year. Yeah, I realize that the statement I just made essentially invalidates the existence of the Academy, but my point is this: The members of the Academy are people who, like everyone, presume their opinion is the best. Everyone does it, the fact that we sit here and rank movies presuming we know what is best proves that. What I take the Academy as is more like a book recommendation from a group that I know my tastes line up with, while you may take it like a recommendation from someone you know that has a different taste. I'm all about expressing opinions on films and getting into heated arguments and disagreements (I'd gladly argue about Crash, Titanic, and Slumdog on a discussion that was actually about them) and everything because that is half the fun, but in the end I know I'm going to love Chicago and you are going to hate it and we both are going to be right in our own eyes, as hard as we've both tried to sway each other otherwise. That's kind of the beauty of film.
on Mar 13
As far as musicals go, Chicago is...okay. The songs are...okay. The dancing is...okay. The acting is...okay. Renee Zellweger's face is...okay. If Chicago really was the best movie of 2002 (it wasn't, but let's say...), then it was a lousy year for film. Avatar has it's share of problems (James Cameron can't write, for instance), but it is science fiction and it is cool to look at. That's usually enough for me. Jake Sully wins.