Saturday, January 24, 2009

AMPAS = Original Thinkers?

Say what you want about the Academy and its choices, but one thing about their nominations this year that has made me really appreciate them is that they have a mind of their own. Try as the blogosphere might to insist that The Dark Knight is one of the five best films of the year, the Academy was having none of it. They will not be told what to think.

All the precursors included those same five films over and over, but AMPAS went its own way in nominating another worthy film, Stephen Daldry's The Reader. Some have decried it as an unoriginal choice because it is a Holocaust film, which if these people had been paying attention they would have realized that it isn't. The Holocaust is an element, but one that consistently lurks in the background rather than slaps you in the face.

In other words, this is a refreshing piece of original thinking. The Academy didn't follow the herd mentality by nominating The Dark Knight. They like what they like, not what others tell them to like.

And for that, I respect them.

8 comments:

J.D. said...

Well, they like what Harvey Weinstein tells them to like. That's the whole problem.

The Mad Hatter said...

I second J.D.

THE READER's nom comes from a very muscled Weinstein Company FYC campaign, nothin' more.

I'm disappointed to see THE DARK KNIGHT miss the cut, but all the same I would have much rather seen a film like WALL-E or THE WRESTLER land that fifth spot.

Matthew Lucas said...

See I totally disagree. I really don't think the campaign was that much of a factor. Weinstein hasn't been a major Oscar player in years, so why now? There were much bigger Oscar campaigns this year.

Like the one for "The Dark Knight," for example.

J.D. said...

But it's HARVEY WEINSTEIN. And the fact that since he left Miramax to start up his own studio he's been sorta quiet just makes the hush campaign for The Reader more obvious? This is his big comeback and TWC's first real Oscar success. As much as I hate him, he's damn good at being a sneaky bastard.

Anonymous said...

It's also original that your beloved Gran Torino was shut out.

Matthew Lucas said...

To some degree I guess. But that really wasn't going against the precursors since it didn't have much precursor love to begin with.

Matthew Lucas said...

Also, you don't hear me whining about it like it's the end of the world. I still planning on watching the Oscars and loving every minute of it, "Gran Torino" or no.

Sam Juliano said...

Guys, I completely agree with Matthew Lucas. The well-deserved nomination for THE READER in the Best Picture category were far more likely fueled by the large Jewish-American membership in the Academy, who have always back (to the hilt) films that have to do with the Holocaust in one way or the other. The emergence of THE PIANIST in 2003 is only one example, but many best-foreign film nominees have shown this as well). Harvey Weinstein's clout in Tinseltown has severely diminished, I suspect the real reason THE READER got named is because of it's subject matter....and.......because it's one of the best films of the year!