Winners and Losers

I assume the 79th annual Academy Awards finally concluded sometime last night. There were no surprises among this year's winners. Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland. Helen Mirren won Best Actress for The Queen. Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor for Little Miss Sunshine. Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls. Martin Scorsese finally won Best Directing for The Departed, which also won Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Editing. Pan's Labyrinth won for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Makeup. Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Children of Men, Volver, Blood Diamond, United 93, The Prestige, and Half Nelson were also notable nominees that did not win.

All of these films/performances were highly praised, and I assume are very good, but I have to admit, I have not seen any of the nominated films yet. I doubt you have seen any either, based on the box office numbers for 2006. The Benchwarmers, The Fast and Furious III, Miami Vice, Big Mamma's House 2, RV, and Nacho Libre all grossed higher than all but The Departed and Dreamgirls, which still got beat by Talladega Nights, The Da Vinci Code, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The top films this year are Norbit, Stomp the Yard, Ghost Rider, and Epic Movie. And I weep.


Blogger Ryan Gallentine said...

I think that shows that the Academy and many critics in general have a different set of criteria when evaluating movies. Critics watch movies for exceptional cinematography, acting and directing. The public goes to movies for much simpler reasons: to laugh and be entertained. Movies like Pirates and Norbit are clearly awful, but as long as people think they will be entertained for 2 hours that's all that matters.

One exception: Little Miss Sunshine was awesome, and while it didn't deserve best picture over Departed, that was a movie that was entertaining and also dealt with serious subjects.

26/2/07 11:14  
Blogger Erik Opsal said...

How does The Departed win best adapted screenplay over Children of Men?

26/2/07 11:20  
Blogger Dorshorst said...

I agree that there is a disconnect between critics and the public, but it's not one I understand. When I finally get around to watching them (when they come out on DVD or show up on HBO), the nominated and critically acclaimed movies, especially the Best Picture winners, have been consistently far superior movies and much more entertaining to me than the "popcorn" movies that always top the Box Office charts. Call me arrogant, pretentious, and elitist if you want, but what most people apparently find entertaining I find to be unwatchable crap.

26/2/07 13:48  
Blogger Dorshorst said...

I can't really argue The Departed over Children of Men. Both are good.

Ryan- You watched LMS and thought it was good. That's part of my point. Did anyone watch any of the movies mentioned in the first paragraph and walk out of the theater thinking it was a waste of time and money? (I don't think I need to ask about the second paragraph.)

26/2/07 13:48  
Blogger Ryan Gallentine said...

From the ones you mentioned in your post, I have seen: LMS - good, Departed - excellent, United 93 - disappointing, Talladega Nights - hilarious but not oscar-worthy (see Will Ferrell's performance http://collegehumor.com/video:1744661), Da Vinci - silly, Pirates - unnecessarily complicated and ultimately boring

26/2/07 20:34  

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