Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2012


dtgirbp-2012

Here are the nine nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Biggest Snub:

The Impossible

My Overall Thoughts:

It’s always unfortunate when a film is elevated to a higher praise due to the politics around it than because of the story itself. Argo is a very good film, but it really isn’t the best of the lot this year. 

The backlash against the voters for excluding “one of their own”  as Best Director really caused more trouble than needed.  Yes, Affleck did a great job with the film, and there will always be snubs, but I think the voters went the wrong way here. 

Unfortunately, the rest of the films are mostly great, but not one’s I would consider to be BP winner worthy.

My Rankings:

Movies

  • 9. – Beasts of the Southern Wild – Actually hated this film because it made little sense to me.  I probably should rewatch it just to see if on a rewatch things become clearer.  This is the only film on this list that really baffled me as to how it got the nomination.
  • 8. – Zero Dark Thirty – Such a timely film at the time because it deals with very recent events that changed the world. The ensemble cast is quite good, but it is far from being perfect.
  • 7. – Life of Pi – Story isn’t as powerful enough, but from a technical aspect this film is amazingly shot.  That’s obviously the main reason Lee got his second Oscar as Best Director when Affleck was snubbed.
  • 6. – Silver Lining Playbook – Great characters make this so much fun to watch. It’s a bit on the strange side, but comes off as quite believable.
  • 5. – Lincoln – Story is a bit weak, but Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th President is spectacular and once again shows how amazing a thespian he truly is.
  • 4. – Django Unchained – Tarantino does it again and gives us a great story with great dialogue and memorable characters.  A bit long, but still worth watching it all play out.
  • 3. – Amour – Amazing way to tell such a powerful story. The claustrophobic way that this is shot makes us feel as if we too are trapped in their small apartment watching things slowly spiral downward. The love between the two characters is so effective on screen and we truly believe that they have been together for so long and are willing to do anything for one another. This film deals with the idea that as we all get older, the end is inevitable but the question is how and when we will get there and what happens to our closest companions as this happens. Riva and Trintignant are both superb here because they make it all seem and feel so real.
  • 2. – Argo – Fun film that is the kind Hollywood loves because it both parodies and edified the Hollywood community at the same time.  Great film, but not the best of the year
  • 1. – Les MisérablesAmazing stage adaptation that is spectacularly done. the play is superb and the added advantages of having it done on film make some of the scenes truly breathtaking

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not really. I admit that Argo is a fun and thrilling movie, but it won because of politics and not because it’s the best film of the year. Les Mis is one of the best stage adaptations to screen IMHO and the story is spectacularly done here.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

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8 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2012

  1. I love this series, Rob. Great concept! Of course, I had to chime in. 😉

    I like your picks. Les Mis is a lot better than how much it gets crapped on. I really enjoyed it too. I haven’t seen Amour but I will rank the rest. You know me, I dig on some of the artsier stuff, so my ranking is a bit different.

    I hope more folks comment with their picks since this is such a great article to talk about.

    This was a particularly divisive year at the Oscars.

    MY RANKS…

    8. Lincoln – Dry and uninspired. Amazing acting, but bland story. There is so much to explore with Lincoln, but I’m not sure this was the most engaging and captivating way to do it.

    7. Les Miserables – Incredible production. Lavish sets and costumes. Outstanding acting from both Jackman and Hathaway. I really enjoyed this film, despite some slower scenes hindering the overall story.

    6. Argo – Tightly paced. Provocative. Strong narrative. Intriguing characters and concept. Thoroughly enjoyable as a whole. Downside: a lot of it felt like a conventional thriller.

    5. Zero Dark Thirty – Really compelling character study. The obsession themes reminded me of ZODIAC. Chastain is fantastic. The raid on the compound is pulse-pounding and ultimately frames this movie in a much more exciting context.

    4. Silver Linings Playbook – The focus is on character and it works. Dark humour helps avoid melodrama. Unusual characters – in the best ways. Impressive acting all around. A feel good movie with a cynical heart. I like that kinda mix.

    3. Life of Pi – Breathtaking visuals. Interpretive and introspective themes ultimately raise this above sheer spectacle. I really dug on the religious metaphors and ‘artsie’ aspects of the twist. This was the perfect blend of art and popcorn. It’s a movie I won’t watch again because the 3D theatrical experience was so magnificent.

    2. Beasts of the Southern Wild – The little movie that could! I fell in love with Hushpuppy and the resiliency of her culture. Her innocence and the purity of a way of life was fascinating. Again, I really enjoyed the more interpretive moments, like the rampaging prehistoric beasts. The honest and unflinching intimacy of this little indie gem helps it rise above the cream of the crop.

    1. Django Unchained – I’m a Tarantino-phile (is that a word?) so I was ready to love this film before it even started. The all around cast acting is in the upper echelon! The grindhouse elements excel. The dialogue is triumphant. The visual style is phenomenal. The movie just drips with salivating flavour. This is the ultimate in satisfaction when it comes to revenge flicks.

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  2. Arghh….I hang my head in shame…the only one I’ve seen on this list is Argo (which I enjoyed). Somehow Les Mis just hasn’t “convinced” me for a watch despite everyone saying how wonderful it is. I think it is going to be one of those that I end up watching on TV when I least expect it and then like it so much I rush out to get it for my collection. Django…well…I’ll get there eventually. I’ve been meaning to watch that and Hateful Eight for ages…

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  3. 2012 actually stands out to me as a really strong year. Absolutely agree that Les Mis should have won, but I would have been happy with Life of Pi too, since that beautiful film keeps going up in my estimation the more I see and think about it. I know it’s not typical Oscar material, but The Avengers is my other favorite film of the year.

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