Looking over this year’s Oscar nominees, I’m reminded once again why I’ve found it harder and harder to justify dropping $15 to go to a movie anymore. Out of the Best Picture nominees, I’ve only bothered to see two, and one of them would have been way better as a watch-it-0n-a-plane $3 rental a couple months from now. (“Argo”, for what it’s worth.) I’m guessing “Les Miserables” will win, because it’s always even odds that the stupidest looking movie in an Oscar nominee list will get the Best Picture trophy.
So basically I’m going to complain about Quentin Tarantino not getting nominated for Best Director, when he not only should get nominated but also should win. Which he has, by the way, never done. He got the screenplay Oscar for “Pulp Fiction”, and that’s it. Not only do his movies consistently work on many different levels, as Adam Serwer’s review of “Django Unchained” demonstrates, but one of the things that make his movies always entertaining—even if they make you squirmy—is his amazing direction. He’s the best director working in Hollywood, just on a skill level, and the Academy’s continued refusal to admit that is getting to be comical. I mean, it’s been two decades now. The fact that he still feels like the young gun scaring the old guard now is a testament to his skill. If you’re still scaring ‘em 20 years into your career, you are punk rock, my friends. That is not an easy feat to accomplish.
Hell, he should have won for either “Kill Bill” movie. If you doubt it, just think about those movies and what will happen is your brain will be a rush of indelible images, from the fight scenes to the scene where Uma Thurman digs her way out of a grave. “Django Unchained” doesn’t quite reach that level of scene-by-scene holy-crap directing, but still, when you watch it there’s no doubt that Tarantino has more mastery of the power of an image than pretty much any other director working. Hell, I’d give it to him just for the mountain scenes, or the stellar comic timing of the movie.
Anyway, I know it’s hardly original to bitch about the biggest awards show of the year failing consistently to award the actual best instead of the safest. But still, the bitching should continue until the Academy shapes the fuck up already. I mean, they gave that discombobulated mess of a movie “Inception” a nomination, but overlooked “The Dark Knight Rises”, which was way better. Fired.
Opinions? Thoughts? What do you think of this year’s slate of nominees?