Jan 25 2012, 8:31am
Don't worry. I follow the Oscars every year, and have read a number of books on the subject too. There's a cardinal rule in the Academy that is rarely if ever broken: the Best Picure winner must be about America or an American story, AND be directed by a well-known American director;
-- or if it a film by a foreign director, it is all the more so that it be an "American" story *and* not have been too well loved or acclaimed by foreign (read: non-British, ie BAFTAS) awards bodies. (Example: Martin Scorcese, winning BP for "The Godfathers 1 and 2" but "Apocalypse Now" winning the Palme D'Or (like The Artist?) and losing BP here. I don't know how many times the Academy has awarded Best Picture to films embraced at Cannes, but it's extremely rare.
This seems to me like the race between Gladiator and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon--The Artist is not a "foreign" film per se, even though most people have never heard of the director and can't yet pronouce his name even if they have, Crouching Tiger was on a roll to win, it was embraced by everyone you can think of, but Gladiator won--I think the only reason it won was to stop the Hong Kong film winning. The Artist seems to be on a roll now, and its subject is nothing less than a history of cinema, but there has to be a reason why Hugo got so many noms. The film with the most almost always wins. The only times it hasn't was when there was a huge film out there that made a ton of money and was a beloved 'sleeper" film.
Money. The Artist has only made something like 10-12 mil. If box office doesn't pick up, expect a huge backlash to begin. Among the guilds I mean. I'll be watching closely to see which films jump at the boxffice this wknd and how much.
Harvey Weinstein. There are many in AMPAS who still hate him, after the ruthless tactics he overplayed his hand with in the early Aughts. The last film he hawked this ruthlessly was Scorcese's Gangs of New York in 2002, which got 10 nomsbut no wins. Not due to Scorcese, but Weinstein's tactics. and his amassing of power in the industry. He burned his boats with a LOT of people and even though Mirimax is gone and films he produces still gets lots of noms, in recent yrs he's hd almost no wins, even small ones.The Academy doesn't forget--the Oscars have always been first and foremost a popularity contest
The Artist is Harvey's baby and his paws were all over it from day One, esp at Cannes. If people stil loved harvey, there would be a Pic/Director split this year with Marty taking Best Director and The Artist Best Picture. But I don't see Hugo getting 11 noms and just a Director win!
++++Now, about the contest--a couple weeks back I went on an epic mini-rant about the perfidy of the Music Branch of AMPAS, (in the Hobbit section--maybe someone can find the link?:)and it seems to have panned out exactly as I predicted. John Williams *twice*, (remember what I said about JW, and the insularity of the voters), no Trent Renor for Dragon tatoo score (remember what I said about the Academy's bias against "composers from non-traditional backgrounds"), and no new faces.
I also said that my seeing Hugo was contingent on Shore getting a nom, so now I can finally see it...we've an abundance of art-house theaters with good 3D systems, so I can see it this weekend. I guess he's arrived..AMPAS has invited him to the "inner circle"..like JW he's "arrived"..I am overjoyed.
Problem is, if he wins, then he can't win for TH!
Congradulations and God bless, Mr Shore, you and Rooney Mara are my only reasons to pay attention to Oscar this yr. The rest is a sham...if someone cares to hear more, but I'll spare you for now, all my gripes:)
And Bret...funny how being in the DVD-only version of a BP nominated film for 3 seconds can even take you on a journey that a decade later will change your life. Seeing as there are only 2 BEst Song noms (!!!!!!!!!! No Mary Blige for "The HElp" song??!) and the other is from Ri, I think it's safe to say that he will win an Oscar! Which means he too will have "arrived"..bret, you're aobut to find out how that big gold statue can change your life and career, for the better! I could not be more happy for him too!