Django Unchained is fantastic. There is simply no denying that but while some of Quentin Tarantino’s movies sometimes take their time to win their audience, this one truly begins with a bang as we meet Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The German doctor travels all by himself in the middle of the night, his horse Fritz bows ceremoniously as his owner introduces himself to a group of slave drivers and their slaves. Within the next three minutes Schultz meets Django (Jamie Foxx) and the film’s plot is set in motion. It never lets you go after that.
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The time has come to put forth my final predictions for Best Picture, and never has a task been more daunting. With so many films making late surges (Skyfall on the Producers Guild List? Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with three Golden Globe nods?) and the Academy rules allowing for up to 10 nominees, there are more movies with a legitimate shot at a nomination than ever before.
I’d like to put The Impossible in the mix having seen and adored it recently, but a respected colleague pointed out there isn’t much buzz out there for it. The Sessions seems to have similarly dropped off voters’ radar. It hasn’t won enough precursor awards to be seen as a legitimate contender. And we all know what happened to The Hobbit.
So who’s got the best odds? Who will hear their name called on January 10? And who will wake up to an alarm instead of a congratulatory phone call? Let’s dig in.
Nicole Kidman is in the Oscar race now, though for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it happened. The Paperboy is an incredible, unmissable film, but not because of its style, technique, or narrative finesse. It is sorely lacking in all these departments. The Paperboy is essential cinema because of its gratuitous, dirty content, which is unthinkably unique and, in a certain sense, brave. Its emotions are heightened, perpetually climaxing in sexual tension, but this isn’t the kind of erotic power we saw between Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson, or any other movie star couple we’ve seen. The content in The Paperboy is uncomfortable and - for lack of a better term - gross, and I never expected that awards voters would be inclined to reward its joyful brand of raunch.
Just because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences music branch seems to hate the very concept of music, doesn’t mean one can’t hope/pray/wish that one day they will actually stop their BS and nominate songs that are actually good, or at least ones that have some effect both inside and outside of the movie. Really, when was the last time when a Best Original Song winner was even at least catchy? Anyway, this is my wish list for 2012 and yes, I am fully aware that most of these will be disqualified…
First, let’s start by looking at how Oscar got it wrong:
Annette Bening ... The Grifters
Lorraine Bracco ... Goodfellas
Whoopi Goldberg ... Ghost *
Mary McDonnell ... Dances with Wolves
Diane Ladd ... Wild at Heart