Sweet Jesus...Not F-ing Gladiator

GLADIATOR gets 12 Oscar Nominations?

Is someone kidding with me? RUSSELL I’m-whispering-so-you-know-I’m-serious CROWE gets a best actor nod?

Up is down people…black is white. We are through the looking glass.

Now look…I liked Gladiator. I liked enough to see it again at the Brew and View…I cheered, I laughed…I found it beautiful.

Was it as good as multi-Oscar winner Schindler’s List? F no. As good as this year’s big snub Quills? hell no.

I’m…I’m…I’m just in shock.

Gladiator.

12 Oscars.

I’m stunned.

I’ll be in my trailer

jarbaby

I’m more upset about something else, JarbabyJ,. I think, in this age of enlightenment, in this dawning age of hussle bussle and contempt, two movies (not just one, but two!) showed that they could shine above the level of mediocrity and set our spirits soaring with the angels of imagination. For their work, their effort, their dreams and their talent, neither Pokemon nor Digimon received even ONE nod by the committee.

It’s ok. Citizen Kane was snubbed in its time too.

Right Ender! And where’s Dude Where’s My Car or Road Trip?

jarbaby

I was not impressed by Gladiator. Course all I know is what I like, not what is necessarily deemed good.

About all I liked was the initial battle scene. After that, there were predictable poorly staged fight scenes (“Okay, you’ve all watched Kung Fu. Now go after him one at a time, until it is down to one guy with his knees knocking.”); cheesy special effects (the cartoon Colliseum, cut-and-paste tigers, Oh my!), and a bunch of dreary lack of character development between action shots of a bunch of one-dimensional nasty people doing nasty things.

IMO Billy Elliott was far superior, but as I said, what do I know?

Do you think that since this was not the best and brightest year for movies, the general mood of the public was sort of lulled into an acceptance of mediocrity? Gladiator was perfectly enjoyable and entertaining, but it really didn’t do anything beyond the standard, mindless excitement of the typical action pic. It was fun and was delivered on a grand scale, but that’s really all that set it apart. Oh yeah, and it had gladiators. That always works. But I’m thinking that in a year where the average movie quality was a bit lower than usual, maybe anything that’s bright and shiny stands out in the public’s perception, regardless of whether it’s a real gem.

That’s assuming, of course, that the Academy more or less thinks the same way as the general public. ::groan::

HOLD ON!

I’ve just been handed this bulletin, and perhaps some movie genius like Cervaise can elaborate on it.

Is it in fact TRUE that foreign countries are only allowed to submit ONE film to represent them at the Oscars? So France and China, England, etc, who put out great, visually stunning, well written movies only get to submit ONE of their films, thereby opening the door for Tom Hanks Plays Himself On An Island?

I would be outraged. (not that I’m not now)

jarbaby

jarbaby- maybe the other countries have their own award shows where they can show all of their own films.

Hey come now. I thought Gladiator was the film loved by all. Sure twelve IS kinda excessive. Of course its the only Oscar nominated movie i’ve seen…so I feel a certain fondness for it.

It’s all right. Didn’t Pulp Fiction lose to Forrest Gump at the Oscars too, back in 1994? Anyway. Oscar nominations aren’t necessarily a definition of good or bad, then…

Gladiator was mediocre entertainment. Other than the initial battle scenes, there was nothing noteworthy about the scope, execution, action or performances.

For that matter, Erin Brokovich? Best picture is bad enough (hell, maybe oscar voters were thrown into cleavage shock and thought they were checking the box for prescription meds). But best director? For what, telling the camera man to let the lens follow where his eyes were drifting anyway? For finding a costume director that had trained in the court of Louix XVI?

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

At least the year Braveheart’s excess had few quality films to feel the snub. This year Almost Famous, Finding Forrester, You Can Count on Me, State & Main, Pollock, Thirteen Days, even Castaway. (I haven’t seen Quills or Oh Brother Where Art Thou yet, but they are probably more deserving, too.)

Revolting. They might as well have chosen Pokemon or Road Trip

Haven’t seen Gladiators yet. But even before the nominations were announced, critics lamented that there was not a solid panel of GREAT movies from which to choose from this year. And in the absence of greatness, you invariably are left with mediocrity.

So a movie like Gladiators very well may win Best Picture and take its place in history next to all the other TRULY best pictures.

It’s kind of reminiscent of the election, isn’t it?

Ya know, we all do this every year, pissing and moaning about the idiocy of this or that nomination. You’d think we’d have learned by now. But it is maddening, still.

Just remember, if you have any doubts that crap can earn a statue, I have two words for you: Marisa Tomei.

Sure, Gladiator isn’t another Schindler’s List or The Godfather, but it’s leaps and bounds ahead 14-nomination, Best Picture winner Titanic. I think it can hold its own amongst Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Shakespeare in Love, and American Beauty. As for complaints about the number of nominations, seven of the nominations were for less-often considered categories: Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound, and Musical Score, and while not being an expert regarding any of those categories, I thought they did a pretty good job with them. Having seen all the Visual Effects nominees, I can say Gladiator definitely deserves that one.

[sup]Yes, I do fully expect to get flamed for comparing Gladiator to American Beauty.[/sup]

That should be ahead of.

Ugh. Don’t get me started on my Titanic rant. What a piece of crap. Only Eye Of The Beholder made me physically sicker.

I agree that Gladiator should be nominated for Cinematography or Art Direction…possibly costumes…but ACTING? Good lord. Please.

jarbaby

Here are the Official Oscar Rules, if you wish to torture yourself with them. As I understand them, each country can only submit one movie to the Oscars, however that only applies to consideration for the “Best Foreign Language Film” Award, not any of the other categories. So only one movie from China, France, etc. is allowed in that category (whether that is fair is a matter of debate, I suppose)

For any of the other categories, the rules for foreign movies are (mostly) the same as they are for American ones, primarily that it played in a theatre in LA county during the year in question (films that are entered in the BFLF category do not have to play commerically in the US). So, the odds of Tom Hanks Plays Himself On An Island getting nominated for Best Picture aren’t improved by this rule, as it’s possible for all 5 Best Picture nominations to go to French films, assuming those films played commerically in LA.

I didn’t phrase that correctly. What I meant was:

For any of the other categories, the rules for foreign movies are (mostly) the same as they are for American ones, primarily that it played in a theatre in LA county during the year in question (in contrast, films do not have to play commerically in the US to be eligible for the BFLF Award, they simply have to be nominated by the country where they had their commerical opening).

Yes, for acting. At least, for Supporting Actor. Joaquin Phoenix was wonderful.

I think Gladiator is a much better film than say, Traffic. Steven “Look-at-me-I-can-make-a-fluff-film-like-Erin-Brockovich-and-still-make-‘art’-that-appeals-to-mainstream-middle-class-America” Soderbergh nominated for two Oscars? Some Academy members are becoming senile.

JFTR, the Coen brothers were robbed.

Jesus, I just checked the list of nominees, and holy god damn, did Requiem for a Dream get shafted. In the meantime, the comparatively Disneyesque Traffic steals its place in best picture, adapted screenplay and director?

Wrong. Just wrong, I tell you.

Yes…he was the best thing about Gladiator. Joaquin…I love him. But surely you concede Russell Crowe is not worthy.

NO…SHIT. I can’t believe what was done to them.

jarbaby

Amok beat me to it, and provided a link to Oscar’s official rules, no less. Nice job. But yes, he’s correct, each country submits one and only one movie for consideration in the “foreign film” category. This year, that means the sublime Yi Yi gets excluded because it happens to be from the same country as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Who woulda thunk two Oscar-worthy movies would come from Taiwan in one year?

People, movies get shafted every year. There’s no point in getting outraged over this nomination or that exclusion. I look at the Oscars like the Miss America Pageant – fun and brainless, but hardly indicative of anything deep or perceptive about art or culture. Remember, when Titanic won, it beat the far superior L.A. Confidential – but The Sweet Hereafter was better than both of them, and wasn’t even nominated. Neither was its lead actor, Ian Holm, in one of the best performances ever put on film.

Yes, Russell Crowe should have been edged out by Michael Douglas’s hilarious and ego-free work in Wonder Boys. Yes, David Mamet’s script for State and Main should have been nominated over the committee-generated Gladiator embarrassment. Yes, Quills should have replaced Erin Brockovich in the Best Picture category (though I vehemently disagree with those above who say Traffic doesn’t belong). And hey, The Cell, while not a very good movie, should have come away with an art direction nod. While I’m at it, Chocolat shouldn’t have been nominated for a damn thing, but Miramax always throws its considerable weight behind its top contender and buys it a few slots. And Dancer in the Dark, which won Golden Palms for both Film and Actress, is virtually nowhere to be seen.

The Oscars are fluffy, self-congratulatory entertainment, not any kind of legitimate evaluation of cinematic quality. They’ve always been that way. Does anyone remember 1966? Lee Marvin’s Cat Ballou beat Laurence Olivier’s Othello for Best Actor? And The Sound of Music won Best Picture over Doctor Zhivago? Or how about 1950, when Judy Holliday won Best Actress for Born Yesterday, beating out Gloria Goddamn Swanson in Sunset Goddamn Boulevard?

Take a Quaalude and laugh, people. That’s what I do. That’s all I can do, when Being John Malkovich isn’t nominated for Best Picture but The Green Mile is.

Actually, I’ll amend my statement. The one category I regularly get pissed about is Feature Documentary, because the crusty old fucks who make the rules and decide on eligibility are the most conservative, anti-experimentation shitheads in the whole Academy. The lineup of films every year, and almost invariably the winner, have absolutely nothing to do with the state of the art in documentary. Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me, Hands on a Hardbody, 42 Up, not only did these movies not win, they weren’t even fucking nominated. And Errol Fucking Morris – he of Thin Blue Line, Fast Cheap & Out of Control, Mr. Death, and the staggeringly brilliant Gates of Heaven – it’s a felony crime that this man, the most brilliant documentarian in North America, has been shut out of the category he should have flat-out dominated. Morris’s documentaries go beyond genius; they should be plated in gold and given their own national memorial.

That’s the only category I let get me riled, because it’s a complete and total travesty. The other awards I can give two shits about artistically, because it’s so clearly a mutal-admiration circlejerk. But every year, right on schedule, the whoresons who supervise the documentary category slowly turn around, lower their pants, spread their quivering ass cheeks, and spew steaming diarrhea onto the very conception of what the award should be. And that, friends and neighbors, pisses me off.

…Wow, that was a rant. Didn’t know that was coming when I started typing the message…