Oscars 2012: One Big Yawn of Agreement

The Oscars are clearly, and arbitrarily, the most important of all the award ceremonies yet coming as they do after a dozen of similar awards are given out to the same winners, by the time the Oscars finally arrive we are suffering from award season fatigue. This is where the desire for surprising winners comes in, despite The Artist, Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer all being worthy winners writing about them winning the awards they were tipped to win isn’t all that exciting.

But is that the point? The Artist really was the best film of the past year and deserves to win all the awards it won, the list of winners is not surprising but for the first time in years it is hard to disagree with any of the choices. Let’s not gripe about predictability and just be happy that worthy winners won awards and that Eddie Murphy wasn’t the host.

I am happy that The Artist won five Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Costume Design and Best Score) leaving Hugo to pick up all the technical awards. I am happy that A Separation won Best Foreign Language Film for being an amazing drama and that Rango won Best Animated Film despite being semi-grown-up. I’m happy that Woody Allen won an Oscar for the screenplay for Midnight in Paris and showed that he remains a relevant film-maker. I’m happy that Jim Rash co-won an award for co-writing The Descendants leaving amazing-but-almost-cancelled-sitcom Community with an Oscar winner amongst its cast. I’m happy that The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won Best Animated Short Film because, as we all know, it is damned adorable.

What I am most happy about is Bret McKenzie won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet”. There has never been a more obvious (there was only one other nominee for a start) yet deserving win.

So there you have it, the 2012 Oscar awards have made me happy but weren’t very exciting. It was the award ceremony equivalent of eating a trifle (for me at least).

2012 Golden Globes Nominations

With awards season truly hotting up we are treated with the nominations for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. They’re an interesting bunch, a lot of the more challenging and/or smaller films have been passed by. The Los Angles Times has it spot on when they say that the nominations seem to recognise those works featuring the A-list actors, more accessible films and less dark dramas. No Tyrannosaur or Like Crazy to be found below.

What you will find is my gut reaction and my opinions for each category (apart from Best Original Song and Best Original Score as that is not my strong suit) whether you want it or not. Continue reading

The Artist – LFF Review

A silent, black and white French film about the end of silent cinema in Hollywood, how could that possibly work? This is the task Michel Hazanavicius set himself with The Artist and he has made a masterpiece as a result. In The Artist George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) a star of silent films crosses paths with Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) a young dancer about to hit it big. As his star wanes, hers shines brighter than ever.

The Artist embraces the tropes of the silent era; dialogue cards, “mugging” and the all important score are used to great effect, both celebrating and slightly toying with a long abandoned way of making films. A moment towards the end takes quite a dark moment and uses one of these tropes to not only wrong-foot the audience but to lighten the mood and play with the format.

Everything is perfect with The Artist, it is an easy five stars and shows just what can happen when you do something different for a change. There’s not much more to say here other than that this is the most fun I’ve had in the cinema all year, a relief after some of the harrowing films I’ve sat through in the past week.

The Artist has no UK release scheduled yet but it will be a crime if we aren’t treated to at least a limited release.