Thursday, December 24, 2015

Am I mad for fearing a Mad Max snub?


I want to start by noting that I have still NOT seen this movie yet (I know, I know) and so this is in no way questioning the quality of deserving nature of the film that has pretty much been cemented as the film of the year by so many bloggers, critics and pundits, but merely a thought I've expressed a few times over the past month+ and just wanted to get off my chest and on paper.

I'm afraid that a Best Picture nom for Mad Max: Fury Road is not as certain as it would seem.

Here's the thing; there really is no precedent for something like this.  In scrolling through Oscar's ballots for BP, I can't come up with a film that could serve as a precedent for this kind of nomination; anywhere.  True, I haven't seen it, so maybe I'm missing something, but this kind of gritty, violent, comic-book stylized summer action tent-pole doesn't generally make waves with Oscar.  There have been close calls, or films that were seemingly in the running, but they've always fallen short.  In recent years we had films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Drive and even The Dark Knight make a dash for Oscar, and yet they've never quite made it.

Until now?

I'm not saying it won't happen, and in all honesty, I'm predicting it right now.  The critical support has been beyond any expectations, and bodies like The Globes and BFCA (but, like, they're complete jokes now, right?) are even embracing it, so the support is clearly there and the reviews are clearly there and the people want what the people want...but this is AMPAS, and they are not easily swayed to embracing the populous vote when it doesn't conform to what they like to reward.  

But this is a strange year, and in strange years there seems to be an opening for films that don't often register, or at least push the boundaries of what registers, with AMPAS.  Films this year that were clearly produced and aimed at the Oscar voting bodies are receiving their fare share of lukewarm reactions and tepid embracing and so that leaves a feeling of filler in the air.  But, sadly, Oscar is not above filler.  Look at 2011.  Critics bodies began to swarm around a film called Drive, specifically it's director, Nicolas Winding Refn (not unlike what is happening here).  Refn was winning left and right with critics, and collecting nominations from BFCA and BAFTA.  The film was high on MANY lists and getting showered with praise.  On Oscar nomination morning it walked away with a solitary Sound Editing nomination.  You know what was nominated for BP in it's place?  War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  That was also the same year that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a late bloomer and looked set to snag a BP nom in the last minute stretch of the race, and yet it missed as well, despite WINNING for Best Editing.

Oscar likes filler.  They like safe.  When they stretch outside of their box, whether it be in genre or themes, it is usually because of some sort of pedigree attached.  Mad Max: Fury Road, while savagely adored, doesn't really have pedigree.  George Miller has an Oscar, for directing one of the most criticized and loathed Oscar winning Animated Features of all time (probably the most hated) and is otherwise known for cult cinema, including the previous Mad Max films which have never really been taken seriously.

I just have such doubts.  The numbers don't lie, except for when they do, and while the numbers point to Mad Max: Fury Road being destined for TOP FIVE placement on Oscar's Best Picture ballot...so did The Dark Knight's numbers...and then there was The Reader.

The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, Creed, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight, Steve Jobs, Trumbo...some lauded, some filler, but all feel more Oscar than Mad Max: Fury Road and so the fear is...Oscar will think so too.

I have such doubts.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mouthi Awards Ceremony Page


So, in my absence from the blogging world, I found that while I didn't have time to watch a lot of movies (sadly), I did have time to do something else; listen to music.  Yes, equipped with Spotify on my phone (which was conveniently placed in my pocket) I was able to digest about 150 albums in three months.  This got me to thinking...why don't I have personal music awards?  Actually, this is all Josh's fault, truly.  Now, I don't follow The Grammys, but I do listen to music, and so there is no reason I shouldn't compile my personal preferences and share them with my blogging community.

So that's what I'm going to do.

Unlike The Grammys, The Mouthi Awards look at completed albums released within a calendar year; January - December, and singles released in years prior or after are only eligible in the year in which the album itself was released (unless it was formally released on an EP).  This means songs like Photograph by Ed Sheeran are not eligible in 2015 despite being released as a single in that year, since it was released on his album X from 2014 (and so it is eligible in that year).

On this page is where you'll find links to every completed Mouthi Awards (Fistful of Films...Mouthful of Music).  So far, the only completed year is 2015, but more will be coming, for sure, so check back here frequently to see if there are any updates.  The 2015 Mouthi Awards Ceremony (more on that in a second) will be posted on January 1st, and each new Mouthi Awards will follow the same pattern (hopefully), being posted on the 1st of every year.  All past years will come as they are completed.

Now, I said ceremony and that's what I meant.  I wanted to do something special to set these awards apart from the Fisti Awards, and so I decided to post these in faux ceremony form with presenters and speeches and all the above, so I hope it wasn't a waste of time and you do actually enjoy the format.

You'll be able to access this page at any time by clicking on the icon at the top right of the blog.

Ceremonies

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I'm back!


Well, it's about time!  I'll forewarn you, it may be slow going for a while.  We're still in the process of moving in and work is so backed up right now that I'm trying desperately to get my head above water, but I'm back and I'll be posting/commenting as much as I can (again, slow going for a while) until I'm finally back into the swing.

Hope you missed me!

Now...what did I miss?