Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Quote of the Day


"Sure, The King’s Speech is good, but it’s the art cinema equivalent of a hamburger. It pushes zero boundaries, and doesn’t really demand much of its audience. It’s got no deeper insights. A year from now, it’ll be 'Oh, yeah, that movie. It was good. I liked it.' It’s just another period piece aimed squarely at your mom, the very definition of Oscar bait... It’s kind of offensive that a movie like The King’s Speech won in a year that saw movies like Black Swan and True Grit not only come out, but thrive, and have no chance of winning because Harvey Weinstein is a master of gaming the Oscar system."

-- From an article currently posted at Screencrave called "Why The King's Speech Proves the Oscars are Irrelevant"

I don't agree entirely with this guy's assessment, but I concur with -- as Charlie Sheen might say -- "violent passion" that The King's Speech is an almost self-parodically average film that in no way deserved to take home an Oscar for Best Picture, and abso-freaking-lutely shouldn't have seen Tom Hooper winning Best Director. But it's the kind of movie Harvey Weinstein cranks out in a factory somewhere by the truckload then consistently and almost magically spins into Oscar gold just because he can.

By beating films like The Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit and Inception, Harvey's latest milquetoast period piece became this year's Shakespeare in Love. Anybody still overpowered by the effect that movie had on them? I didn't think so. Now, anybody remember Saving Private Ryan -- the film Shakespeare beat for Best Picture in 1998? Yeah, That says it all.

18 comments:

Zagrobelny said...

I agree with your point, not your example. Shakespeare in Love was witty and fun and wonderful and well-acted and, while maybe not best picture material, was better than Saving Private Ryan. The brilliant harrowing D-Day scene that opens the film aside, it's a well-crafted series of cliches that I don't think challenges anyone more than The King's Speech does.

Jonah said...

Doesn't expanding the best picture category to 10 selections only hurt movies like Black Swan? Films like Winter's Bone, while a good movie, are like the Green Party in the best picture vote.

I am all for the idea of a 5 year waiting period to decide the awards for a season (sort of like Hall of Fame voting). If we waited 5 years to put things in perspective Crash wouldn't even be nominated for, let alone win, best picture. Travesty.

LzyMom said...

I don't go out and watch movies anymore unless they'll keep my 4 year old's attention for 2 hours which means I don't go out and watch movies anymore. So I haven't seen any of the movies nominated.

Can anyone forget the image of Tom Hanks futilely pulling out his revolver and firing at the German tank? Can they???

Sonia



I am absolutely NOT crying.

Jester said...

Summed up The King's Speech beautifully for me:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/2719-The-Kings-Speech

Chez said...

Shakespeare was decent -- but that's about it. Saving Private Ryan wasn't a masterpiece, but its impact was undeniable and it was almost guaranteed from the beginning to stand as a kind of seminal cinematic experience -- one guaranteed to have staying power. It should've won, particularly over a trifling Weinstein vehicle like Shakespeare.

penni said...

The King's Speech had adorable corgis in it -- that's why it won.

Chez said...

That's just all kinds of great, Jester.

Germain said...

Yo, you and Charlie Sheen are beginning to annoy me. You may not realize this but sometimes nirvana is writ small. Loud is not necessarily good and quiet is not necessarily mediocre.

In the case of the King's speech we see a very afraid man earn his claim to the throne (to which Charlie Sheen (in the throes of a manic episode (i.e.,mental illness) asserts is his despite evidence of his illness related shabbiness as a co worker, father, husband etc.) This very afraid man (charlie and the king to be) are one of us. Their (and our) cure is not in the illusion of regal bearing but in the nobility of facing our ordinary fear(s). That healing comes from the hope, strength and experience that others who have battled their own demons can give us. That their (and our) true voice, the unhesitant, angry and profane scream of who we really are (not what we are expected to be) is our truly regal voice, a voice that cannot be found from on high. Everyman would be King but for his afflictions.

em said...

Shoulda been "The Fighter". And Nolan, snubbed again. The only way they could get me to watch again would be to have Charlie Sheen host.

Chez said...

Oh that's great, Germain. I see what you're trying to do there -- you're attempting to parody the pompous and hyper-articulate but ultimately meaningless and somewhat silly comportment of a film like The King's Speech. Very well done. Wish I'd thought of that.

Anonymous said...

The WWII film from 1998 that got shafted by Shakespeare (which was a decent film) is The Thin Red Line.

As far as the Oscars go, Spielberg kind of undermined the Oscars by railing off the list of amazing movies that didn't win Best Picture.

Personally, I could stomach King's Speech winning Best Picture if Fincher had won Best Director. Tom Hooper ripped off Kubrick BIG TIME for King's Speech.

Crash winning over Brokeback proved the Oscars irrelevant but we all keep watching because it gives us a sense of validation or an outlet to vent our indignation at the decay of our chief national product, pop culture.

But fuck the Grammys.

jrm78 said...

To be honest, I'd be interested in seeing TKS. However since it's now being presented in Bowdlervision, I may have to pass or 'borrow' an R rated copy from teh intarwebs.

Krissy said...

Germain wins for Most Parentheses in a Comment.

Germain said...

Dude, the small is not just meaningful - it's sacred. But what do I know? - your the man who beat heroin which is a life and death battle and that makes you a hero. So whatever works for you is fine with me. Just thought you might have been interested in tuning into another possibility re sheen and the king's speech. I think you are a lot like the Firth (and Sheen) character: kind of screaming (so as not to stammer?) your truth. You are a prince. I mean it. (Sheen on the other hand is mentally ill and the downside of his mania is going to be hell).

Capt Clown said...

It's hard to believe Shakespeare In Love won, considering Gwyneth Paltrow didn't even sing country in that movie.

CNNfan said...

Stopped watching starting this year. The biggest flic of all time, beaten twice, by essentially a war propaganda flic that noone saw? They proved themselves obsolete.

motheralex said...

I just like the coffee mug in Shakespeare In Love (look for it while he's writing). That made the film for me, something that Cameron has yet to accomplish despite his enormous budgets, with extraordinary lackluster results (see ,oh hell, ANYTHING the guy directed, from Titanic on)... Saving Private Ryan was painful to watch, but so was Life Is Beautiful, and frankly, the latter blew me away. I watched it, and walked outside after, and wept. I told my wife YOU can watch it again, but I sure as hell can't.
That is what I call a film.

Germain said...

Krissy, you are (absolutely) correct about my (over) use of parenthesis. Footnotes (see FN 1 Below) would be much better (see FN 2 Below).

FN 1: e.g., David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (and other writings).

FN 2: You and Chez are really smart and funny and down to earth (IMHO).