My Dear friends

This site not work anymore .I have a new site and you can go there visit me. I dont go put more post here anymore ... If you like this blog go there .. I will be there for you ... Olá meus queridos amigos ... agora tenho um novo blog Este site nao funcionará mais , tive alguns problemas. Agora tenho um novo endereco de blog. Nao irei mais colocar post neste blog .. Todas as atualizacoes e novidades estarao no outro endereco .. Acessem... estarei lá pra vcssss Se vcs gostaram desse blog irao amar o outro .. mais atualizado e lindo ... Vamos láaaa .... visitem-me lá .. Beijinhos Lili

Tank for everything !!!

sexta-feira, 5 de março de 2010

Oscars 2010: what makes an oscar-winner these days?

The likes of Annie Hall, Gandhi, and Dances with Wolves wouldn’t have a hope of Oscar glory today. What’s changed?

By Tom Shone
Published: 10:24AM GMT 05 Mar 2010

At this time of year, worrying about the Oscars is a national pastime in the United States, much like having barbecues on the Fourth of July. Each year the global television audience for the ceremony drops another few million, to much consternation and furrowing of brows. Newspapers fret that 55 million viewers tuned in to see Titanic win in 1998, but only 36 million watched Slumdog Millionaire triumph last year. A tone of general national dismay is adopted. Meanwhile, the Academy, like an unpopular government, unveils its latest efforts to win back public favour. This year, for instance, they have decided on 10 Best Picture nominees; two presenters; guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, and Zac Efron; no “introductions of the introductions” and, as the show’s producer, Bill Mechanic, told The New York Times, “no unifying theme”.

He wasn’t just talking about the interpretative dance numbers. The awards themselves are a picture of increasing fragmentation. The last film to pull off a clean sweep of the “top five” Oscars — Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay — was Silence of the Lambs in 1991. This weekend, there will likely be as many winners as there are nominees, with the acting gongs scattered to the four winds, while Best Film and Best Director head in different directions, something that would happen scarcely once a decade but which has now occurred four times in the past 10 years. The same goes for the acting Oscars, which used to follow Best Picture more than half the time; in the past decade, only two Best Picture winners — Gladiator and Million Dollar Baby — have also won Oscars for their leads.

The Academy has always liked to spread the wealth, but this fragmentation testifies to deeper shifts in the industry as a whole. As Steven Spielberg noted as far back as 1997: “It is getting to the point where only two kinds of movies are being made, the tent-pole summer or Christmas hits... and the audacious Gramercy, Fine Line or Miramax films. It’s kinda like India where there’s an upper class and a poverty class and no middle class. Right now we are squeezing the middle class out of Hollywood and only allowing the $70 million-plus films or the $10 million-minus films.”

There’s your problem. It is that disappearing middle class that used to provide the Academy with its prize winners — middlebrow, mid-priced “prestige” pics like Driving Miss Daisy, Amadeus, and Dances With Wolves, films that hymned the moral efficacy of a single individual. It wasn’t quite a genre but you certainly knew an Oscar-winner when you saw it. It had symphonic scores, great landscapes, plush sunsets and a hero who ran the four-minute mile, went off to lead the Bolshevik Revolution, free India from the English, or atone for the sins of the white man. There was a high likelihood of the hero wearing linen. If reduced to a movie pitch, it might go something like: one individual, making a difference, in costume.

No longer. Somewhere between the moment when Leonardo DiCaprio’s brain matter hit the lift wall at the end of The Departed (2006) and the first strangulation performed by Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men (2007), the profile of your typical Best Picture winner has changed. This year the most obvious movie of the “Oscar genre” was Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, which had barely finished shooting before it was tagged and handicapped for Oscar glory, solely on the basis of its subject (Nelson Mandela) and its genre (Sports Underdog Movie).

In fact, it turned out to be a clunky, undernourished piece of work, the product of a non-competitive market, shot for $60 million (£39 million), easily elbowed aside by the two main competitors, the gritty Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker, which cost just $16 million, and James Cameron’s special-effects epic Avatar, which cost upwards of $300 million — the indie and the blockbuster, exactly as Spielberg predicted. Saving Private Ryan versus Shakespeare in Love, Chicago versus The Hours, Lord of the Rings versus Mystic River. Not for nothing has David versus Goliath become the dominant journalistic trope when writing about the Oscars. The Academy’s efforts to square the competing demands of art and commerce have increasingly led it to resemble Wile E Coyote, his legs astride an ever-widening chasm.

You have to go to the Seventies to find art and commerce working in something like concert, with the Oscars going to films like The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Annie Hall — big consensus hits, beloved of critics and the public alike, forged in the last era in which the people giving the awards, and the films’ audiences, happened to belong to the same demographic: adults over 30. There was an ease and confidence to the Academy’s decisions that is entirely missing today.

In that decade, Best Director and Best Picture awards were split only once, in 1972, when The Godfather won Best Film while Bob Fosse nabbed Best Director for Cabaret, and the Best Actor gongs followed Best Picture more than half the time. These were movies driven in large part by the central performances — Brando in The Godfather, Nicholson in Cuckoo’s Nest, Keaton in Annie Hall — and today they seem as monumental and unassailable as the presidents on Mount Rushmore.

The first cracks in that consensus appeared with the arrival of Jaws in 1975 and Star Wars in 1977, blockbuster hits generating such tidal waves of cash that the Academy had no option but to hoist its skirts and run headlong into the arms of the Europeans, with Amarcord nominated ahead of Jaws for Best Director in 1975, Chariots of Fire beating Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, and Gandhi beating ET in 1982 — one wrinkly, peace-loving guru against another, but one a historic personage played by Ben Kingsley, the other operated by 12 technicians with their hands up his rump.

In hindsight, of course, it’s easy to mock the Academy’s hunger for prestige. These days, ET has become a much-loved classic while Gandhi has descended to the ranks of the Great Unwatched. You can’t help but wonder how that race would play out today, in a year in which sci-fi heavy films such as District 9, Avatar and Star Trek have received multiple nominations. Surrounded by his new blue buddies, one suspects ET could take Bapu in three rounds.

The Academy has made its peace with the blockbuster, after a fashion, allowing first Forrest Gump (1994), then Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings (2003) into the winners’ paddock. All three swept the Oscars, but it was a very selective type of sweep, failing to generate any trophies for their actors (with the exception of Tom Hanks), making up for those losses with wins in the technical categories. With special effects playing an increasingly large part in the Best Picture winners, the Academy went hunting for its actor Oscars in much smaller, independent films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Monster’s Ball. The same with its Best Director Oscar, which split off from the pack in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

The days when you could tell each year by its Oscar winner (“1975: that was the year of Cuckoo’s Nest”), gave to something requiring the memory of an elephant or at least access to Google: “Let me see now, 2002, wasn’t that the year Chicago won? But Polanksi got best director. And Almodóvar got best screenplay. But effects went to Gollum…”

Some will see in this shift evidence of the increasing irrelevance of the Oscars. Others will mourn the death of the moviemaking consensus that made films like The Godfather possible. But the disappearance of the middlebrow is not the worst thing that could have happened to American movies. No development that leads to fewer films in the vein of Driving Miss Daisy being made can be wholly bad. Cinemagoers faced with a choice of The Hurt Locker and Avatar might even be said to be well-served, if in slight need of a romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz.

The fact that James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were once married to one another only serves to underline the point: their two films complete one another. In terms of their Oscar handicap, both has what the other wants. Avatar has broken records at the box office, taking in over $2 billion worldwide, but lacks critical clout. The Hurt Locker is critically lauded but stands to become the least profitable winner of a Best Picture Oscar in recent memory. Combine the two movies and you’d have your perfect Best Picture winner. Combine them, in fact, and you’d have precisely the kind of movie that used to sweep the Oscars.
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will be live on Sky Movies Premiere from 1am on Monday

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