Why The Oscars’®©™ Best Picture award is a farce

Toy Story 3 didn’t win Best Picture this year. I wouldn’t mind so much if I thought it ever had a real fighting chance. It didn’t win for one simple reason: It’s animation. No other reason.

While I haven’t seen all the other nominees this year, I have seen True Grit and Inception. TS3 was much better than Inception – Christopher Nolan’s characters always have about as much depth as they did in Dark Knight Returns. I won’t say TS3 was definitively better than True Grit. It’s a point on which I could have a long enjoyable debate and not feel bad if I didn’t change the other person’s mind.

But TS3 deserved to win because it’s a great movie and because the Academy owes Pixar for years of other snubs. Find me another company that has consistently produced so many great movies. Everything they’ve done except for the horrible (by Pixar standards) Cars and the not-bad-but-not-great Bugs Life, has been amazing. WALL*E is a movie that will be taught in film classes a hundred years from now. Ratatouille is one of the great movies of ideas of all time.

Now WALL*E  didn’t get a best picture nod in 2007 but it was up against a pretty amazing crop of moviesNo Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Juno, Atonement and Michael Clayton. I love Juno but it sure as heck wasn’t in WALL*E ‘s league. The following year Ratatouille ran into a similar problem. So I am willing to cut the Academy a little slack for not nominating them. Last year the list of nominees expanded to 10 and Up got a nomination it deserved. Looking at the list of movies it should have gotten a nomination even if the list had been the usual 5 flicks. (Avatar? I’ve seen soap stains that made a better film. I really like District 9 and I don’t think it should have been on the list. Unless, of course, they set the bar so low that Avatar was included.)

So this year who wins the Best Picture but a movie seemingly designed to do nothing but. I am sure The King’s Speech is a fine movie – but it won mostly because it was a British royalty handicap story. Those accents! The Merchant-Ivory like class factor. A noble, physically attractive handicap!

As good as it undoubtedly is, it isn’t better than TS3 and the collected body of work Pixar has turned out. TS3 like Godfather II, and yes I believe they deserve to be discussed together, was able to be as good as – if not better – than the great original movie. (TS2 was 50% of a great movie and certainly not in a league with the other two. Drop me a line and I’ll explain why.) The depth of character, the incredibly mature story it told, the writing, the storytelling, the acting were all of a quality seldom matched. And it’s nomination was nothing more than tokenism. Feh. A pox on all The Academy’s houses. (And BTW, The Illusionist –  another of this year’s nominees for Best Animated — should also have been a best picture nominee. But that would have meant TWO animated movies on the list and that would never be allowed to happen.)

Toy Story 3 was robbed 

Thanks to The Whatchamacallit and BrokeHoedown for tipping me to the picture above!


4 thoughts on “Why The Oscars’®©™ Best Picture award is a farce

  1. Pingback: Is the Academy Award for Best Picture a Farce? « Broke Hoedown

  2. “WALL•E” should’ve been nominated in 2008, not 2007, alongside “THE DARK KNIGHT”. “RATATOUILLE” was 2007, the year from which “JUNO”, “NO COUNTRY…”, and “THERE WILL BE BLOOD”.

    Great analysis and I agree. What I feel is more disappointing than “TS3” losing BP is that it had no fighting chance to begin with. THAT is the farce.

    Anyway, had “RATATOUILLE” (did ya know Disney/Pixar considered pushing it but feared losing Animated Film?) & “WALL•E” had been nominated in their years, the nominees would have been these.





    Thx __

  3. Toy Story 2 is my favorite Pixar film, and though I realize it certainly isn’t their best effort overall, I think you could make a case it is as good if not better than the other Toy Stories. I realize I’m biased, but I would like to know your reasoning behind it being a 50% great film.

  4. Renard, thanks for the correction. I was in such a state I couldn’t even keep track of when was what.

    CDW, here’s my take on TS2: All the stuff in the plot line with Jesse and the toy museum is great — brilliant even. The Buzz vs. fake Buzz is just a rehash of Buzz’s plot line from the first movie. In addition it includes pop culture references (Star Wars in particular) which I find irritating for a number of reasons. First is that it violates everything we know about the toy’s knowledge of the world. Although they are products of popular culture they really only know what has existed in the toy world. Woody doesn’t even know that his show ended because of Sputnik — an event he (the toy) was apparently in existence for. Yet the toys in TS2 (and not either of the other movies) make knowing references to pop culture. Ironic commentary is exactly what they are NOT about. They are innocents exploring the world.

    Further, the whole “Luke I am your father” punchline is a sign of lazy writing. It is beyond cliche at this point. It is what comics and writers go to for a cheap, easy laugh. The existence of an entire plot line that exists only for that pay off is so far below Pixar’s artistic abilities that it is embarrassing. I hold Pixar to a very high standard — because that is where they have set the bar. When you’re as good as they are something like this really stands out.

    That said, I totally respect loving TS2. It has a lot of emotional resonance and some truly wonderful stuff. Even something as little as the scene where the restorer gets Woody back into mint condition is wonderful. Jesse’s grief over being abandoned is truly moving and well told. It isn’t a bad movie, it’s just that coming from Pixar I expect it to be near perfect. (Cars, now that’s a bad movie. It is the only Pixar that ever bored me.)

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