Amph Nominated for...Nothing? The Thing (1982)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The Searchers (1956)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: The Searchers was an epic example of a movie in a beloved Hollywood genre (the Western), created by a bigger-than-life Hollywood director (John Ford), and starring an undisputed cinematic titan (John Wayne). It was also a huge box office success. So how was it completely overlooked at the Oscars that year? Well, for one thing, it was a big year for epics, and The King and I, The Ten Commandments, and the horrible eventual winner Around the World in Eighty Days all outgrossed The Searchers. More importantly, The Searchers was actually an independent production ? the first film from Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney's short-lived production company ? in a time when studio product still reigned supreme.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: With a bleak plot and a dark turn by Wayne, The Searchers is simultaneously the pinnacle of the Hollywood Western form and a deconstruction of the genre ? it paved the way for the great anti-Westerns of the 1960s and 1970s. Even better: it's 100 percent Yul Brynner-free!"


    There were other reasons: Neither Ford nor Wayne were *that* popular with their confreres, especially given the (political) times.
  2. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Um... the absence of Yul Brynner from anything is consistently a bad thing.

    Tough year for competition, and The Searchers is just so anti-Oscar friendly in so many regards. For one, it asks the audience to fill in the blanks themselves, something that has never been AMPAS's cup of tea.
  3. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    There was no way a film where racism against Native Americans is portrayed as a serious character flaw was going to fly with a voting block that conservative. Not to mention I'm fairly certain critical reception at the time of its release was mixed.

    Oh, and while I love The Searchers to pieces, I'm with Four Dot on Yul Brynner. He could've brought some of that cajun charm.:p
  4. Drac39 Force Ghost

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    Jul 9, 2002
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    It's kind of a darker film too which has a pretty tough anti-hero you have to swallow to really get into it. I still kind of find the race and sex themes of the film disturbing and it's been a good half century so I can sort of see that clouding Academy voters.
  5. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Groundhog Day (1993)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: The Academy famously ignores comedies in most major categories. Still, you would have thought Groundhog Day's intricate screenplay would have earned some love. But in those pre-Charlie Kaufman days, Groundhog Day's unique mixture of farce, drama, fantasy, and existentialism probably just seemed unclassifiably weird. (The decidedly more classifiable Sleepless in Seattle and In the Line of Fire were both nominated that year.)

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: The definition of a sleeper hit, Groundhog Day has since become an all-demographics favorite, at once goofily charming and philosophically significant. In hindsight, the film seems like an early indicator of Bill Murray's mid-career rebirth as an arthouse clown."

    It doesn't quite work all the way, methinks.
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    In addition to the correct observation that it's definitely a bit too weird for the AMPAS voters, I think there's a Roger Ebert quote on the film that bears noting:
    It's gotten a lot more high-minded approval in retrospect than it did at the time, when the reaction was, while generally positive, more along the lines of "What a solid comedy this is! Oh the laughs!" than "This is the kind of movie that we'll remember for twenty years and longer still."

    I think they're a bit off on the Academy ignoring comedies, though. There's usually at least one comedy in the pack every year. In terms of best picture wins, at the risk of getting flamed to hell and back, I think Annie Hall got the justification it rightfully deserved. To say nothing of the infamous Forrest Gump win.
  7. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
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    Well, Tom Hanks got his first nomination for Big, so they're not entirely closed-borders.

    It's just that Groundhog Day is made by extremely non-Oscar folk in Murray and Ramis, so it was always going to fight an uphill battle. I will say that the sequence of Phil trying to save the old hobo repeatedly but it never working out is more affecting than any of the "emotional" scenes in a lot of comedies.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Groundhog Day resists becoming dated. Nearly 20 years later local evening news is still doing awful fluff pieces, old people still watch Jeopardy! losers still hang out at bowling alley bars and the guys at our high school reunions who now sell insurance for a living all look like Ned. And another 20 years from now the core romantic fantasy will still seem timeless.
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I think ramza's got it right and that's a great quote from Ebert on the film too. I remember really liking it the first time I saw it and then it's just somehow a movie that stays absolutely pristine in your memory and is actually more enjoyable every time you watch it (I suppose that's an irony, huh?).
  10. Drac39 Force Ghost

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    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    I think it had to do with who was involved with 'Groundhog Day' too. Harold Ramis and Bill Murray mainly made commercial comedy movies before this and at the surface Groundhog Day feels a great deal like merely another one of those.

    Bill Murray's reinvention of himself kind of began with Groundhog Day. He was the Meatballs/Stripes Bill Murray before this.
  11. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Jabbas got the right of it. Its one of those movies that drags the zeitgeist to it as opposed to being sucked into it. Its get better and more brilliant and more poignant as time goes by. Its A Wonderful Life was/is just that way. Two and half star film by most critics upon its release and timeless and boundless classic 75 years later. Same thing is happening with Groundhog Day, and the perception of Bill Murrays' talent for that matter.
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Persona (1966)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman had already won Foreign Film Oscars (for The Virgin Spring and Through a Glass Darkly) and racked up two screenplay nominations when he unleashed this inquisition into humanity and/or the artistic process. Even at a time when wonky foreign meta-movies were earning Oscars, Persona was probably just too bizarre for the voting membership.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: A peak in a career full of peaks, Persona predicted a whole generation of bizarre cinema. (In a sense, David Lynch has been brilliantly remaking Persona throughout his career.) But it's also just a great actress showcase, with dueling Bergman muses Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman engaged in a movie-long staring contest."

    There are times Scandinavians can be too dour, and this is one of them--it's one of the dullest and most depressing movies ever. You want to say: for ****'s sake, cheer up already.
  13. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    star 5
    The film is better for having nothing to do with the Oscars, but a Cinematography nomination was surely in order.
  14. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Breathless (1960)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: Putting aside its infamous aversion to comedy, the Academy has three major blind spots: films about youth culture; films starring morally irredeemable protagonists; and films not made in America. Hat trick for Breathless!

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: The film that kickstarted the French New Wave would prove influential for decades. In particular, its cut-happy editing style would prove to be a defining aesthetic in pretty much every visual medium in the back half of the twentieth century."
  15. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Hoop Dreams (1994)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: In a crowded year for great movies ? the Best Picture field included Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, and even if you hate three of those movies you probably love the other one ? Hoop Dreams was the highest-praised film of 1994. It was also the rare documentary to actually have a modicum of mass appeal. Unfortunately, the Academy's documentary committee is a hilariously shady operation with dainty tastes, rarely nominating popular films. Intriguingly, Hoop Dream's snub actually might have been a purposeful conspiracy ? check out this contemporary EW report for more details.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: Hoop Dreams is simply one of the finest documentaries ever made. By focusing on racial, economic, and education issues through the prism of basketball, it influenced everything from Moneyball to the TV version of Friday Night Lights to ESPN's ''30 for 30'' doc series."


    Gene Siskel tried leading a charge on its behalf, to no avail. Just entirely strange, not to nominate it for best Documentary.
  16. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Agreed, very bad snub.
  17. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I remember Letterman doing a Top 10 List on how ridiculous a snub it was.

    EDIT: I googled it, this was the year Letterman hosted. He did a Top 10 list during the show: "Top Ten Clues that the film you are seeing will not be nominated for Best Picture". Number six: "it's a beautifully made movie about two kids in the inner city trying to realize their dream of playing basketball."
  18. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    King Kong (1933)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: The Oscars were only six years old and didn't have awards for either special effects or musical score ? categories that Kong would have owned.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: An early example of the Academy's prejudice against B-movie adventure fare, King Kong came out in a year when forgotten middle-brow mediocrities like Smilin' Through and Cavalcade were racking up nominations. In hindsight, Kong practically invented the entire notion of a visual-effects movie. And remarkably, the titular ape remains one of the most believable ? and emotionally complicated ? non-human characters in film history."

    Not even best picture?
  19. MasterDillon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2010
    star 2
    Well I'm sure that people today regret that king Kong was never nominated.
  20. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Touch of Evil (1958)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: Former boy-wonder auteur Orson Welles was nobody's favorite person by the time he made this gritty border-noir thriller. Recut by the studio, ignored by critics, and overlooked by audiences, it's understandable that Touch of Evil didn't earn any Academy love. Still, the lack of a cinematography nomination hurts, since Evil opens with the most famous long shot in history: A three-minute unbroken take that introduces the characters, the setting, and throws in a ticking time bomb to boot.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: Welles' last American film is also, next to Citizen Kane, his most complete vision. It's also his most flat-out fun movie, a B-film made with an operatic conviction that anticipates everything from Bonnie & Clyde to Pulp Fiction to Drive."

    It's full of late-Wellesian touches: nuance-free casting (Heston as a Mexican?), really bad, bad performances (Dennis Weaver), jumbled script/plot, overblown dialogue. Yes, that opening sequence is a barn-burner, but once Welles got credit fever, and eschewed the help of an experienced team (as Hitchcock, for instance, had), his movies are a roller-coaster ride with a few highs and a lot of lows. I know this particular view is not the popular one. But in some of these films, the basic technical stuff isn't even done right. I'm not prepared to say it doesn't matter, or that it's a comment on the suits, or whatever excuse Welles tended to use. But praising late bad stuff at the expense of his earlier good stuff suggests you don't know the difference. Granted Welles' decline started in the middle of his second movie, but still. This isn't a 'flat-out fun movie'...it's an infuriating misfire. I wouldn't be angry if this guy didn't have talent.
  21. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    Welles deserved noms for both direction and supporting actor.
  22. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Caddyshack (1980)

    "Why It Wasn't Nominated: Remember when we said that the Academy didn't nominate Groundhog Day because it was a comedy about existentialism? Right, well replace ''existentialism'' with ''golf, sex, drugs, and Rodney Dangerfield,'' and you've got Caddyshack.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: Caddyshack somehow manages to balance several different brands of comedy from very different performers ? Dangerfield's hyperbole, Chevy Chase's casual narcissism, Bill Murray's deadpan absurdity, and Ted Knight's perpetual outrage ? and, in the process, it created a dirty comedy that everyone can enjoy. In a happier world, the Best Supporting Actor nominations would have been Joe Pesci for Raging Bull and those four guys for Caddyshack."

    It's full of TV comedians, and comedies have a tough time anyway. Not a chance.
  23. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    And save for a few inspired patches, it's really not that good at all.
  24. quiller Jedi Master

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    Jun 1, 2005
    star 2
    Just one word, Raging Bull...

    Caddyshack, even though I love it was a typical comedy that we saw in the 70's even if it was better then most. While all the actors did a good job the comedy was teen age based combined with action gag type jokes which will never gain oscar cred. The only thing in this film that was truly oscar worth was Kenny Loggins song, I'm Alright. But there was stiff competition that year from Fame, The Competition, Honeysuckle Rose, all musical based films as well as a Dolly Parton song.
  25. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The Big Lebowski (1998)

    "Why it Wasn't Nominated: The Coen Brothers' follow-up to their Oscar-winning Fargo was a purposefully ambling sorta-mystery about a pothead and a militant conservative bumbling around Los Angeles. Crash this wasn't.

    Why It Should've Been Nominated: The cult of Lebowski proves that, if nothing else, the film is merely one of the most quotable films ever made. But the movie's smart remix of noir, and its sprawling ensemble cast, makes it a relentless filmic treat. But sure, whatever, Shakespeare in Love was cute, too."

    Yes, it's quotable, but it has next to no plot, or at least it seemed to me.