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The Best In Film, 2013 – And The Oscars

Oscars this Sunday night. We’ll talk who should win, and why.

Chocolate Oscar statues with gold dust are pictured at the Governors Ball Press Preview for the 86th Oscars, on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP)

Chocolate Oscar statues with gold dust are pictured at the Governors Ball Press Preview for the 86th Oscars, on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP)

Academy Awards this weekend. The Oscars. Red carpet. Lots of glam and eye rolls. Yes, it’s over the top. Yes, the Academy can be capricious, confounding with its statuettes. With who gets the gold. But the fact is, this has been a good year for film. For movies. Her. American Hustle. Gravity. Twelve Years a Slave. Dallas Buyers Club. The Wolf of Wall Street. Nebraska. More. And for performances. McCo naughey. Nyong’o. Blanchett. Bale. Ejiofor. We don’t know who will win. But who should win? This hour On Point: Who should win the Oscars?

- Tom Ashbrook


Claudia Puig, film critic for USA Today. (@claudiapuig)

Scott Tobias, editor at The Dissolve. (@scott_tobias)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Oscar ballot: Who will win, and who should – “Following one of the best years for movies in at least a dozen years, the best-picture race is particularly tough. Several films are worthy, and it seems to be a three-way race between GravityAmerican Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. But of the three, 12 Years is the most deserving, given its ambition, top-notch cast, deftly written script, stunning cinematography and moving script based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man taken into slavery. ”

The Dissolve: Why five is the magic number for Best Picture nominees — “The current wild-card Best Picture setup—in which anywhere from five to 10 films can be nominated, and we don’t find out how many made the cut until nomination day—has been in place for three years. That’s long enough to determine that it isn’t working, and Harris’ bigger-ended-up-smaller argument isn’t the only reason why.”

Grantland: Oscar Season Turns Ugly – “Right now, more than in any recent year, a kind of sourness has settled over the Academy Awards. As the season grinds along, the campaigning winds down, and the guilds hand out their various trophies, the prevailing (and possibly unrepresentative) sentiment among the Academy members I’ve talked to seems to be “Let’s get this thing over with.” The fights have all been had — is anybody really up for re-litigating American Hustle v. The Wolf of Wall Street? — and the movies themselves have been more than sufficiently chewed over; they’ve all been around for a long time now and, this weekend at least, more people bought tickets to watch pieces of Lego brawl with each other than attended every single Best Picture nominee combined.’

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  • Fiscally_Responsible

    A total waste of four perfectly good hours, unless your interest is in observing yet another forum where left wingers can spew their liberal immoral propaganda and political views on subjects such as man made climate change (after the oscar program is finished, they all return to their huge mansions and resume their massive co2 producing lifestyles).

    • Cardo Lianez

      You should spend your 4 hours somewhere else.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I plan on it.

        • Leonard Bast

          Slavering over Fox News, no doubt.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Believe or not, I spend very little time watching Fox News. I dislike the way many of the hosts cut their guests off rather than allowing them to finish their point.

    • Art Toegemann

      FR on a tear. May we infer that movie is Inequality for All?

    • Leonard Bast

      When every single topic brings exactly the same anti-liberal tirade from you, how can you ever expect anyone to take anything you say seriously?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I personally find that the Oscars go on and on and on and it seems that they add category after category. I do like a good movie, but I find that precious little that Hollywood produces meshes with what I would like to see. Instead of creative plots with heterosexual monogomous families or individuals, the vast majority of movies contain adulterous/other anti-Biblical relationships, lots of offensive language, extreme violence and horror, and that there are very few non-dysfunctional people left in the world. I also believe that actors/actresses (like sports figures) are greatly overpaid, which translates to unreasonable movie ticket prices. I’m sure that if you were to take a poll, you would find that the majority of Hollywood people lean way left politically. For those Hollywood types who live in huge homes, lip service about reducing our global footprint is hypocritical.

        • art525

          Speaking of going on and on and on……

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        How many people sit on the edge of their seats for four hours watching the Oscar Awards?

    • brettearle

      I’m sure Charlton Heston was able to work with, and appreciate, many Liberals in Hollywood.

      Great snippets of film and great entertainers can sometimes be appreciated, via a grand stage performance.

      If you can’t restrain your political bias, for 4 hours–much less the rest of the year–that, certainly and fully, is not our problem.

      Your only interest, basically, is to spew something that you think is cynical and clever.

      It adds little to the dialogue.

      We all know that double-standards exist, everywhere–not simply in the Beautiful People crowd.

      Some Conservatives smoke grass.
      Some Pro-lifers have had abortions
      Some Republicans are gay.

      So what?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I went to Redbox this morning to look for a movie to possibly rent for this weekend. It was amazing how many were horror movies, movies with extreme violence, and movies whose message contradicts what used to be generally accepted morality. One of them was about two women who have affairs with each other’s son. Sounds like a wonderful family movie, certainly something that we should encourage people to emulate. When you compare that with a movie like Singing In the Rain, which was extremely creative, funny, had great music, and had no adultery in it, it is clear how far Hollywood has fallen. In many cases, the emphasis has shifted to the elements that I cited initially because they have run out of worthwhile ideas for movie plots.

        • brettearle

          Oh, don’t get me wrong….

          I agree, in part, with your assessment of Film.

          But there are STILL good and very good movies that are being made.

          But ALL you want to do is DWELL on the bad stuff.

          Indeed, there are enough quality movies, for the Academy to dole out some deserving awards to the relevant film makers and staff.

          THAT is the Point.

          The Academy Awards may be overdone Glitz.

          But it is only for 4 or 5 hours, a year–and it is pure entrainment, even if some of it is kitsch or crass.

    • hennorama

      Fiscally_responsible — reading and responding to your post was a waste of forty perfectly good seconds.

  • J__o__h__n

    They should never have expanded it to ten.

  • TFRX

    Curious if having an animation feature award has created more animation features. Pixar is always good storytelling, but many of the other studios have got a very up and down record.

    (And thanking my maker that none of those Chipmunk movies got nominated for anything.)

  • ClimateDesperate

    My concern about “12 years” – does it fall sometimes into “violence pornography?” Why isn’t Fruitvale Station not taken more seriously in the Awards/Nominations?

  • Guest

    I’d be curious to hear about the critics’ opinions on Inside Llewyn Davis. Did it get snubbed? Or is its lack of nominations justified?

  • Ben

    What are the critics’ opinions on Inside Llewyn Davis? Snubbed or not? Academy averse to over-recognizing the Coen’s? Or just not that great?

    • J__o__h__n

      I didn’t like it. I found the protagonist a chore to watch.

    • brettearle

      I’ve never taken to the Coen Brothers. Although, I sort of liked “Burn After Reading”.

      Is it that their work is so off-beat and droll that their satire is unique?

      • J__o__h__n

        I’ve liked several of their other movies but not this one.

  • hwrd987 .

    Is it true that Scarlet Johannson’s make-up artist is nominated for an Oscar in the make-up artist category? lol

  • georgepotts

    Roman Polanski should get the Woody Allen Award for Loving Children

    • brettearle

      That’s what we like to see:

      A Clueless Commenter who wishes to pollute the thread with rancid fertilizer–so that such garbage can detract from a topic with pure entertainment value.

      Thank you so much for trying to, unsuccessfully, ruin our end-of-the-week distraction.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Actually, the two examples that he cites are perfect examples of the moral bankruptcy that is so pervasive in Hollywood.

        • brettearle

          Moral bankruptcy is EVERYwhere–in case you haven’t noticed.

          And judging from your comment above, I’m not sure you have noticed.

          • art525

            And it should be called out when it is uncovered.

          • brettearle

            Then, I’m afraid, you would have no time to sleep, eat, or work.

            But what you have done, instead, is gone off, inflamed, with your self-righteous sword–against a moral outrage, that is yet to be proven….

            ….when there are so many other ugly examples, where the actual FACTS are already in.

            Welcome to a distorted form of Jurisprudence.

            Because THAT is what you are practicing.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — please allow an edit of the high-priority activities mentioned:

            “you would have no time to sleep, eat, or [f]ork.”

          • hennorama

            brettearle — clarity: no comprehension issues (despite the spelling), but a surfeit of inklings.

          • brettearle


            You’ve long wondered if I’d ever be on the other side of an issue, with you, and get angry at you.

            Well, I hate to disappoint you again–because while you and I might disagree on the Woody Allen issue, it drives no wedge between us, at all.

            I still ‘hold out’ that the alleged defendant is guilty.

            However, the following come to mind:

            Aside from there being only a He said/She said situation….and no forensic evidence, whatsoever….

            The allegations did not surface UNTIL Farrow was humiliated. That timing is VERY curious.

            Having a penchant for young women does not make one a pedophile.

            Farrow obviously had a child with the Chairman of the Board, while she was with Allen.

            And the Big Zinger? The one that NO ONE mentions:

            Go back to Dory Previn’s song…..

            “She was my friend, my friend, my friend…

            I thought her motives were sincere. Oh, yes, I did….”

            Maybe she ain’t got nothing on Stephen Mercado.

            In any case–like I said before–you’re much too Dimensional for me to get angry at–even if you want to correct me on somewhat of a technicality:

            As I am getting older, I am, more and more unconsciously, writing words sound alike–because my dyslexia is interfering with my senility or vice versa.


            Don’t wright two fasstt; don’t git to busy, sew that you don’t half to Right fascist.

            Gut genug fur dich?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Ja, natürlich. Keine Angst.

      • art525

        I’m afraid that georgepotts is right in pointing out the moral bankruptcy of those two characters.

        • brettearle

          I’m afraid that the above malaise-monger is dead wrong, in pointing to guilt in the unproven Allen case, without forensic evidence–on a web page that is designed for us to enjoy life for a few moments, away from Tragedy.

          • art525

            Even if Allen is not guilty of molesting a seven year old he did seduce a seventeen year old adopted daughter of his girlfriend. Mia Farrow discovered his actions when she found nude pictures of her daughter on Alkens fireplace. That is disgusting and creepy enough to lead me to believe he would be capable of the other allegation. I can’t look past such behavior, I can’t ignore such behavior and indulge in Allen’s movies. He is an ugly soul.

          • brettearle

            I agree, to some reasonable degree, with a fair chunk (though not completely) of your assessment of Woody Allen’s character.

            His liaison, with his step daughter, was outrageous.

            Nevertheless, that does NOT make him a child-molester.

            For one thing, this entire accusation came out, ONLY after Farrow was utterly humiliated–and not before.

            What’s more Farrow’s history, herself, is quite suspect–character-wise.

            If you get involved with a young woman–where the circumstances are quite questionable–it does not mean that you are a child-molester. It means that your character should be questioned–only for what you have done; not for what others also think you have done.

            Otherwise you are practicing nothing more than an ersatz Witch-hunt.

        • horatio

          dear art525….you might want to point out the fact that one of the two was convicted…the other was not charged with anything and professionals who talked to the teenager thought that she made the whole thing up….so did her own brother.

          • brettearle

            Thanks for your comments.

            See my reply, below, to art525, entered yesterday; as well, as further below, a few minutes ago.

  • georgepotts

    Or Woody Allen could get the Roman Polanski Pedophilia Award.

  • art525

    His wife was 17 when he seduced her. Also Mariel Hemingway said she was creeped out that she had to kiss Allen in Manhattan, a movie he made about a guy who is obsessed with a 16 year old. He’s just creepy.

  • stillin

    Argo was one of the worst films ever, predictable, over-hyped crap. How WarWitch lost to that lost me, but I don’t care about these awards anymore after sitting through Argo. Horrible.

  • hennorama

    All of the decisions of The Academy should be viewed with the following in mind, per latimes.com:

    “Even with the 432 new voting members, the overall academy is still 93% white, a decrease of less than 1% from what The Times found in a 2012 membership study, and 76% male, also a less than 1% decrease from what The Times found two years ago.”


    “The average age of academy members also continued to inch up — from 62 to 63 — despite the organization’s efforts to bring in younger people. That’s a difficult trend to reverse because there are far more existing members than new members, and those existing members are all another year older.”


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