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About Mladen

  • Birthday December 27

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  1. I honestly am in two minds regarding EEAAO. On one hand, I do recognize originality and I can sense the difference in the way AMPAS voted. I think we can say small passion project won, we can say something unorthodox, original won over several classic Oscar baity movies. I do believe it has potential to become this generation movie, the one that may change the game. However, it should be noted I don't believe it will happen over night, and I am still not convinced whether this is the result of those "The Shape of Water" and "Parasite" game-changing victories, or if this is a whole new thing, standing on its own. I belong to the camp "I liked it, didn't love it", as @Annara Snow said. That said, us Europeans were always less inclined to fall for a movie like this, which is also reflected in box office (70% US, 30% international speaks that it is very US-centric movie). In comparison, international BO for "Banshees" and "TAR" is circa 70%. So, it is always amusing how European-centric audience is less thrilled about EEAAO than American. And I am not sure EEAAO as movie caused visceral reaction. I mean, Shapiro is more inclined to throw hate at Hollywood for being what they are. I doubt it has more with EEAAO than Hollwood's liberal views and proving the point people don't remember the movies as they used to. Shapiro most certainly is not alone in this and it is not like right-wing opinion that Oscar movies are doing terrible with the audience and that they are forgotten as soon as Oscar season is over. Time has not been exactly kind to the previous 10-15 Best Picture winners. One can argue that it is reflection of Hollywood making Oscar season an entire "horserace" where studios, producers, directors and actors all get involved into this very dirty game. The last two weeks of the season is usually filled with all sorts of "gloves off" behavior (case in point: Michelle Yeoh's Instagram post about history-making victory for her and the fact Cate Blanchett already has two Oscars). I wonder if things would change with shorter season, less precursors and critics doing their job and not trying to predict Oscars. Another big criticism is that AMPAS allowed themselves to get carried away with narrative voting. Those are always good in terms of a specific moment but rarely ages well. It will also depend what Daniels and the winning actors continue to do. I can see Daniels failing hard with some quirky, outlandish movie they make in the future. We'll see how actors will use their Oscars... I think Fraser is most likely to get nominated again (he is already in Scorsese's new movie that will premiere at Cannes). I hear some rumors that Disney wants this year's Oscar winners in acting categories at their roster. And while I am not sure about it, the idea of Ke Huy Quan doing some remake of Indiana Jones, or perhaps spin-off, does sound interesting. And I know we talked a lot about winners and losers, but if I was sad about one loss below-the-line it is that Justin Hurwitz lost the Oscar for Best Score. His music is so beautiful and I hate how he got caught up in AMPAS' total rejection of Babylon.
  2. Jasmine is a take on Blanche DuBois, one of the most known female protagonists in American literature. It is the role to prove your Oscar chops. She may not be the likeable in terms of personality, but it is very relatable role with a long history. Lydia is much colder, intellectual type of role in comparison to Jasmine. And yes, Lydia is far less showier than Jasmine. Yes, but it is also about certain type of unlikeable characters. Not every villain is hated, as audience we tend to love to hate some characters. Think of, for example Lena Headey and Charles Dance in "Game of Thrones". Lydia doesn't fall into that category either. She is difficult to warm up to.
  3. Yeah, I know that. And I think the change added a lot more substance to the material. Perhaps "suffer" is the wrong choice of word. But, unlikeable roles rarely win at Best Actress category. That was one of several other reasons why Blanchett didn't win - she had two Oscars (which everyone was repeating ad nauseum as if that is the argument about her performance), she didn't have the narrative in comparison to almost every woman that was in contention - Yeoh, Davis and Deadwyler vying for historic win, Davis and Williams being overdue for Best Actress Oscar, Ana de Armas being ingenue Hollywood likes to award. It was also arthouse film with a poor box office (interestingly, so far it has earned $15M outside US, which is 2/3 of its box office, signaling that Europeans liked it more than Americans). TAR was never winning Best Picture, we knew that since it was released in Venice. Its only win was always Blanchett. Since she got Volpi cup at Venice, that has been the movie's narrative. And Field, Hoss, Hoffmeister, Willi, Hildur... They all tried their best in supporting Cate to become that one win for the movie.
  4. It was combination of people liking Mark Rylance, snobbery directed towards Stallone and "Bridge of Spies" being Best Picture nominee. But, yeah... What these Oscars brought and what is really important in some ways is the new generation, the end of AMPAS snobbery, racial bias, their accounting for taste. If you compare which movies went empty-handed and which got awards, a conclusion can not be more clear. Whether we speak about Yeoh or Ke Huy Quan, Fraser or JLC, awarding any of them would be impossible 10 years ago. But AMPAS has been slowly changing the membership and it is a generational thing. Can anyone imagine Spielberg losing with "The Fabelmans" 10 years ago? Or Blanchett and Farrell being challenged by unorthodox roles and win? That doesn't mean AMPAS has not its own issues. People celebrate Yeoh's victory because it is the end of racial bias in Best Actress category, but they forgot that at least three POC actresses have been denied nomination this year, and 2 of them have been more than worthy. On the other hand, we also need to understand the sexism working in Academy. The role Blanchett had was meant for a man, not a woman. And even though it is brilliant and undeniably great. Blanchett suffered for not playing warmer, more caring female character. Something the likes of Robert De Niro or Daniel Day-Lewis would never be bothered with. So, while we can celebrate some small/not-so-small victories, we should understand there's much more to achieve.
  5. She is talented and she is well-liked. I know some of my friends from LA who work as critics and journalists are all enamored with her. She is kind, generous, a true sport. No one denies that. The problem is... You are not supposed ti get the Oscar for being kindest person. That's where this entire debate started. She was solid in EEAAO, but she is far from something that would usually garner awards. The moment Michelle Williams decided to campaign in Lead Actress, this category became a chaos. The sad thing is this could truly have been an amazing category. We had Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley from "Women Talking", Nina Hoss from "TAR", Thuso Mbedu and Lashana Lynch from "The Woman King", Dolly De Leon from "Triangle of Sadness", Janelle Monae from "Glass Onion". Keke Palmer was campaigning in Supporting for "Nope", Zoe Kazan in "She Said"... Not to mention Angela, Kerry, Stephanie Hsu and Hong Chau. So, we had an amazing pool of supporting performances and somehow we ended up with somewhat uninspiring lineup and consequently winner. To be honest, Bassett was not much better in "Wakanda Forever". But she had two powerful scenes, which, Supporting performance is supposed to be - couple of strong powerful moments during the movie. People toyed with the idea of AB at Oscars since trailer for "Wakanda Forever" came out. Plus, when we got the script, you could see how Angela owned that scene with Okoye. Changing the rhythm and emphasizing certain parts... She did amazing job there. Is it her best performance? Of course not. Simply, we had two legacy Oscar narratives clashing, with three deserving women being newcomers no one heard about. And per usual recipe, when Academy can't decide, they choose what they already know and like. I spoke about this already... She talked up both Hsu and Yeoh this entire season. People from Oscar sites talked how Academy members told them they watched EEAAO because of JLC. Remember, the movie came out last March, and we all sort of expected to die out when fall season begins with Venice and new movies coming out of Venice, Toronto and New York festivals. So, JLC worked around the clock to promote the movie basically creating snowball effect. We also had her propping up Michelle Yeoh during SAG. Cate was already steamrolling the season, beating Yeoh at CCA (where EEAAO won everything) and at BAFTA. So, it wasn't a small deal when JLC went on stage and said "I say Michelle, you say YEOH" People adored her, and we got it. SAG changed both Lead and Supporting Actress races. And yes, we can all be cynical about Hollywood, but JLC is a decent person. I am angry she won, I hate that sort of things at Oscars, but that is just me. But I can't deny JLC is profoundly decent and humble person. Not to mention funny and adorable.
  6. I feel we are saying the same thing here. I may just be coming off as too harsh against her, but I am honestly not. I didn't like that performance, I don't find it deserving, but given how this game is rigged, I find it natural for all of them to use all the connections they have. JLC is in the industry for 40+ years, true, she is a beloved figure. Did it start with her parents? Yes. That doesn't negate the fact she succeeded on her own, coming to position to win an Oscar. I was being descriptive in perceptions that people have and how mindsets work in terms that nothing matters if it is about your favorite. Case in point: We won't care about white actress winning over 3 more deserving POC actresses, if we all love her enough. That is the reality of Hollywood. I never said EEAAO is fading. I have my doubts, but I think that the effect it will have on industry is significant. When a movie like this wins 7 Oscars, people start thinking outside the box what they consider is "Oscar-winning movie". I was talking particularly about this win, but EEAAO as a whole does have a potential to change what is being awarded at the Oscar. We have two "by the book" movies - The Fabelmans and Elvis going empty-handed, so I think that is also telling.
  7. I don't think any of us who comment regularly claim that Academy has ever awarded plainly bad performance. I may not like JLC winning, but she has not given a bad performance, more like good, but not deserving of victory. We are working with truly great performances. There are 800-900 movies being shot in States per year, so we talk about 5-10 deserving performers per category. Our subjectivity may call this or that bad, but no one, or rare are those who actually believe that those undeserving victories or nominations are "Razzie-type". For me, neither one was the best this year. The debate should have been between Condon and Hsu. But Carry and Stephanie are newcomers and the field somehow remained without some serious performances (Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Nina Hoss, Dolly De Leon). So, we had to choose whose legacy Oscar makes more sense. My choice in that case was Bassett because she has that one scene that truly resonated with me (and the rest of the public). I like how emotionally uninhibited it is. I like how Bassett changed some words and dynamic of the script in that scene (for the record, I am talking about "Have you not given everything" scene). But, when a movie is sweeping, there is always one or two categories that are being caught by surprise. That is what happened at SAG and eventually Oscars. EEAAO was taking all the major prizes and that goodwill benefited her, pushing her ahead of Bassett and Condon.
  8. Honestly, I don't blame her. This season we have seen much of this behavior and people found excuses. Now, it seems like Bassett did something unspeakable. Well, she has right to be disappointed. If we have normalized certain behavior, we can't exactly judge her. I am not saying it is hypocrisy on the part of EEAAO, but Academy and pundits. We speak about history and narratives and then we have the most egregious win against 3 POC actresses. One can argue that she was not even the best Supporting actress in her own movie. I understand it is never about merit, at least we only pretend it is about merit. And JLC certainly deserved it because, as any pundit will testify, JLC cheered for this movie and made many, many of her friends watch it, exposing it to the right people. So even though she her performance is not the best, the fact that she pushed for this movie is indeed an achievement and there are those who will argue that deserves a win. Not in small part, this movie owns its success to JLC. So, perhaps there lies the key of awarding JLC. Unfortunately, we can't. Because she was campaigning hard and most of these Oscar journalists will tell you that JLC did incredible work behind-the-scene during screenings, inviting people to watch movies, using her address book to promote the movie. Let me be clear, nothing bad about it. They all do it. Cate, Viola, Michelle... It is just that her privileged position and connections within the industry resulted in this victory. *** I won't lie... I really hate JLC winning. It is one of the worst victories in this category since probably Laura Dern who also got hers on the ground on legacy and career. I am not sure how EEAAO will age, but I am sure JLC victory will age like milk.
  9. EEAAO is certainly an original movie, but I think some people may be exaggerating this. You have Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" introducing quirky fantasy to Academy members, you have "Parasite" starting what seems to be an Asian wave of influence (just to be clear, nothing bad with that, Asian cinema is glorious and original and we need more of it) plus multiverse is sort of MCU thing these days. There is a lot of disappointment because we have 8 Best Picture nominated movies who won in total 3 Oscars, two below the line. You have 5 Best Picture nominated movies going home empty-handed. And when you think that movies like "TAR", "Banshees of Inisherin" or "Aftersun" are all snubbed, one movie getting 7 Oscars, 6 above the line seems too much. There is no one in this world who can convince me that JLC deserves an Oscar. To put things in perspective, we now live in the world where JLC has an Oscar, but Glenn Close doesn't. I have talked about this, and I am honestly glad Angela Bassett didn't join the applause for JLC when she won. I mean, the cast and crew of EEAAO talk incessently about representation and then one of their wins is completely undeserving for white nepo baby over 3 POC actresses, not to mention an entire dozen actresses who have not been nominated in this category. Hypocrisy at its best. Someone mentioned this today and I had to check it now. Michelle Yeoh didn't even do the complementary "my fellow nominees" mention. I honestly can't remember when a Best Actress winner didn't do this. I mean, Olivia Colman apologized to Glenn Close, Frances McDormand made nominated women stand up and celebrate, Cate Blanchett mentioned each nominated woman by name praising their work... I understand it is historical moment, but still. Hunger was real, we were not hiding, publishing an article how "history has to be made, Cate Blanchett already has two..." was a poor taste. I am so glad this season is over because it really was nasty. I am sincerely sad that Martin McDonagh didn't win Screenplay and Todd Field didn't win Directing. As for Cate, I think only Meryl can now match her "losing filmography" that includes the roles like "Elizabeth", "Carol" and "TAR". Lastly, as someone mentioned Daniels now have as many Oscars as Steven Spielberg. Will EEAAO stand the test of time? IDK... People try to convince me that it is the best thing since sliced bread. On the other hand I know the memory of modern consumer and I have seen these obsessions going as fast as they were created. We'll see in a year or two. And we'll also see whether this will bring any change to Hollywood or are we destined for another 2015. in 2024?
  10. A famous nepo baby that made entire Hollywood watch this movie is certainly not a random white lady. Yes, it is atrocious winner, but overall, it is part of EEAAO sweep. Congrats to winners, they wouldn't be my choice, but I am glad for them. Unfortunately, some superior movies are going home tonight without recognition. They deserved much better, but it is Academy. I hope you have enjoyed this season with me... I will write more in-detail tomorrow.
  11. Best Picture All Quiet on the Western Front Avatar: The Way of Water The Banshees of Inisherin Elvis Everything Everywhere All At Once The Fabelmans Tar Top Gun: Maverick Triangle of Sadness Women Talking
  12. Best Director Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin Daniels, Everything Everywhere All At Once Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans Todd Field, Tar Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness Best Actress Cate Blanchett, Tar Ana De Armas, Blonde Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once Best Actor Austin Butler, Elvis Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin Brendan Fraser, The Whale Paul Mescal, Aftersun Bill Nighy, Living
  13. Best Sound All Quiet on the Western Front Avatar: The Way of Water The Batman Elvis Top Gun: Maverick Best Song Applause, Tell it Like a Woman Hold My Hand, Top Gun: Maverick Lift Me Up, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Naatu Naatu, RRR This is a Life, Everything Everywhere All At Once Best Film Editing The Banshees of Inisherin Elvis Everything Everywhere All At Once Tar Top Gun: Maverick
  14. All Quiet is not winning. EEAAO just won Original and Women Talking won Adapted Screenplay. The movie has not Director or acting noms, meaning it ends here.
  15. Best Adapted Screenplay All Quiet on the Western Front Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Living Top Gun: Maverick Women Talking Best Original Screenplay The Banshees of Inisherin Everything Everywhere All At Once The Fabelmans Tar Triangle of Sadness
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