Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Awards Season

Two quick things as the awards derby rolls on:

265 films are eligible for academy awards contention. Now, some of these are The Twilight Saga or Green Lantern and are kind of silly inclusions. But while slashfilm said that there are only 10 possible nominees out of 20 possible contenders (or about 8% great films coming out of hollywood), looking at films that have been nominated for best picture, director, or acting from a critic's guild gives us 65 films. Or, to put it another way, 25% of the films being released in the US in whatever format merits Oscar contention are deemed worth seeing by some critical voice. (And of course, may or may not come out of the studio system.)

So, while Circumstance may not have a hope in hell of being nominated for an oscar, that obviously doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. Furthermore, those are only 65 eligible films, so no documentaries, some exclusions, and an odd assortment of foreign films (for example, Poetry, Le Quattro Volte, Kaboom, Bellflower, and the Kill List all have been mentioned in critics' lists, but are not on the eligibilty list.) The fact of the matter is that there are more than 75 films that have been mentioned for best film nominations of one sort or another, not to mention foreign, documentaries, or animated movies (Rango ftw!). And there are even more films worth seeing for performances or technical achievements. I just get annoyed whenever film discussions get framed in the old "there are no movies worth watching" way. Stop beating the poor horse.

Now, if the studios would not release about half of those in the last two weeks of December, it sure would make my life (and scheduling) less complicated....

Secondly, indieWire posted the Film Comment rankings. While you've got 50 films recommended up top (hey! A movie a week...), the second list is really interesting: Fifty Films Not Released in 2011. Some will be released in 2012 (the Deep Blue Sea, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia - which I am DESPERATE to see, etc.), and I believe the Innkeepers is now on DVD, I'm sure some of these may never quite make it past the film fest circuit. It is a good reminder that there is a whole world of undiscovered films out there, even for those of us that try to keep an ear to the ground for news coming out of Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Venice...

And people wonder why my netflix queue maxes out at 500.

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