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Movie award roundup

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With the Golden Globes taking place this weekend and the Oscar® nominations due shortly, it’s time to look at where the nerd and animated movies are ranking. Short answer: pretty well.

First, DARK KNIGHT. You may have heard of this film? It’s scored nominations for Best Director from the DGA, best Adapted Screenplay from the WGA and a Best Movie nod from the Producer’s Guild, virtually assuring that it will get a Best Picture Oscar nod (although it was snubbed by the Golden Globes.) Oscar likes success, and DARK KNIGHT is the second most successful movie of all time. The late Heath Ledger is also all but a lock for a Best Supporting Actor nod, and favored to win by many. (Tangent: see J. Caleb Mozzocco’s analysis of whether DARK KNIGHT’s screenplay is “adapted” at all.)

Next there’s WALL*E, for our money the best movie of 2009, a perfect, gorgeous film that says so much about life that we could watch it over and over and over. It scored prestigious wins as Best Picture from the Boston Society of Film Critics (tie), Chicago Film Critics and Los Angeles Film Critics, but is looked at as a dark horse for a Best Picture Oscar nomination, which is a darned shame, because its fresh, touching unique story says a whole lot about what it means to be human than Benjamin Gump. Whatever.

Finally, WALTZ WITH BASHIR was named best picture by the National Society of Film Critics, and is winning all kinds of acclaim everywhere. This animated documentary follows the experiences of an Israeli infantryman during the 1982 war with Lebanon. Geoff Boucher has a good write up about it here. And here’s the trailer.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR has also been adapted into a graphic novel, and you can read an excerpt here.

  1. I was diasppointed by WALL*E.The CGI was well done, but the whole story felt like an After School Special. “If we don’t change our ways, we are all going to lose our souls and be doomed.”

    Or perhaps it was more of a Sunday School lesson.

  2. WALL-E is about RESISTING YOUR PROGRAMMING…which is about as far from Sunday School as you can get. The environmental/anti-consumerist message is just one facet of that theme (though, granted, it’s the one that jumps out most on first viewing.)

    Give it another viewing, and I guarantee that, like any great film, you’ll see more.

  3. I can’t wait to see BASHIR. It looks really cool. The animation looks like a new original style instead of just a Disney/Dreamworks clone. This is a great time for animation.

  4. I agree with Scott Chantler (loved Northwest Passage, BTW) that the people who latch on to the environmental thing in WALL-E are fundamentally missing the point of the movie. That aspect really is just window dressing for the “resist your programming” theme that underlies everything else.

    Also thinking that Waltz with Bashir and WALL-E are going to repeat the Persepolis/Ratatouille thing from a few years ago, where one is a real groundbreaking use of animation and the other is an exceptionally well done animated movie that mostly sticks to the existing genres that the medium is used for, and the traditional one will land the Best Animated Oscar. WALL-E is, IMO, a much better film than Ratatouille and a lot more daring and experimental, but still fundamentally pop entertainment.

  5. Just a note to say I didn’t latch onto the environmental aspect of the movie. I felt the movie was preaching at me about moral choices. I haven’t needed that speech in ages.

  6. Interesting quote from the director of “Waltz with Bashir”

    Joe Strike: I’m sure we’ll talk about the film’s politics as well, but for now let’s start with the animation. What was your inspiration for the film’s visual style?

    AF: Graphic novels, many graphic novels — not animation.

    JS: Any ones in particular?

    AF: Joe Sacco’s Palestine, [The Fixer: A Story from] Sarajevo and anything we could put our hands on. Some French graphic novelists did work in Afghanistan, journalistic coverage in graphic novels. It’s not Watchmen.

    http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3865

    At first glance, the animation style of Bashir reminds me of Adien Hughes’/KMFDM’s “Drug Against War” music video (my personal all time favorite):
    http://www.bruteprop.com/v3/animations.htm

  7. Interesting quote from the director of “Waltz with Bashir”

    Joe Strike: I’m sure we’ll talk about the film’s politics as well, but for now let’s start with the animation. What was your inspiration for the film’s visual style?

    AF: Graphic novels, many graphic novels — not animation.

    JS: Any ones in particular?

    AF: Joe Sacco’s Palestine, [The Fixer: A Story from] Sarajevo and anything we could put our hands on. Some French graphic novelists did work in Afghanistan, journalistic coverage in graphic novels. It’s not Watchmen.

    http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3865

    At first glance, the animation style of Bashir reminds me of Adien Hughes’/KMFDM’s “Drug Against War” music video (my personal all time favorite):
    http://www.bruteprop.com/v3/animations.htm

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