The Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that is) has spoken. The nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards are now known to all and the ceremony is almost here.
Which, if you're anything like me, means I've got some movies to see (and just a week left to do it in)! Overall, I'm content with how this year's nominees played out. It's an improvement over last year, at least - there's no black sheep that's got us holding our breath, praying the Academy won't be silly enough to actually give a film like that an Oscar.
Yes, I'm talking about last year's love-fest with Avatar. But I digress...
I was surprised to hear that the film leading this year's nominees is The King's Speech (it racked up 12 nods!). Not surprised because it doesn't merit every one of them, but surprised because - for me at least - it's a solid 3rd best film of the year. But it's traditionalism may've served it well with the Academy, as it helped garner it nominations across a broad range of categories, something neither Social Network or Black Swan really did (each of those just got one acting nod, to TKS's three).
Also pleasantly welcome are the nominations for The Kids Are All Right and Winter's Bone, two smaller films that resonated with audiences at the beginning of the year and throughout the festival circuit. That both managed to snag acting nods and Best Picture slots is wonderful to see, though it's fairly common knowledge that neither would've gotten a spot in the latter were the Academy still only selecting five films for the category instead of 10.
There was some outcry from the interwebs after the announcement when it became known that Christopher Nolan had snagged a nomination for writing Inception but not for directing it - despite that film's inclusion in the 10 Best Picture titles as well. While it would've been easy to place Nolan in the Best Directing group, the fact is that this is just another way the 10 best picture nominees impacts the other categories. Only 5 of the directors who get a Best Picture nod can also get a Best Director one . I might point out that Lisa Cholodenko and Debra Granik were both left off the list of best helmers as well, meaning we'll see no repeat of Kathryn Bigelow's triumphant win for female directors from last year, a much more telling oversight than Nolan's absense.
Finally, I'm always amused by those films that make it into the heralded "Oscar nominated" realm via the likes of categories like Visual Effects, Costume Design or Original Song. Now Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland and Country Strong can all tout themselves as nominees (in those categories, respectively), though I'm sure no one would immediately associate the two.
But then, I suppose it could've been worse - the Academy could've nominated Burlesque.
We're counting down the days until our next Roving Cinema event. Indy Film Fest will be bringing our big screen to the Eiteljorg on Feb 17 for a screening of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Get your tickets in advance here.
Five reasons why this is going to be awesome:
- The Eiteljorg is an amazing building. If you've never been, you're in for a real treat. It houses one of the best Native American and Western art collections in the world. That's right, THE WORLD. (We're so lucky in Indy, aren't we?)
- This is only one of the best westerns EVER.
- You're supporting the Indy Film Fest with your ticket purchase. Events like this allow us to continue bringing awesome film experiences to you.
- There will be beer.
- No one will look at you funny if you wear your cowboy hat and spurs.
Check out the trailer, gunslingers, This is gonna be one heck of a show.
One of the most frequently requested volunteer positions is the chance to serve on our film submissions screening committee. The thinking goes something like this:
You mean I can do volunteer work that is nothing but watching movies?! Sign me up!
Which, at first glance, makes sense. Yes, being on the screening committee means you're going to see A LOT of movies in a very short time. But this is no popcorn-and-soda way to pass the time. We ask much more of our screeners, and it isn't all so glamorous!
Every film submitted to the festival (hundreds every season!) gets watched by at least two screening committee members. This is to ensure that if one viewer gives it a low rating, a second person - with their own perspectives and tastes - can also see it. Just because it didn't appeal to one person doesn't mean it won't appeal to others.
Each screening committee member is asked to rate the films they watch on a number of criteria. A film may have great acting, but the story just isn't up to par - we consider all angles when we think about what the festival audience will enjoy.
When all is said and done, we consider all the notes the screening committee has taken of the course of the process and sit down to determine which films have made the cut. This is both an invigorating and agonizing process, but always results in festival film selections that we're proud to feature.
Sure, watching movies for a few hours a week seems like a no-brainer. But as any of our screening committee members could tell you, there's a lot riding on their input - not the least of which is Joe MovieLover's festival experience. If we can find at least one film in our line-up of over a hundred that he's glad he got the chance to see, we've done our job!
image credit: Nataraj Metz via Flickr