Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Robert Reineke
Guest

I have to say I was somewhat turned off by the dismissal of Hacksaw Ridge, a film that’s been very successful financially btw. How many WW2 films post Saving Private Ryan have been as successful? If we’re dismissing that on the “No one saw it” grounds then what’s the case for Lion or Moonlight?

And, don’t old white guys deserve a place at the table? I get the problem when 9 out of 9 films are old white guy films. I don’t when 1, maybe 2, out of 9 are.

I didn’t even see Hacksaw Ridge, but the carping about it struck me as stereotypical elitism. I expect more nuance.

Otherwise pretty predictable although not necessarily bad set of nominees.

Andrew James
Admin

Braveheart, Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto are, cinematically speaking, pretty damn wonderful. I have yet to see Hacksaw Ridge but really look forward to it based on the track record of the director alone. I also watch and love Polanski films. Sue me.

And I suspect Reineke might (might) be right about comparing it to Dunkirk. At the end of the day, it might end up being a better film; even if not many people went to see HR. On the other hand, they’re very different films and might not be fair to compare the two. We shall see.

devolutionary
Guest

I saw Hacksaw Ridge and while it’s far from a perfect film, what Mel did with a modest $40 million budget is impressive. Nice to see that mid-budget war movies haven’t completely disappeared yet. I could take or leave the overly long 1st act Rudy-esque drama but the 2nd half war scenes were incredible and not glorified. Even the Christian elements were restrained. I learned long ago not to outright dismiss a movie without actually seeing it.

I’m still baffled at the weak nomination process for Best Picture. Expanding the list to 10 but often only getting 8 or 9 in (I get it’s a historical throwback)? Yeesh. As if they can’t find 10 deserving films. More like #Oscar$$oGreen.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Let me rephrase in regards to “deserve”.

One “old, white guy” picture got nominated. Why is that a problem? Did it keep out something else that would have been a contender? Hasn’t Mel Gibson proven that he’s a talented director? A blanket dismissal, based on an erroneous assumption that no one saw it, seems like poor analysis.

Part of me also suspects that at the end of the day Hacksaw Ridge might end up a more interesting film than Dunkirk.

Now, I don’t know if we want to forgive Gibson, but he does appear to be behaving better. Maybe the conversation should be about that. The Academy doesn’t have a problem honoring Polanski though. For that matter, Landis has blood on his hands, as does his producers, and they’re not pariahs. Nothing Gibson has done rises to that level.

Matthew Price
Guest

It is not a problem – but we do need at least 50 straight years of no old white guy anything just to begin to balance the scales.

Robert Reineke
Guest

I can’t argue that basic point, but I can say that Oscars are more like any Hall of Fame and can retroactively fix some wrongs of the past. They can give out special Oscars and give the recipient a soapbox. They can create montages and other short sequences to call attention to films of the past and present.

And, really, since the Academy didn’t max out its Best Picture nominations, I’m not sure we can say that they really snubbed anything. Why nothing else gained enough support is perhaps a good question, but is there any one or two films that they could have nominated that would have changed things? I think the Academy did a reasonable job in having a diverse set of nominees this year, but ultimately the Oscars aren’t the real problem or solution. The solution is simply that Hollywood has to make more films led by and about people of color.

Mostly though, I think it’s just bad form to completely dismiss a film, without seeing it or at least reading a good bunch of reviews from critics and people you trust. Ultimately, I didn’t feel I heard anything insightful about Hacksaw Ridge pro or con in the podcast. If anything, I think it’s one of the more unexpected successes of the year.

Matthew Price
Guest

Then I should have clarified – I saw several reviews from people I felt I would normally agree with on a movie like this – all conforming that it was not something I was likely to enjoy. More to the point regardless of its box office success there’s been remarkably little discussion of the film leading up to the oscars. This is subjective on my part of course – because nothing about the project has made me interested in it.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Fair enough, but as a listener, I think discussion, especially informed discussion, is a lot more interesting than just dismissal. That’s my main point.

Even if it is an “old, white guy” film, it might be interesting to interrogate why this “old, white guy” film struck a chord as opposed to, say, Sully.

Gerry
Guest

Having seen Hacksaw Ridge I really liked it. Some people seemed to think that the first half of the film was cheesy but I totally bought it because of the good acting.

It really showed the absolute brutality of war and was a tribute not only to Desmond Doss but to all the men who fought in the Pacific. As Michael Moore said of his father and the other servicemen who fought in the Pacific theatre in WW2, the Saving Private Ryan Normandy landings were monthly occurrences over there.

The film really was a major achievement for the limited budget not only for Mel Gibson, but for a legion of good actors and technicians. It’s up there with Letters From Iwo Jima and Saving Private Ryan for me.

The Oscar voters were magnanimous and very nice to Mel Gibson. Kudos to them for that. To err is human, to forgive divine.

wpDiscuz