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GrahamS.

Conversation Topic—Overrated Award Winners

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I had the idea for this post during a work meeting (I was bored and my mind was wandering).

I think everyone has experienced watching a film getting an award—or a boatload of them—and asked the question WHY??? The films in question comes down to personal taste, of course, but since we’re heading into “award-worthy” movie season, I was curious what everyone’s perceived overrated award-winners were.

Since I’m introducing this topic, I’ll kick it off. For now, there’s only one  concrete rule: you have to have seen the film. For example, I would be tempted to list Green Book in this category, but since I’ve avoided it like the plague, I can’t (I will say that I’m a fan of the actors in it, the film just seemed to Hollywood-ish for my tastes).

Also, the films don’t have to be current. They can be from any point in film history. 

So for myself, my first choice is The Revenant. It is a beautifully shot film, otherwise it didn't connect with me. I won’t go into specifics about my beef with it unless people request it, but that’s the first film to come to mind as a big winner that I legitimately did not like.

Who wants to go next?:)

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The King's Speech. Sure, the acting is top-notch, but the film itself was like watching paint dry. So many of the other nominees from that year (Black Swan, Inception, The Social Network, etc.) strike me as so much more interesting, memorable, and innovative than The King's Speech, so it wasn't like there was a dearth of qualified competitors. That film was pure Oscar-bait and it's disappointing that the Academy chose the blandest film of the bunch. 

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My go-to on this topic is always Boyhood. It 100% got the attention it did because of the novel way of shooting it. There is essentially no plot, just "mildly troubled boy grows up in what feels like real time." Nothing about his story is film-worthy, save for about one child abuse-related scene that is not fun to watch for the obvious different reason.

What little "plot" there is is dull and repetitive. At one point the movie openly acknowledges that the mom has dated "a parade of drunken assholes," essentially admitting how repetitive it has been. The boy gets more and more unbearably angsty, then gets to his late teens and starts to dial it back. It's basically real life with less drama, and what drama there is is achingly repetitive or painfully slow, and both go nowhere.

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Good choices, guys. My object of resentment will always remain Forrest Gump. A good portion of this is because it is nostalgic garbage, but a bigger part stems from my time working at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company.

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1 hour ago, joel_rosenbaum said:

Good choices, guys. My object of resentment will always remain Forrest Gump. A good portion of this is because it is nostalgic garbage, but a bigger part stems from my time working at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company.

Hahaha! I’m curious what that experience was like.

for the hell of it, I’ll elaborate on my extreme dislike of The Revenant. It was just arthouse torture porn to me. I like Leonardo DiCaprio a lot, but I did not find his performance here remarkable. It was not his fault, he was simply not given much of a character to play.

Fun fact: in real life, the person he played was not avenging his son’s murder. He didn’t have one on the expedition. His cohorts just ripped him off and stole his gun. That’s why he wanted revenge.

Plus, for a film that tried for gritty realism and utter misery for 2 1/2 hours,   It’s believability took a fatal blow when he not only survives the bear attack but a massive fall off a cliff through trees. Fuck this film (but I liked the Tom Hardy parts).

As for the films everyone else has mentioned, I am 100% in agreement. The King’s Speech was pretty unmemorable, I walked out of Boyhood because I didn’t relate to it and I didn’t need to hear a teenager’s philosophical musings, and I haven’t watched Forrest Gump since the 90s (and feel like Robert Zemeckis is a technically capable director, but all his films since Who Framed Roger Rabbit have felt ice cold).

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I love Boyhood. Richard Linklater is the modern master of plotless character pieces that are still subtly compelling. It's worth noting, though, that though the movie did get a bunch of nominations, it didn't actually win any Oscars.

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In general I'm against the idea of a movie being "overrated" (who am I to tell people what they should enjoy?), but sure there have been plenty of movies that took home Best Picture that I don't think are great.

I'll add The Artist. It's cute and all, and I liked Jean Dujardin in the lead role, but it felt to me like a tribute to silent movies made by people who haven't actually watched a lot of silent movies.

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6 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

In general I'm against the idea of a movie being "overrated" (who am I to tell people what they should enjoy?), but sure there have been plenty of movies that took home Best Picture that I don't think are great.

I'll add The Artist. It's cute and all, and I liked Jean Dujardin in the lead role, but it felt to me like a tribute to silent movies made by people who haven't actually watched a lot of silent movies.

In terms of the issues of calling a film “overrated,” I hear you. It’s not a perfect term, but I didn’t want to start the post with something super judgmental, like “here are award winners that suck and if you disagree you’re wrong!” That would kinda kill the conversation from the Junp.  I would be interested hearing people defend films that are listed here. Everyone likes different stuff (obviously).

i also agree with your choice of The Artist. It was fine, but even my mom (who I saw it with) didn’t love it. Like you said, it was charming and cute, but honestly, the only thing I remember from it is Jean Dujardin and the dog.

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King's Speech. The Social Network was a masterpiece in storytelling and never boring. Anyone who says Crash, I will rip your throat out. 

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11 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I love Boyhood. Richard Linklater is the modern master of plotless character pieces that are still subtly compelling. It's worth noting, though, that though the movie did get a bunch of nominations, it didn't actually win any Oscars.

I didn’t see this post earlier. Glad you liked Boyhood and I know a lot of people did. I really admire Richard Linklater, but his films vary widely for me and I didn’t connect to this one (and I agree—once again—that “overrated” is a sloppy term, but when critics hype a film as being a classic for everybody, it puts me on the defensive when I don’t get it). However, I did think it was a very well-made and unique film.

Personally, my favorites of his are the Sunset trilogy and Bernie, which might not be for everybody, but I really liked it.

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31 minutes ago, MacGruber said:

King's Speech. The Social Network was a masterpiece in storytelling and never boring. Anyone who says Crash, I will rip your throat out. 

Agree with The Social Network. Didn’t love Crash but throat-ripping is a little extreme, no?

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