12/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:15 am · December 16th, 2009

Capturing the FriedmansSharon Waxman says “Avatar” is “just what ailing, uncertain Hollywood needs.” [The Wrap]

Nikki Finke writes up Oscar’s bad-mouthing season. [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

Rodrigo Perez names “Capturing the Friedmans” the best documentary of the decade. [The Playlist]

Jason Reitman guest blogs his favorite musical moments. [LA Weekly]

Mo’Nique’s month-old response to critics of her disregard for awards. [indieWIRE]

Brooks Barnes on the former “mogul-wannabe” fixtures of awards season, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. [The Carpetbagger]

Pete Hammond says the wide net cast by the HFPA signals a wide open race in general. [Notes on a Season]

Dave Karger catches up with “Crazy Heart” star Jeff Bridges. [Oscar Watch]




→ 7 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

7 responses so far

  • 1 12-16-2009 at 8:33 am

    James D. said...

    A very well rounded documentary list, although I liked Bowling for Columbine better than Fahrenheit 9/11. Grizzly Man would be my number one for the decade, but Capturing the Friedmans is a worthy winner.

  • 2 12-16-2009 at 12:06 pm

    Maxim said...

    I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again that the only thing that made portions of “Grizzly Man” compelling is the guy’s own footage. That’s it. Everything Herzog added was judgemental, exploitative and above all self-indulgent (and yes, kind of manipulative, too). I don’t think there was another film I’ve sat through all decade that I hated more or flat out disapproved of more than this one.

    In my opinion, Herzog showed an astonishing lack of tact and sensitivity with this film. On the other hand, I can name dozens of documentaries that were more compelling, interesting or enlightening than the one he directed. And I am sick of people constantly bringing it up as if it was some sort of a brilliant achievement. It is sickening. The only way I can explain it is by assuming that the people who value it so highly haven’t seen a lot of documentaries and thus have next to nothing to compare it too.

    I don’t mean it as an insult to James D. or anyone else who happens to like it. I’m sure you may have seen more documentaries than I have. You may have your reasons for liking it, reasons that I just don’t see. I just really hate this film.

  • 3 12-16-2009 at 12:18 pm

    James D. said...

    Maxim, one of the things I loved was that Herzog passed his own judgment. It is in stark contrast to Sean Penn’s romanticism of a stupid kid who went and died in the forest as a protest against his own privilege (and Into the Wild was tenth favorite film of 2007!).

    You weren’t moved when Herzog sat there listening to the audio of the attack? Other than the finale of the Cove, no other scene in any documentary moved me more in this decade.

    Herzog uses this man’s life as an attack on people, mostly middle to upper class and white, who romanticize the wild that they wildly misunderstand. Timothy Treadwell got what he deserved, and Herzog is probably the only filmmaker who would say it like it is.

  • 4 12-16-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***Sean Penn’s romanticism of a stupid kid who went and died in the forest as a protest against his own privilege***

    Oh come on. That’s such a one-note reading of a much more complex character.

  • 5 12-16-2009 at 12:24 pm

    Maxim said...

    And as an ultimate proof of my point I would like to point out that in the above mentioned list of documentaties Timothy Treadwell is referred to as a “freak”.

    Nevermind the fact that “being absorbed” is not what he was after (ever seen “Into the Wild”? – I am not a certified psychologist but there was far more to this than just wanting to hang out with bears), the movie isn’t even told in proper chronological order. And, it would have been oh so much better without Herzog at all.

    To me, Herzog is a far bigger “freak” both due to the fact that he is no position to comment on the man’s life and thought process and, wait for it… because his own actions resulted in risking of far greater number of people’s lives on a far greater number of occasions.

    And I’m sure he had his justifications too. Except, you know, Herzog’s actions should be praised because he’s so uncompromising in his “vision”.

  • 6 12-16-2009 at 12:43 pm

    Maxim said...

    “Maxim, one of the things I loved was that Herzog passed his own judgment. ”

    You just got to the very core of the reason why I loathe this film. Herzgog had no right to pass his own judgement because as far as the majority of the world if concerned his judgement was effectively the last word on this man’s life. Think about it for a second. Seriously, just think.

    Again, nevermind the fact that as a documentarian it was not his job to judge. As a human being he had no right to judge a person based on what was effectively his private diary. I disapprove of what he did as a person. What right did this totally extraneous guy had to come in and exploit another man’s life and effectively ruin his legacy and pretty much say that he was an idiot and bears really don’t care for him and he shouldn’t be allowed to try to get an enjoyment out of his lifestyle (again, funny coming from Herzog). Even if his reading of Treadwell was 100% right, which it wasn’t, where does on get off doing that?

    Oh an another thing. Herzog is not even that smart, or sensative or even, you know, adjusted. I’m sorry bit once you start cooking shoes (for any reason) you probably should stay away from complex psychological portraits.

    “You weren’t moved when Herzog sat there listening to the audio of the attack?”

    I was moved alright (to punch the TV screen). I had to wonder where Herzog got the gusto to be so unbeliavably patronizing. And once again to make himself the center of attention. I found it offensive.

    “Herzog uses this man’s life as an attack on people, mostly middle to upper class and white, who romanticize the wild that they wildly misunderstand.”

    I think Treadwell understood it better than you think. The mere fact that he managed to survive for as long as he did shows he was no looney and I also got the feeling that he always understood the risks.

    Also, I’m sorry to say it but your reading is as asinine as it is cliche. White? Romanticized? Give me a break.

    “Timothy Treadwell got what he deserved, and Herzog is probably the only filmmaker who would say it like it is.”

    Again no offense but I really think we should stop. this conversation. I really don’t think we are approaching this from the same angle and I’d rather we stopped before this turns into a meaningless debate. Agree to disagree, ok?

  • 7 12-16-2009 at 1:14 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Awesome seeing The King of Kong up there. Such a fun, engaging film, and you couldn’t find a more fascinating mundanely horrible person than Billy Mitchell.