Oscar Nominations

American Hustle Review

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American Hustle has already received a great deal of attention from the big awards and I predict that it will pick up a fair amount of awards. The film rightly receives attention for being a great film. This does have the elements of an art house film but at times it is highly entertaining at parts. The film follows Irving Rosefeld (Christian Bale) a con artist and his partner in crime Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who are swooped up by the FBI agent Richie DiMasso (Bradley Cooper) and asked to aid the government in bringing down corrupt politicians. The story starts with an attempt to catch Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) to capture him taking a bribe. When the opportunity presents itself DiMasso wants to go after higher up officials.

This film does have a great cast and they all work really well together. Bale and Adams had previously worked together on The Fighter and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence previously worked together on Silver Linings Playbook which were both directed by David O.Russell. It seems that O. Russell has a good relationship with his actors that he can collaborate with them on many different movies. O.Russell is known for having a temper on set but it seems that in his recent films the actors and crew he works with work with him well and he has no need to lose his temper. From a directing point of view O.Russell seems very skilled in his craft and his other films have really brought him into a new light as a filmmaker. I do very much look forward to what he will do next.

The film also features a cameo from Robert De Niro who plays a mob boss named Victor Tellegio and Louis C.K gives a decent performance as Richie DiMasso’s supervisor. Despite these two having small roles in the film their performances are really great and they did really stick out to me. I do think that Bale, Cooper, Adams and Renner really deliver in this film and I am glad to see that they all except Renner have received nominations. Lawrence have received nominations for awards for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, however I did not think her role in this was anything special. I know she is loved by many people and I do like her other work as well but I felt her performance really lacked when compared to the other actors in the film.

One criticism I do have with the film is that it is not consistently entertaining. For me entertainment is really important when watching a film. Art can be fun despite what some people say. The film is interesting when it is not entertaining though but I would rather it consistently delivered. The first part of the film is a lot less entertaining than the second half of the film but that does not mean any of the film is bad. With the mix of great performances, great story and great film making this film is well crafted and is a must see film.

Overall this film is a solid piece of cinema and may even be considered a modern classic. The film has so many good moments and with a great cast and crew there is no surprise that this film was successful. I am sure this will pick up a few awards when the time comes and with such an excellent cast this will continue to have financial success. Although some moments are duller and less interesting than others the film is defiantly worth checking out. As always I fear that the film will be lost on the larger audience but with a cast of A list actors I am sure people will check this out and will struggle to hate this.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Do The Academy Awards Matter?

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Everyone likes to get praised for their work. Awards season for the film industry is important to so many people and winning an award really matters to them. The Academy Awards is considered the most prestigious film award a person can win. Actors dream of winning Oscars in particular and many not just actors but anyone who works in the film industry would be so honored to have their work recognized. However with mixed opinions on films and performances do awards really matter? There have been many roles by actors which I feel were undeserving of Academy Awards and many actors who have missed out on an Oscar nomination despite receiving praise by other awards for their performances. Some have actually made me really angry and even though some may be my personal opinion towards a performance or film I can still show my disapproval and approval of what happens at the Academy Awards.

Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress and has received so much recognition from the Academy Awards but one thing has really annoyed me recently. She won best leading actress for The Iron Lady. Now I can only say this is my opinion but I know many agree with me. In The Iron Lady it is not a powerful biopic about Margret Thatcher it is a pathetic attempt at a dementia awareness the film. He performance was so weak and she only got nominated because she gets nominated. There were better roles that year for the actresses who would have loved to have won an Oscar instead. Also many of Streep’s nominations mean that other new actresses are not getting recognized just because of the Academy’s stupid obsession with Streep. Some nominations are good but some are just put there for the sake of it and it is unfair.  I really don’t get how she won and it really makes me angry. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes the academy has ever made.

Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic actor and gives great performances in all his films. However he won an Oscar for The Fugitive. Now if you have seen the film it is hardly a pioneering film in the world of cinema and Jones basically plays himself. Its not a terrible performance but its not an Oscar worthy performance. Compared to the other nominees in that category I am surprised that Jones came out on top. I personally would have awarded the Oscar to either Pete Postlethwaite for In The Name Of The Father or Ralph Fiennes for Schindler’s List. The other two nominees were John Malkovich for In The Line Of Fire and Leonardo DiCaprio for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. These were all worthy performances except for Jones who has done many better roles than The Fugitive that were worthy of Oscar nominations and even wins. What were the academy thinking when they gave the Oscar to him? I really don’t know.

There are many snubs made by the academy. Some have been nominated and still have not won whereas some great performances have been ignored  completely. As I said there were many better performances when Tommy Lee Jones won. Also more recently I felt Anne Hathaway was an unworthy winner of the academy award for Les Miserables.  I felt her role really lacked something but that is my opinion. Someone else should have won but I am torn at who should have though.

Gary Oldman finally received a Oscar nomination  for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy two years ago. However he did not win despite giving a fantastic performance. Jean Dujardin won for The Artist which I think is another overrated film. That is only my opinion. Oldman has been snubbed by the Oscars on many occasions but I would not have wanted him to win for just because the academy was trying to make up for snubbing him on in my opinion on 5 separate occasions. I feel that the academy did this with Russell Crowe. He won for Gladiator which was a great performance but I think he only won to make up for him not winning the previous year for the film The Insider.

Michael Fassbender received recognition for his role in Shame at the Golden Globes but was snubbed at the Oscars. He gave a really intense and powerful performance but the academy deemed the topic too sensitive and ignored his fantastic performance. Will Ferell a well known comedy actor gave a brilliant performance in Stranger Than Fiction which I felt was Oscar worthy as well as actor Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I thought that range would be recognize range in performances.  I worry this will be done again for this years academy awards with Steve Carell. He is playing a serious role in the film Foxcatcher but because of his body of work the academy may snub him. I think the Academy needs to look at range of actors performances and not just the performances they are being marked on.

Snubs are not just for actors but it has been done for directors as well. Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed seemed to make up for snubs for his films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino. Although I liked The Departed I felt some of his other films are more deserving of recognition. The Departed is actually a remake which most people don’t know.

It has also been done for best film at the Oscars. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture a few years ago and I don’t think it was the best film of that time. I felt District 9 was more deserving of recognition. Also it is controversial that Forrest Gump won Best Picture over both Pulp Fiction ans The Shawshank Redemption. There two films are considered some of the best pieces in cinema history and The Shawshank Redemption is number one on Internet Movie Data Base’s top 250 list. I personally did not like Forrest Gump and I think most people would say that both The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction are much better films despite the Academy disagreeing.

Overall I do like to keep up with the Academy Awards and other awards but I do think they have made the wrong decisions on many occasions to the point that if you work in the industry that winning an award is a bonus and may help your career but sometimes the voters don’t have a clue and it is down to personal preference and if something is good but not recognized critically it does not mean it is any lesser than a film that has received recognition.

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Do you think they are unfair and they make the wrong decisions often? Please comment below and thanks for reading.