Posted by Nicholas Rapp on February 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm
The Artist was highly regarded at the 2012 BAFTAs, attaining awards for Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor, and more. Why it is that so often one film seems to rake in seemingly all of the awards, I do not know. But the fact that this year that film is The Artist ticks me off for some reason. It was a great movie, and enjoyable the whole way through – but what’s really grand to most people is how revolutionary the whole silent film concept is.
Well, watching Avatar in 3D was pretty revolutionary to me – as 3D is in itself progressive and Avatar was very much made for 3D – yet if I asked a film snob which movie had a better impact on the industry, I would probably hear “The Artist, are you kidding me?” My problem with The Artist was that, much to film snobs’ dismay, it was not a progression at all. As Nick Poyner said in his Snap Review, what the film did was “stylishly show what the 1920’s and 30’s were like with a bigger budget.” I don’t want the 1920’s. I want the 2010’s.
I understand why The Artist won all of the awards– the movie was made to win awards. However, I think Brad Pitt got snubbed in the Leading Actor department, and Woody Allen as well in the Original Screenplay department. I don’t know a whole lot about the script for The Artist, but I’d imagine a screenplay for a silent film to be more taxing on the director than the writer. Woody Allen – with his fantastic dialogue – brought Hemingway and Fitzgerald back to life, and also reminded everyone why we all love Owen Wilson. And in Moneyball, I saw Brad Pitt as so much more than a handsome guy. He was a living, breathing, three-dimensional human being, and not at all larger than life. Though Jean Dujardin was great, I didn’t connect with his character the way I did Pitt’s Billy Beane.
Meryl Streep won best actress for The Iron Lady. Hasn’t she won enough awards? Also, if a movie is critically panned the way The Iron Lady was, I don’t think it’s right to award anybody. Let’s hand that trophy over to Michelle Williams, thank you – she did a tremendous job playing Marilyn, and I can’t think of anyone who’d have done better. Speaking of My Week with Marilyn, Kenneth Branagh deserved the BAFTA for best supporting actor. Christopher Plummer was great in Beginners, but his performance wasn’t as impressive as Branagh’s spot on Sir Laurence Olivier. The man was entrancing.
I’m happy about a few awards too. Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress for The Help. It’s a shame that Viola Davis’ competition was so fierce for Leading Actress because I absolutely loved The Help. Oh, and Special Visual Effects? Finally Harry Potter wins an award. The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was unquestionably the best candidate for special effects, and I’m glad that was recognized.
All in all, the BAFTAs were kind of a disappointment to me. I hope that the warm light they shed on The Artist was in no way a reflection of what’s to come with the Oscars, but I fear it may be. And while it wouldn’t be a tragedy if The Artist swooped in and scored all the major Oscars, it wouldn’t be cause for a celebration either.
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