Thursday, January 26, 2012

Critical Intake

The inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as a Best Picture finalist got me thinking: How could a film widely critically derided score a slot as one of the finest of cinema of the year.  While critical reaction of any film should always be taken as with a grain of salt, and sites such as Rotten Tomatoes as a scope of evil on movie making-- it's about the conversation, not about a score (how does one score a work of art anyway?)-- there is a piece that critical response plays a part (how big is up to interruption) in mounting an Oscar campaign.  How else could one explain the dominance of a critical favorite, but barely seen film like The Hurt Locker rising the ranks to the pantheon of Hollywood's biggest stage.  And while such a reductive "it's a dud" and "it's a hit" response does nothing and belittles the conversation that cinema really should be, we live in a universe where that can help or kill a film right off the bat...the Twitterers can claim a film's a piece of crap within seconds of opening and doom it right off the bat.  Let's check in on the lowest reviewed (as per the Tomatometer) of films nominated for Best Picture in the last ten years for a glimpse:

10- Seabiscuit (2003)- 77%
War Horse (2011)- 77%
8- The Help (2011)- 76%
Moulin Rouge! (2001)- 76%
6- Gangs of New York (2002)- 75%
5- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)- 72%
4- Babel (2006)- 69%
3- The Blind Side (2009)- 66%
2- The Reader (2008)- 62%
1- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)- 46%

Based on this summation, 2011 was the worst crop of Best Picture finalists critically, with 3 films placing in the bottom ten of the 64 movies nominated in the last ten years.

1 comment:

Remodeling A Life said...

Love the great insight! Thank you

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