Best Movie of the Year: What's your take?

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by bevreview steve, Feb 13, 2001.

  1. bevreview steve

    bevreview steve

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    Well, they've announced the nominations for the Best Picture of the Year at the Oscars (which take place March 25). Has anyone seen any of these movies? What's your take on them, and who do you think will win?
    • CHOCOLAT - A small French village is transformed by the arrival of a mysterious young woman and her daughter. The chocolate shop they open will change the lives of several of the villagers and enrage the town's autocratic mayor.
    • CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - The disappearance of a legendary sword leads two martial arts experts to do battle with a dangerous assassin and her young protégée...and confront their long-hidden feelings for each other.
    • ERIN BROCKOVICH - A feisty single mother takes on a powerful utilities company in this story of one woman's determination to win justice for a community decimated by water pollution. The title character, a flamboyant legal assistant, comes to terms with her own chaotic life as she gathers evidence for a ground-breaking lawsuit.
    • GLADIATOR - When the dying Roman emperor names his powerful general Maximus as his heir, the emperor's jealous son Commodus betrays Maximus, murders his family and seizes the throne. The embittered general is made a gladiator and soon becomes the fiercest fighter in all of Rome.
    • TRAFFIC - Three interwoven storylines trace the destructive trail of drugs and drug smuggling in America and Mexico. As a newly-appointed drug czar faces his daughter's addiction, two DEA agents pursue the wife of a jailed smuggler, and a Mexican policeman walks an uneasy path through a web of corruption.
    (Note: Synopsis of films sourced from Oscar.com)
     
  2. anneke

    anneke

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    CHOCOLAT - Saw it. Eye candy, nothing more. This movie is to Babette's Feast what Three Men and a Baby was to Trois Hommes et un Couffin. Empty calories, in more ways than one.

    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - Didn't like the feminist undertone. I wouldn't have minded it if it were appropriate from a historical perspective. Altogether beautiful, interesting, restrained (hallelujia!) and most deserving of an Oscar.

    ERIN BROCKOVICH - This movie makes a joke of anyone who cares for the environment because it is based on grotesque lies. THerefore, a perfect candidate in Hollywood for the Oscars. A bad idea altogether. (Does Julia Roberts ever play anyone other than herself?)

    GLADIATOR - Saw this one on a 13" screen and still enjoyed it. Deserving of an Oscar? I dunno.. If you have forgotten the plot 15 minutes after the end, I don't really think it should be nominated.

    TRAFFIC - Have yet to see it. Seems like a giant flashback to a popular 80's genre to me but I'd really like to see it. Personally I'm getting a bit sick of hearing Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas repeating "just shoot him in the head" 200 times a day on the radio and on TV. Kind of makes me want to shoot myself in the head - figuratively speaking of course.
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I am going to have to go for Gladiator it was my kind of film even if it was not totally historically accurate.
     
  4. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Crouching tiger leaping lizards was pretty good! Oscar, didn't thrill me that much.

    Traffic have not seen

    The others...OK hated coughing up $7 to see them after the fact, better on TV.
    Were those the only choices?????

    What about Time for Drunken Horses?
     
  5. theloggg

    theloggg

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    Have only seen two...

    Gladiator- Fell asleep twice (in the theater).

    Chocolat- Got really hungry, went food shopping after and ate well that night.

    I vote for Chocolat!
     
  6. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Gladiator by a country mile.
     
  7. seattledeb

    seattledeb

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    Gladiator, for the men in cute costumes and their hairy legs.

    Just kidding, as I haven't seen any of the others.
     
  8. isa

    isa

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    I have to go for Chocolat. Among all the nominees it's the only non violent film plus it's a nice fable.
     
  9. mudbug

    mudbug

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    CHOCOLAT - I have yet to see it but I don't think this will win best picture. I'm sure it will be one of the best food films made though.

    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - Feminist undertones? Anneke you're reading too much into it. Couldn't you say the reverse for 90% of the movies out there? I loved it. Very well edited and directed with multiple story lines. I would be surprised to see this foreign film win best picture primarily because it is foreign. I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

    ERIN BROCKOVICH -Excellent film. Entertaining, smart, and informative. This has an excellent chance at best picture.

    GLADIATOR - My gut tells me this won't win best picture but it is a great film. I'll say 9.0 out of 10. :rolleyes:

    TRAFFIC - I have not seen this but I believe it will be between Erin Brockovich and Traffic. I think this will sweep at the Oscars and win best picture.
     
  10. anneke

    anneke

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    "Couldn't you say the reverse for 90% of the movies out there? "

    ..No, I really couldn't.

    I'm surprised you didn't see it. Didn't you notice that all the toughest characters in this movies were women? Made you boys look bad! (Charlies Angels could have benefitted from seeing this movie first!)

    I agree with you however and it really didn't bother me at all. I loved it and would give it a 9 out of ten. Minus one for the bamboo forest scene which got a bit silly.. :D
     
  11. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I have to respectfully disagree about crouching tiger. I think by far the strongest character in the movie was Chow yun Fat. There were more fight scenes with Michelle Yeoh and the other, but Chow yun Fat led the pack. Always in control of his emotions, not agressive, and no one was his match.

    Feminist overtones? It is a story, great drama about treachery, love, mystery and intrigue.
     
  12. anneke

    anneke

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    "no one was his match"

    Without revealing the ending, let's just say it was clear he had and would still be defeated by women, in more ways than one.

    Good strong story, I liked it a lot!
     
  13. palmier

    palmier

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    Was there a feminist undertone in that last reply?
    I saw Crouching Tiger. Loved it through and through. Every aspect.
    I also saw Gladiator. Very Good
    Erin was good as well, but not the winner here, I dont think.

    How come Almost Famous wasnt nominated????
     
  14. isa

    isa

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    You are absolutly right. Wonderful film, beautifully shot too. And I won't even talk about the chocolate. :eek: Plus, you can take it on so many different levels.
     
  15. bevreview steve

    bevreview steve

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    CHOCOLAT - Haven't seen it yet

    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - As a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films, want to see this badly, but haven't. Heard very good things about it.

    ERIN BROKOVICH - Well, this was based on a true story, and the person in the story did, um, have a clevage issue. It was a well done film though, and I enjoyed it, however I don't think it's in the caliber of the rest of this bunch.

    GLADIATOR - As a movie buff friend of mine always says, it's epic, and the Academy likes epic. Personally, I found it a little non-historical, which bugged me a little. A little over the top too.

    TRAFFIC - Saw this movie on Tuesday. Wow. Artistically, a winner. Haunting and somewhat depressing, but a very stark look at the drug issues of North America. Very powerful. If I'm not swayed by Tiger after I see that, my vote would be for Traffic.
     
  16. mudbug

    mudbug

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    LOL! (Good one Crudeau)

    Ok. For the record, here's my take on the comment regarding "feminism" in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

    According to the American Heritage Dictionary: ;)

    fem·i·nist
    A person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism.

    fem·i·nism
    1. The movement to win social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
    2. The movement organized around this belief.

    I am well aware of the fact that a few critics are describing a "feminist bent" in this film. I do not believe however, that just because a woman is strong and successful or good at what she does, be it cooking, martial arts, raising children, or accounting that feminism is in action. We as human beings are all human beings. We just happen to label and classify eachother because it's our inherent nature to do so, whether it's the color of a person's skin, weight, hair color, height or where they were born.

    What bothers me is that it is only pointed out because they are women. No one would be saying a thing if the same film had all male leads (obviously). :rolleyes:

    I don't see this film as feministic. Why? Because the female characters are not publicly demonstrating or imposing their beliefs or strengths onto others for the sake of female equality. :cool: They don't actively recruit other females or publicly protest for equality because they are women. In fact, they go to great lengths to remain subservient and honor the ancient traditions of their culture in their roles as females. Their training has been done in secret because it wouldn't be readily accepted in that culture. They (the characters) are people who just happen to be women.

    G.I. Jane and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are more feministic in my opinion.

    As far as the tree scene. I feel the viewer has to give in to the mythological aspects of the study of having mastered the specific form of martial arts referred to in this film.

    And why isn't there an antonym for "feminist"? :eek:

    To quote the words of someone we all know..."This is my opinion... I could be wrong!"
     
  17. anneke

    anneke

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    I think the opposite of feminist is misogynist (sp?).

    Ok, I think what you are saying makes a lot of sense IF you were talking about reality. Which we are not. This is a fictional story. The ensemble of characters represent a certain microcosm if you will, which is not representative in terms of gender balance of any warrior society. The point of any art work - including movies - is (or at least should be) to get some kind of a message accross. What exactly is the author saying in this movie? I have no problem with female warriors except that they were virtually non-existant! If you discount the fact that there are so many of them in this movie than one can only attribute it to the author's desire to make a chick-flik, which I think would be underestimating the author.

    So if we establish that there is a reason for all these warrior women in this movie, what is its significance? The obvious one is the feminist message. Personnaly I think that it's more subtle than that. I just wish that vehicle hadn't been used. Though this is a fantasy story, it's too outragously historically inacurate.

    Once agian I'd like to reiterate that I liked the movie. :D

    [ 02-16-2001: Message edited by: Anneke ]
     
  18. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    They flew!!!
    I didn't think of it as having feminist overtones at all....it kept my attention throughout. Now if they would only have had an easier name to remember.
    Crowe was hot though.
     
  19. papa

    papa

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    You just made me realize that I have not seen any movies in the past seven years!

    :eek:
     
  20. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    That is classic Papa. You are true Greek. When I was living in Greece no one went to the movies. We sat around and talked or someone played guitar and everyone sang songs and danced. In your case you are problably tasting some olive oil.