February 2014 + something to do with the Oscars

As one-sixth of the year passes, things are not going as planned…


What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

Well, some things are — those things being WDYMYHS. Though only just, in the dying minutes of the month — just like the good ol’ days of 2013, then.

February’s choice is a film I’ve been meaning to watch for years, and the desire to get it included in this year’s 12 films was one of the guiding principles behind the selection criteria. It is, simply, Up. Which was also an Oscar winner and Best Picture nominee, making it highly appropriate right now.

Elsewhere, however, things were less rosy…

Zero Dark Thirty
February’s films in full

#8 Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
#9 The Next Three Days (2010)
#10 Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
#11 The House of Fear (1945)
#12 Up (2009)


Analysis

With only five films watched, this is the worst February since before Up was released. It’s less than half what I managed last year, and that was down slightly on the three years preceding it too. Not only that, but it’s a full three films off the amount I should watch in any given month; add that to the single film shortfall of January and I’m a full four films behind — which, at this stage, amounts to a quarter of my intended viewing. Oh dear.

On the bright side… um…

Yeah. Must try harder.


With this year’s Oscars tomorrow, I thought I’d see how my WDYMYHS films for 2014 fared at that esteemed event. Turns out, only seven of them were even nominated — so this week’s top 5 is a top… well, 6. You’ll see why.

5 7 6 (kinda) WDYMYHS Films With Oscar Nominations

  1. BraveheartBraveheart
    With five wins from ten nominations, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart is the most successful film here both in terms of “number of wins” and “percentage of nominations to wins”. Perhaps that’s apt, with the forthcoming Scottish referendum frequently dominating the news at the moment; perhaps it just says something about the level of film appreciation the Academy work at.
  2. UpUp
    Pixar were once known for releasing a critically-acclaimed non-sequel every year. Up will be five years old soon, but it’s their last non-sequel to score over 80% on Rotten Tomatoes (and the same but with “over 70%” on Metacritic). It also bagged five Oscar nominations, including a Best Picture consideration, taking home gongs for Animated Feature and Original Song.
  3. AmélieAmélie
    Although it scored a total of five nominations across the board, with particularly notable categories like Original Screenplay and Cinematography among them, this French film didn’t even manage to win the Best Foreign Feature award. That honour instead went to Bosnian war drama No Man’s Land. No, I don’t remember it either.
  4. Rear WindowRear Window
    Hitchcock infamously never won an Oscar. I don’t know how his films fared generally speaking, but Rear Window certainly didn’t nab any. It did get four nominations though, including a Best Director nod for Hitch. He lost to Elia Kazan, whose On the Waterfront dominated that year (though three different pictures bested Rear Window in its other three categories).
  5. 12 Angry Men12 Angry Men
    There were three nominations for this jury room thriller from director Sidney Lumet — a Best Director consideration among them. He lost that to David Lean for The Bridge on the River Kwai, which similarly triumphed over the Angry Men in the contests for both the Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay trophies.
  6. Blue VelvetBlue Velvet and Requiem for a Dream
    Just one nom apiece for these two. David Lynch secured his second Best Director nomination for the former, but lost to Oliver Stone for Platoon. Meanwhile, Requiem for a Dream appeared in the Best Leading Actress group with a nod for Ellen Burstyn, but she was defeated by Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich.

None of the others even merited a nomination, apparently… though one did even worse…

    The Shining
    The ShiningNot only was Kubrick’s acclaimed horror movie not nominated for any Oscars, it found itself in contention for two Razzies. Shelley Duvall was one of the ten Worst Actresses (Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon was deemed worst of all), while the sainted Stanley Kubrick was declared one of the year’s Worst Directors (he ‘lost’ to Robert Greenwald for Xanadu). And there you were thinking everyone always loved it.

And remember that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences consider all of those films to be infinitely better than The Big Lebowski, Modern Times, Oldboy, and The Searchers. I’ve only seen two so I couldn’t possibly comment… but you can, here. (Ooh, that was smoothly mentioned, wasn’t it?)


TV plug

It’s the UK network TV premiere of The Lincoln Lawyer on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm. My four-star review is here, and you can also read about the film when it placed eighth on my list of the 10 best films I saw in 2012.

As you can see, it comes recommended.


Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

By the end of March I should be at the quarter-way point, aka 25 films. Only 13 to go, then — a higher number than I’ve managed so far this year, true… but also the same amount (or less) that I managed in three of the last four Marches and three of the last four Februarys.

There is hope for me yet.

3 thoughts on “February 2014 + something to do with the Oscars

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