Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fisti Update...

The 2008 Fisti Awards have officially kicked off and the Best Picture ballot has been posted.  Feel free to waltz on over to the Fisti page on the right side of the blog and take a gander.  I'd love your thoughts.  I'll be posting the rest of the categories over the next week and hope to have it all wrapped up by next Wednesday.  2008 was a great year for film, despite my feelings on Oscars actual lineup.  Narrowing down my Best Picture ballot was really, really hard.  In terms of Oscars ballot, I was really unimpressed with what they came up with.  I'd rank their ballot like so.

01) The Reader
02) Frost/Nixon

03) Milk

04) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
05) Slumdog Millionaire

I actually really like both The Reader and Frost/Nixon, and as you'll see, The Reader makes my top twelve (although the hyperbole that I heaped upon the film upon my initial viewing has been stripped of my memory and I'm left with a film I really like yet don't call a masterpiece any longer).  Still, this lineup is somewhat shallow when you consider the poll Oscar could have dipped into.  The devestating train of domination by Slumdog Millionaire was particularly disappointing, and the fact that Fincher was finally embraced for his least impressive feature (well, it was better than The Game, I guess) was heartbreaking.  While there is a lot about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I did like (as you'll see when more of the categories are announced), the film as a whole was VERY cold and just could not deliver the emotional core that was created in Fitzgerald created in his short story.

Milk is a very good film, but it is also embarassingly one sided at times and doesn't really delve as deeply as it needed to in order to depict Harvey Milk as anything more than a fictionalized martyr.  I mean, he never once felt like a real human being, although the supporting characters were laced with considerable depth.

Hate Ron Howard all you want, but Frost/Nixon was a surprising triumph of bottled intensity.

Alas, none of these films touch my ballot, so give it a look and let me know what you think!


  1. Couldn't agree more on Milk. I thought it was very overrated. I don't even see why Penn was so "great" in it. Instead of seeing him disappear into the role, I could see him acting. It's one of those performances that just doesn't grab me, a la Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood.

    I'd rank them thus:

    1. Slumdog Millionaire
    2. TCCOBB
    3. Frost/Nixon
    4. The Reader
    5. Milk

    On your Fisti's:

    I liked A Christmas Tale, but I didn't see what all the fuss is about. That said, I need to revisit it, because it looks like a film that would improve on a second viewing.

    Happy to see In Bruges and VCB (both in my lineup) here. I remember punching the air when In Bruges got that screenplay Oscar nom. I actually had it as a last minute addition to my nomination predictions, given the Golden Globes and BAFTA boost. Props to the writer's branch on that one.

    I've never heard of Troubled Water, but it's going on my watchlist.

    1. I actually caught Troubled Water on this foreign language chanel on cable called LINK and was just beside myself; it is THAT powerful. You really should see it.

      Yeah, Penn actually DOESN'T make my ballot for Lead Actor, which I know is something that many people will balk at, and I thought he was good but I thought that the character wasn't layered enough thanks to the script. Someone from the cast does get a supporting mention, but it may not be who you think it is.

      I really, truly, deeply LOVED A Christmas Tale, but I wholly understand that it is not a film for everyone. I knew that while watching it. It is VERY French, and unless you completely surrender to that style of filmmaking then it won't be a film you'll adore. The French, in my opinion, make the best it was rather obvious that I was going to go gaga for it.

      Out of curiousity; how would you rank my Fisti ballot?

  2. Penn's not on my ballot either. If your supporting mention isn't Brolin, then I'm guessing it's Emile Hirsch. Franco seems a bit obvious too, but maybe it's him after all. :)

    I love French films too, but this one just didn't grab me. I'm going to see it again at some point though. Incidentally, my current lineup would be:

    1. In Bruges
    2. Hunger
    3. The Class
    4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    5. Flight of the Red Balloon

    Also, I've Loved You So Long would just miss at #6. So, there's three French films on my list. ;)

    I'd rank yours:

    1. In Bruges
    2. VCB
    3. The Dark Knight
    4. A Christmas Tale
    5. Troubled Water - NS

    1. UGH, I want to see Flight of the Red Balloon badly, and almost held off until I could, but eventually gave it. I loved The Class, and I really admired Hunger (and I actually throw it a nomination in cinematography, which was outstanding) but I didn't love it. I thought Shame was a considerable step up.

    2. FOTRB is a must-see. I give Binoche Best Actress for it.

      Really? For me, Hunger > Shame.

    3. I just was really moved by Shame in a way that Hunger didn't...McQueen's style is stylistically cold, which is admirable, but I think something comes through in Shame that didn't with Hunger.