Maybe it’s just me, but I expect more from my girlfriends than the prostitutes I bang. You gotta have standards, ya know? And, a broad from the red light district can get away night toots or demanding condoms. A chick I’m dating? Better be dolled up in fancy dresses and massaging my feet while the pot roast simmers in the kitchen.
Boom, I said it.
This philosophy extends to film as well. See, I don’t have a problem when a film DOESN’T want to be art. If the filmmaker’s sole goal is to make money. So be it. Frankly, blockbuster popcorn flicks are a shit ton easier to review. They either entertained me or they didn’t.
Art house though, art house wants to be something, make you feel something. It wants to live on for ages and be shown in film schools for decades. But, mostly, they just want to nab an Oscar. And so I tend to be a lot harder on those films. It’s no longer solely about my entertainment level. Suddenly I gotta pay attention to stage direction, camera work, and narrative structure. Blah, blah, blah. And, it’s through this tougher prism, that I can give Lincoln an enthusiastic eh and a shoulder shrug.
Lincoln is the annual Oscar bait by the most well known working director in the world. He’s too famous to state his name but, you know him, since Jaws his name has been a verb. And that’s fine. He totally deserves the circle jerk he constantly gets. This time around it’s a passion project he’s been trying to get off the ground for years. And, for a passion project, there’s not all that much passion involved.
The same can said of last year’s War Horse. Fuck War Horse. That film did not deserve an Oscar nomination. Lincoln will get a nod too and, while it’s infinitely better than War Horse, it’s not breaking any ground.
The acting is astounding, yes. (Especially you, Crazy Sad Gidget. I hope you land a best actress for this.) The direction is impeccable, sure. The score is even gloriously sweeping and important. It all looks, acts, and speaks like a movie gunning for an Oscar and that’s why it shouldn’t get an Oscar. I mean, come on, if this is supposed to push the boundaries of film shouldn’t it, I dunno, crazy fucking idea, do something different?
I know it sounds like I hated it. I, truly, really enjoyed it. It was an interesting film made well. But it was made exactly how I expected it to be made. Yet the academy won’t see that. This is, after all, the organization that let King’s Speech win over The Social Network. It’s still to early to make bets on how the awards will shake out this year but, believe me, if Lincoln wins, it’ll be leaving a more innovative film in it’s wake.