Sunday, 28 November 2010

Oscar Talk: Toy Story III & The Animated Race

I hate to be a killjoy (honest, I do) but the burgeoning Best Picture campaign for Toy Story III keeps on leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Of course that’s because the film itself left me feeling marginally unsatisfied. It’s a sort of déjà vu that I’m experiencing, I was feeling this way last year when Up was taking the awards’ races by storm and it looks as if Toy Story III has an easier path ahead of it. From Coraline to The Fantastic Mr. Fox to The Princess& the Frog it was an unusually strong year in the category but this year’s picking is more than slim. True, I’d give How to Train Your Dragon (which is admittedly, the sole other animated film I’ve seen so far) a slight edge over Toy Story III because it’s candour and freshness is much more appealing and (forgive the weak pun) animated; but neither of the two seems to be a great credit to its form.
I’ll probably see Tangled sooner or later – if only for the sake of being a completist (I’ve somehow managed to avoid Despicable Me so far). I already have a slight built-in aversion to Tangled - not so much the film, but the ridiculousness of the story behind its renaming. The thing is, even if it’s doing better than anticipated there’s virtually no possibility of it uprooting Toy Story III which is the favourite – sentimentally, and otherwise., though I'd be happy if it really is good. The question now isn’t if Toy Story III is going to win the race, it’s how much of a threat it could be in the Picture category. Obviously, I’ve no choice but to resign myself to the continued ten-nominees situation and if push comes to shove I’d prefer to see Toy Story III on the nomination more than something like Inception or The Town both of which are being touted as serious contenders, the former more-so than the latter.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m existing in the clouds, but I still don’t feel that the race is as wrapped up as some seem to believe. Of course we all know that it isn’t over until it really is, but I’m just having this feeling that a serious contender is being ignored – what, I don’t know. I don’t think Toy Story III is it, a Best Picture win for it would be exceedingly surprising. I suppose, as it stands Pixar needs to prepare space for the inevitable trophy that’s going to be handed to Toy Story III. It’s months before the fact, but I figure if there’s any race that’s “wrapped” it’s this one. And I’m probably the only person (along with Armond White) who won’t be ecstatic about this. Ha. I just wish we'd have gotten something a little...better, could Tangled be it.

9 comments:

Jose said...

While you seem to oppose this one so much, it's still the best movie I've seen all year long.
Oscars are worthless accolades in the end and there's no way this movie could win the top prize but as far as it goes I'd hand it over to them in a heartbeat at this point.

Robert said...

I understand your feelings Andrew...even though I loved Toy Story 3, I can't help but feel like the seemingly obligatory Pixar nomination is one of the more unfortunate implications of the 10 Best Picture thing. I'm kind of hoping that The Illusionist will be absolutely stellar to the point of giving TS3 a run for its money...

Robert said...

Ah, and Tangled is not it. Very good but not better than TS3 or How to Train Your Dragon, in my opinion. :P

TomS said...

Andrew, I couldn't agree more! "Toy Story 3" seemed like it was engineered for Oscar nominations, and while I enjoyed it on many levels, I did think it was shamelessly manipulative.
I also share your impatience with "Inception" as a serious contender (I don't think "The Town" will have a chance in the BP category).
"TS3" will most likely clean up in the Animated category (although, like you, I preferred "Dragon").
As far as a serious contender yet to emerge, I have a few offbeat predictions. A clue: wouldn't it be great to have a documentary or a Foreign Language film in the Best Picture category?

Simon said...

Nominees aren't going to be announced for months, during which time many, many films will be released. Everybody. Calm. Down.

Alex in Movieland said...

Simon, seriously! :) I've made Oscar predictions since March-April. there's no such thing as too early.


I have still to see Toy Story 3, but considering how much I loved the first 2 (saw them both for the first time in the last week), I expect to like it a lot. To me, the Animated category is locked down.

But will TS3 win Best Picture? NO chance in hell. I don't think any animated will ever win BP and I don't think TS3 would've made the nomination list with 5 Best Picture slots.

I go again to those older voters and I doubt they'll pick an Animated film as winner.


How to Train Your Dragon was just ok to me (more impressive technically than story-wise) and the 3rd Animated Nominee will probably be either Tangled or The Illusionist (for that Belleville/Persepolis place)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

jose i still find it surprising that you like the third installment so much when you're not that big a fan of the other two. i do hope something comes up that you like better. is it just me or are the films generally just okay this year?

robert yep, that obligatory pixar nod is annoying. really, i just hate everything about the ten picture nominees :P. and yeah, didn't really expect tangled to be it, maybe if they'd kept kristin chenoweth as the voice...

tom i put little credence in rotten tomatoes but the town has somewhere in the 90s, which i find quite shocking. and though i'm woefully unversed in foreign cinema i'd love to see a nominee from another country.

simon yeah, but voters have this way of only zeroing on a specific. and i'll refer you to alex's comment: "it's never too early."

alex i'm still slightly bitter than persopilis didn't win that oscar. grrr. that was just so nice. i think if you liked your toys (or the toy story franchise) you'll probably love part 3.

Robert said...

Kristen Chenoweth was supposed to be the voice? EEEE! I think one of the worst things about Tangled was Mandy Moore's voice work! What a shame.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

robert i don't have any major problem with mandy. but damn, when they dangled kristin and then took her away it felt personal.