Oscar Moment: “Alice in Wonderland”

30 10 2010

I’m sorry, did someone say “Best Picture nominee ‘Alice in Wonderland?'”  Are we talking about the Tim Burton version?

I don’t know what they are smoking over at Disney’s awards department, but apparently someone thought it was a good idea to launch an all-out awards push for “Alice in Wonderland” for Best Picture.  As some blogger put it, “I guess a billion dollars does buy you anything.”

If Disney had put out an FYC ad asking voters to remember the costumes, the visual effects, and the set design of the movie, I would be just fine.  But an ad asking voters to consider the movie for Best Picture and other major categories?  Get real.  This is a movie that was completely dismissed by critics, scoring a 51% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 53 on Metacritic.  I gave the movie a generous C, which in retrospect may have been too lenient.  Here’s an excerpt from my review to give you a slight taste of my feelings about the movie:

Burton said that his intention was to “try and make Alice feel more like a story as opposed to a series of events” because he never felt an emotional connection between the characters in the original.  In this respect, his version is an utter disaster.  I saw exactly the opposite of what he intended: Alice wandering from place to place with absolutely no plot building.

Just because “Avatar” was a good-looking movie that made a lot of money and got a Best Picture nomination does not mean that the formula works for every good-looking movie that makes a lot of money.  “Avatar” was a good movie, certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and reached universal acclaim status on Metacritic.  Disney has a bona fide Best Picture contender in “Toy Story 3,” and it could very well win if their cards are played right.  Why on earth they feel like wasting a penny on a movie that I think has no shot in hell at receiving an Oscar nomination is totally beyond me.

I expect the movie to pick up a few tech nominations and maybe win a few guild prizes.  However, if “Alice in Wonderland” gets a Best Picture nomination, it will be the final nail in the Academy’s coffin of irrelevance.

BEST BETS FOR NOMINATIONS: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects

OTHER POSSIBLE NOMINATIONS: Best Picture (?)


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4 responses

2 11 2010
Andrew

Alice In Wonderland doesn’t have the phenomenon of hype to elevate it to Avatar levels and thereby gain the kind of clout necessary to get Academy attention. That it’s an incredibly bad movie– for me, so far, the worst of 2010– doesn’t mean much; it has no buzz, and at this point one could easily suppose that the general movie-going audience has totally forgotten about it. (I did see one guy go as Johnny Depp’s Hatter. I had to bite my tongue pretty hard.)

I’ll be shocked and appalled if this gets any notable noms at any event this awards season.

2 11 2010
Encore Entertainment

I think it’s just a formality, I’ve seen tons of FYC ads for film that had no chance. It’s just really a formality as in all the category a film could POSSIBLY score a nod, but not probably. I am in the camp of those who liked the it, though it had its severe issues. The costumes WERE wonderful, as was HBC but it had some strong issues with the story.

9 11 2010
7 11 2010
Will Silver

Hahahaha, I thought exactly the same thing when I saw a similar ad yesterday. There’s no way this is getting any major nominations. I think it’s telling that the ad lists just about every Oscar category. They’re just throwing names into the air and hoping one sticks. Usually these Oscar ads focus on one or two aspects at a time, such as the Best Picture/Best Director Inception ads they’re currently running.

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