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Which 2012 Awards-Contending Movie Do You Feel Is Overpraised?

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | January 15, 2013 | Comments ()


TheMaster-Joaquin-PHoenix-stroke-face.jpg

You've hopefully seen our Best of 2012 movies. You've seen our Most Rewatchable Films of 2012. You know who won the Golden Globes, and you've seen the Oscar nominations. Presumably, you've seen three, four or all of the movie that have been mentioned. So I ask you this, folks: Of all the movies that have been praised to death this awards season, which do you believe is the most over-praised, the one that doesn't belong, the one that you don't get all the love for (and I'm sorry, you're not actually allowed to say Pitch Perfect because I will murder you).

Me: The Master. Remarkable performances, pointless, tedious, head-scratching movie. I was expecting the best movie of the year, and what I got was I got was two hours of what-the-f*ck (clearly, Daniel disagrees).

This was me during The Master:

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Also, on that subject, some of you (*cough* Cindy *cough*) didn't love Looper, and I'm gonna let it slide THIS TIME. But (via Filmdrunk), someone edited together everything that was wrong with Looper in under three minutes.




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  • Buck Forty

    Argo was good but not great, I don't understand why it wins awards. (Ditto the fuss over Pitch Perfect, which I know you told us not to hate on, but it seriously shook my faith in your reviews. I watched it and couldn't understand what was so great about it)

  • Ryan

    Sorry, but Looper is idiotic. It took a really cool premise, with the time travel/crime family stuff, and for some needless reason decided to throw in telekinesis and a mystical super kid. I hated that kid, the scene where he loses his mind was unintentionally hilarious. And the ending? Why didn't he A. Shoot Bruce Willis (I know, the gun conveniently can't shoot that far, nice touch screenwriter), B. shoot off his hand so that Bruce Willis can't kill him, C. how does he know that this kid still won't grow up to be the Rainmaker??? Why doesn't he make it so that he lives so that he can raise the damn kid himself and ensure that he doesn't grow up to be this bad crime boss? I'm glad it was made and was successful, since it's so hard to get an original R rated movie made these days, but don't fool yourself people.

  • Arjuna

    Oh!...I forgot the mess that is Les Mis...god help me but, that film was interminable. In fact, next to ZDT, a truly tortuous movie going experience.

  • Arjuna

    ZERO DARK THIRTY...UGH. Overpraised to the hilt.

  • BWeaves

    I'm a huge LOTR's fan, and The Hobbit disappointed me so much that I don't want to see it again, and I'm rethinking seeing the other two when they come out. The Hobbit left me wanting less, not more.

  • QueeferSutherland

    As far as Oscar nominees go: Beasts of the Southern Wild. It wasn't a bad movie, just undeserving of Best Picture and certainly Best Director nominations (particularly considering it meant Affleck and/or Bigelow were snubbed as a result).

    Also, I wasn't too impressed with Life of Pi. I'm tempted to say its because I didn't see it in 3D. Then again, if I have to see a movie in 3D to like it, maybe that's a problem.

  • KatSings

    I'm with you, Dustin. I watched The Master last night and wanted to punch everyone involved for making it. It was an exercise in tedium, a completely boring "story" (can one accurately describe something as a story when NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS?) that dragged on forever. I checked the time 6 times...in the first HOUR. By the end, I was rooting for a meteor to kill them all. I can't even give that much credit to the quality of the acting, because the script and the direction were so terrible that I just couldn't be bothered to care. Also? The least likeable cast of characters I've ever seen. I need SOMEONE to root for. Or specifically against. Instead, I just found them all annoying and wanted them off screen. That's over two hours of my life I can never get back, and I am bitter about it.

    I shouldn't be surprised - I felt DDL was brilliant in There Will Be Blood, but I thought that film was a slog to get through, and terribly edited - it could have been much shorter than it was, and I think that would have made a better, tighter film. I think my nostalgia for films like Magnolia is all that keeps me watching Anderson's films at all at this point. And The Master may have killed that.

  • selucius

    Aye... different Anderson. Got confused with all the slamming on Moonrise Kingdom. I'll see myself out.

  • selucius

    How is Magnolia anything at all like an Anderson film?

  • KatSings

    Well, he wrote and directed it. So....

  • Rooks

    Looking at the comments: All of them. Each and every movie made, nominated, seen or merely praised these past 12 months was grossly overrated, overpraised, overanything'd and didn't deserve shit.

  • Adrien

    SLP was just an upgrade of "As Good As it Gets". I enjoyed this movie but some of the actors were overpraised. Jackie Weaver's spot should have been given to Ann Dowd ( Compliance) or Nicole Kidman in Paperboy and I would be happier if they gave that supporting nom to Chris Tucker instead of DeNiro.

  • Derreck

    Not sure about Tucker getting a nom though. He was barely in the movie. More like an extended cameo, really. I'm ok with DeNiro's nom because of he had that mini-monologue to Cooper's character about spending more time with him.

    Reminded me of Ellen Burstyn's heartbreaking monologue in Requiem for a Dream even if it was not as epic.

  • Derreck

    I agree about Jacki Weaver. Nicole and Ann were floating around for that final spot in a category that was mostly locked but Jacki pretty much rode the wave of praise to get that spot. She came out of nowhere too. At least Nicole got GG and SAG noms.

    I didn't see Compliance, but i did see The Paperboy and i can safely say that Nicole worked her ass off in a movie that was already against her. The dialogue, the scenes (pissing on Efron, telepathic sex and more) and the (delightful) hot messery of the movie as a whole. Her role could've easily been a caricature disaster but she managed to avoid that.

    Jacki was nice but what time during the film can you really say that she was Oscar worthy?

  • dizzylucy

    I'd agree with The Master - great performances, but oh I hated it. I guess it's my "Rachel Getting Married" of the 2012/2013 season.

    I enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook for the most part, but Best Picture? Really?

  • Adrien

    Amour. Because no one saw it.

  • poopnado

    I dunno. The more I think about Les Mis, the more I dislike it. But really, I'm not impressed by any of the movies in the lineup (except possibly Beasts, which I never got to see). However, I still feel like it was a great year for movies. The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises were both amazing. It was a fun summer.

  • The first ten minutes of Lincoln was like a Mad TV parody of a Speilberg movie. I can't comment on the rest, because that was all I could take.

  • crispin

    Django.

    The final third of that movie was a complete mess.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Dustin, you shouldn't link to the videos of that guy counting alleged "movie mistakes". He's a fucking idiot. He usually brings up 2 or 3 valid points, but the rest of them are just dumb.

  • ScrimmySCrim

    Cindy's not alone on the Looper thing.
    CINDY & SCRIMMS LOOPER HATERS 4 LYFE

  • High fives.

  • BOOYAH! Looper was a mess. It started out as a cool, science fiction time travel thing, and turned into a Carrie/Children of the Corn mashup. WHY?

  • Ben

    The fact that brave won the golden globe is just fucked. It was probably the weakest of the nominated films (I'm still pretending Hotel Transilvanya didn't get nominated... cause seriously fuck you Golden Globes)

  • Skyler Durden

    I loved me some ParaNorman, and I don't think that was nominated either.

  • commanderfunky

    Agree 100% with Looper. That movie was almost the equivalent of Prometheus for me. Strong start, a lot of interesting exposition followed up by... a completely different ending that had little to do with the beginning that is somehow tied with shoddy scriptwriting. I was excited for about 2/3 of the movie and then it blew its premature load.

    Completely disappointing. Also, Lincoln was, like everyone already mentioned, very run of the mill for Spielberg and DDL.

  • Skyler Durden is not logged in

    SLP: An average rom-com that pairs a 20-year old girl with a 40-year old dude. And no one seems upset by it. Thanks again, Hollywood.

    BOTSW: I didn't get it. I just don't find abject poverty, squalor, and lack of parenting or proper education to be magical or charming. It's basically a movie about feral people, but it stars a cute little girl so that makes it okay.

  • babykangarootribbiani

    I feel like I'm the only person in the world who didn't love Les Mis. Don't get me wrong, I was bawling during Anne Hathaway's song and everyone in it is incredibly talented but I had the same problem that I did when my high school did Les Mis (yes i realize comparing a high school production to the "real deal" is dumb, kindly shut it) is that the story is so depressing. If there is ever another "great movies you never want to see again" list made, Les Mis should definitely be on there. Then again it is the kind of movie where you know as soon as the credits starts rolling that awards will heaped upon it like tootsie rolls are thrown at small children from parades, so perhaps this post was pointless to begin with.

  • Stina

    Brave. I wanted to love it, which just made me hate it more. It was classic, wonderfully animated Pixar, but with sappy, girls-are-only-happy-with-men Disney spewed all over it.

  • Jezzer

    I don't really think Brave is getting over-praised. Every time I see it mentioned, it's someone talking about how disappointing it was.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    Silver Linings Playbook. A generic rom-com that somehow got nominated for every single major award at the Oscars.

  • $27019454

    OK, and this has nothing to do with the open running sore that is my loathing for Anne Liza Minelli Hathaway, but Les Miserables. Please you guys. The whole sweeping theater-y-ness of it is enough to give me a cavity. Guh. I saw the stage production and I had to wash my mouth out with several thousand four-letter words afterward. And then I kicked a puppy. Did I see the movie? Uh, NO. (duh) Is it fair of me to criticize this syrup-fest? Uh...NO!

    But who said life is fair, huh, Fantine?

  • John G.

    she's gonna cudgel you with that self-doubt-defying blunt object that's she's just won.

  • TurdFerguson

    Beasts of the Southern Wild was hot boring garbage

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I really liked it but I agree that it's overrated. It was a cool little indie flick that somehow grabbed Hollywood's attention.

  • Moonrise Kingdom.

    Wes Anderson just doesn't work for me sometimes. I really liked The Royal Tennenbaums, but this one? Oi. Too much precious, wee, whimsical crap for me. The child actors were terrible and everyone spoke like they were half asleep and depressed.

    Other than that, I've only watched Les Miserables and Argo, both of which were amazing to me. Oh, and Brave which was pretty cute.

  • Jezzer

    Would you say it was "twee"?

  • PDamian

    Oh geez, thanks for this. Too twee for words. It just screams, "Isn't this just darlin'?" I've long thought Anderson was coasting on Tenenbaums.

  • Cree83

    I completely agree about Moonrise Kingdom. I kept turning to my husband to roll my eyes, but unfortunately, he was enraptured. I think the "wedding" was what moved the film from "this is not Anderson's best, but still watchable," to "wow this movie is really starting to annoy the crap out of me."

  • Exactly. It just kept getting more irritating.

    It was beautifully filmed, at least. And the colors and atmosphere were quite lovely in parts. But the story was terrible to me.

  • Derreck

    Can we also talk about award contenders that are under-praised?

    I'm shocked that Anna Karenina is so largely ignored. I'm still in awe of the utter creativity that went into making that film.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    The Secret World of Arriety has gotten no love from the Academy that I know of. Granted, it was released in February or something, but it was still a lovely little story. I would've at least nominated it.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    In fairness, Anna Karenina did get some Oscar nods for the technical stuff (which is well deserved). But yeah, no nomination for Adapted Screenplay, Acting, or Direction is bullshit. The framing device Stoppard uses to inform the audience of the story's social context and develop the characters is goddamned brilliant.

  • Lovely Bones

    Being kind of a theatre geek, I'd probably give Anna Karenina a chance if I didn't wish Joe Wright would make more films like Hanna and not so many bloody period pieces. I legitimately enjoy less than 1 % of action films ever made, at most, but Hanna was great.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor_isnotloggedin

    Lincoln. That right there is one underwhelmingly excellent film. It is exactly the movie you'd expect Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and a dozen other very talented people to make. Exactly what you'd expect. And precisely nothing more than that. So people need to stop talking about it, even though they aren't talking about it a lot. Like, the most interesting thing about it is that it completely proves that Spielberg and DDL are now capable of phoning in Oscar-quality work. Which is impressive, but not deserving of an award.

    Argo would be a lot like that, if it were boasting a director with the same track record, and the same caliber of talent. But it's not, so it's a really charming surprise that I wouldn't be upset to see win Best Picture. But I'm not exactly rooting for it, either, because of what I just said. I'm not overly upset Affleck didn't get the Director nom, either, not because he didn't deserve it, but because he's shown he can be held to a higher standard than this. I think the Academy might be respecting him by shunning him. Or they're holding a Daredevil grudge.

  • John G.

    I think if you put DDL in the hands of an actually talented director who made movies and not postcards with soundtracks, you could make a fucking brilliant Lincoln.

  • Artemis

    Yes, exactly. DDL is clearly capable of playing Lincoln very well, but it was wasted in a movie where all he did was give Very Dramatic Speeches to the camera while people gazed at him in awe.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    only problem here is that, in the time the movie is covering, Lincoln did have a mystique about him. People did huddle around him in awe, and recite his own speeches back to him.

    He was a rockstar President for a significant chunk of the North. Granted, huge numbers of people hated him as well, but he was definitely a rockstar.

  • Well said, sir. I haven't watched Lincoln but I'm sure it'll be a great Spielberg biopic, with the rousing music and great performances. But yeah, nothing really new.

    I'm not too upset about Affleck. If he keeps up what he's been doing lately, he'll get the Oscar in a few years anyway.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor_isnotloggedin

    Exactly, and probably for a better movie.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And he will get a sweep a la Costner and Gibson, and the incredibly-deserving Warren Beatty for his masterpiece.

  • AngelenoEwok

    ALL OF THEM. Seriously. Out of:

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Argo
    Les Miserables
    Lincoln
    Looper
    Django Unchained
    The Master
    and
    Moonrise Kingdom

    There was nothing that I'd give more than a strong 7.5 out of 10. MAYBE an 8 if I was hopped up on something and feeling kind. Maybe.

  • Dragonchild

    Yeah, it's kind of a weak year for movies overall. That's not to say there weren't any good movies at all, but they're only "good" in that they entertain you for an evening, maybe pleasantly surprise you if you're jaded. Nothing that'll be widely remembered even five years from now.

  • Lovely Bones

    My goodness, Argo. It's by all means a good film, but I can't see how one could get particularly personally invested in it, nor how it could qualify for Best Picture in such a great year for film as 2012, or just in general, honestly. The Master, on the other hand, still stands as my favorite film of the year, with all due respect, Dustin. I still need to see most of the nominees, though. Of the three I've seen, Argo, Lincoln and Django Unchained, DU was easily the best.

  • Lovely Bones

    And out of the six I have left to see, the one I'm least excited for is easily either SLP or Les Mis. Tom Hooper's direction was painfully dull in The King's Speech, and if it has evolved into actively awful like I've heard, that's just going to be a pain in the ass to watch. And I really don't want to have to sit through everything after 'Fantine' and 'Cosette' again (going purely off of the novel, here). Marius is such an obnoxiously bland character to center the rest of the story on, it drags the whole thing down. Meanwhile, David O. Russell makes solid, but not great movies, and SLP looks to be his most conventional yet. I'm not actively dreading it like Les Mis, but I'm not overtly anticipating it.

  • DarthCorleone

    Les Miserables lives up to its name. One of the most miserable experiences of my film-watching life.

    Honorable mention overrated movies: Looper, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, Moonrise Kingdom.

    Yeah, I guess I'm just looking to offend all of you today.

  • Jezzer

    It's okay, DC. All of Wes Anderson's movies are horribly overrated. One day they'll be able to admit that to themselves.

  • John G.

    even though you're completely wrong, I'll allow you to live since you restrained yourself from using "Twee."

  • Jezzer

    I thought "twee" was understood as a given because we were discussing Wes Anderson.

  • DJANGO?!!!

  • See Dustin, I'm not the only one.

  • AngelenoEwok

    "One of the most miserable experiences of my film-watching life." :-( :-( :-( I thought we at least had fun with it...

  • DarthCorleone

    Yes, we had fun. That was intended to be a reflection of my opinion of the movie and a play on "miserable."

  • Derreck

    I agree with Django too. I think it is a big step-down from Inglorious Basterds. Waltz was great in both, but i really don't think he deserves any noms or awards over DiCaprio in Django.

  • John G.

    If you cut out the dancing horse scene, Quentin's australian accent, and the slapstick eyeholes in the bag scene, It would almost be a perfect film to me, so I'm gonna disagree. I could watch Django kill white people for 3 more hours.

  • GDI

    That's funny, as I found Inglorious Basterds to be far over-hyped. It wouldn't have been that bad, if Tarantino had cut that last on-the-nose line about him,"finally creating [his] masterpiece". That single line destroyed all the goodwill built up to that point (that and no WWII movie/series will ever beat Band of Brothers).

    That being said, DiCaprio was fantastic as Candie. Better than Waltz? Meh. I think it was the novelty of seeing him as a villain rather than the performance itself. That's not to say he wasn't a charming devil.

  • Littlejon2001

    Silver Linings if just for being nominated for Best Director instead of Ben Affleck. Don't get me wrong, solid movie. But it is a rom com. I personally think Robert DeNiro's best Supporting Actor nod is undeserving. He did a fine job...but there wasn't enough there to really give him a nomination. Certainly no where near as memorable as Leo's turn as Candie in Django.

    Argo was a solid movie. It has everything you'd want on the checklist of "Academy Award Winning" movie, even if overall it falls short of the "wow" factor.

  • John G.

    can you explain to me how it's "solid"? The weird and sudden rom-com ending didn't feel like an afterthought made in the middle of filming to you? I mean, J-Law doesn't even bring up the dance competition until 60 minutes in to the film. And were we not supposed to think it was creepy that a 40 year old man was supposed to be in love with a 20 year old girl? And De Niro was playing up his character's quirks so much, he was just short of declaring them outloud.

  • Littlejon2001

    Solid in terms of it does what it sets out to do. The point of the movie wasn't really the plot, but the plot is utilized well to showcase the characters and their development. You're not suppose to think Bradley Cooper is 40 and J-Law is 20...i think it's more like 35/24ish, which is kinda weird but not too creepy. Their ages were never actually stated (as far as I recall). DeNiro had some nice moments, but I'm with you he wasn't all that. The movie was entertaining and I don't think I rolled my eyes once through it...but it wasn't "Best Movie of the Year". Just solid.

  • Derreck

    Silver Linings Playbook.

    It's a nice little film but nothing special at all. I'm mystified at all the buzz, really. Plus, how did Jacki Weaver get an Oscar nom? I like her and her performance, but once again, nothing special. I can't even imagine what scene they'll choose for her Oscar clip. I can understand the rest of the acting noms but i'm thinking Jacki just managed to ride the wave of acclaim.

    I wasn't too hot on Jennifer Lawrence's performance either but after she used her Golden Globe win as an opportunity to make an apt First Wives Club reference, she won my heart. I don't care if Jessica Chastain shoots Bin Laden in the head in Zero Dark Thirty (Note: i haven't even seen the movie) but for that reference alone, Jennifer Lawrence can have ANYTHING she wants.

  • It's without a doubt Argo, a movie that I enjoyed! But as more and more undeserving praise gets heaped on this film, the more militant I become in opposition. It's fine, but it's not Best Picture material, even in an off year.

  • Agreed. I'm just not that impressed with competent.

  • Lovely Bones

    Exactly. When did expressing above-average filmmaking competency turn out a film considered to be one of the best in an entire year? I mean, I do give it high marks for doing things that should be basic, but aren't, like giving the hostages decent screentime and not assuming we'll care about their characters instinctively, for example. It's ultimately just a good crowd-pleaser story, like I would consider Jaws.

    Edit: Not meaning to bash Jaws at all, obviously. Very well-made film, great acting, and all that. And its influence by being the pioneer blockbuster is inarguably important. I'm just not personally in love with it.

  • Emmet O'Cuana

    Whoa, whoa - Jaws is amazing.

  • nosio

    SILVER. LININGS. PLAYBOOK.

  • Randy Butternubs

    It's a lot better than Little Miss Sunshine, which was nominated a few years ago and everyone seems too be cool with, also, that crappy 9-11 film from last year. Funny, well acted, portrayed mental illness relatively accurately and sympathetically. I'm cool with it being nominated.

  • John G.

    I was so excited by you saying this IN ALL CAPS (which was appropriate) that I hit upvote like 12 times before I came to my senses and realized that I was just voting then unvoting again.

    I am dumbfounded why this movie is liked let alone nominated for awards. It was so silly and dumb, and yet seemed to take itself so seriously, even at the end, when a merely bad movie turned into an insane movie. Are people actually watching these movies, or do they vote on them based on the preview alone?

  • nosio

    The end? Where two of the characters ___________________ and the camera spins around them? I was laughing/cringing so awkwardly in the theater. I refuse to take seriously any movie where that happens.

  • becks

    I couldn't agree more which is not to say that I didn't enjoy the film. I just have no idea how this fairly standard romcom is being taken so seriously.

    If it starred Gwyneth Paltrow instead of Jennifer Lawrence I'm convinced there would be rioting in the streets right now.

  • nosio

    Exactly. It was an above-average rom-dram (is that a thing? I'm going to make it a thing).

  • becks

    I don't know if it's a thing but I'm totally open to picking it up and running with it.

  • John G.

    Agreed 100%, and why does J Law get this pass? Were people that in love with Hunger Games?

  • Coked Up Jesus

    I could easily go to "Lincoln" or "Les Miserables," but I honestly think that "Zero Dark Thirty" is getting a lot of praise that is undeserving. I really like it and it's entertaining, but I agree with Vince over at Film Drunk. Characters are shallow and it pulls punches. I don't think it's bad, but "The Hurt Locker" was much better and a lot more tense.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Can we give gold stars for Pajibanyms? This one is my new favourite.

  • BLZ Bubb

    Thank you for ZDT! It's basically an hour long cable crime show stretched to 160 minutes. I mean it's really a poorly made and poorly acted movie. I suppose it's very cathartic to a lot of people so that leads to a 'wow' feeling but I just don't get why anyone thinks it's a well made film

  • RilesSD

    Agreed. I don't understand all of the praise. It's just a straight-forward movie. Entertaining, but nothing too special. I thought the same about Hurt Locker though, so maybe I'm just not a huge fan of Bigelow's directing.

  • GDI

    She's not a hack, but her attempts at working around stories "grounded in reality" fail miserably. Not just from fact distortion, but from taking the cold, dull and dead aspects of the story and trying to make them fascinating.

    She's a mediocre necromancer of film at best.

  • Robert

    I don't even need to think twice. The Impossible is a torture porn film nominated for Best Leading Actress for a supporting performance. Anyone interested in how The Impossible has become the first and the most critically acclaimed torture porn film can click on over to my review: http://thesketchydetails.net/a...

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