Posted by: ckckred | February 25, 2012

Why The Descendants should win over The Artist

At the beginning of Oscar season way back in September, most critics and award analysts bet that The Descendants would win Best Picture.  It was a film by Alexander Payne, one of the best directors of the new generation, and starred George Clooney, the biggest Hollywood actor there is right now.  But by December, analysys said the winner will be The Artist, a film that surprised Hollywood for not only being a great black and white silent film but also for coming out with names most Americans didn’t know.  It received rave reviews, it turned the Oscar race around.  After the SAG and BAFTAs, analysts now believe Jean Dujardin, star of The Artist and is called the “Clooney of France”, will now actually topple the real Clooney for the Oscar.  This is a surprise since Clooney’s been the frontrunner for most of the race.

For those of you who have seen my favorite films of the year list (which will soon be updated) or my Oscar predictions, you will see that I am rooting for The Descendants to win Best Picture.  Don’t get me wrong; I loved The Artist (I considered putting it the best film of the year a few times, and narrowly put The Descendants in front of it).  The reason being I’m rooting for The Descendants is that I thought it was the more emotional of the two films.

This is not to say The Artist isn’t emotional.  George Valentin’s fall as a silent film star in the age of “talkies” is indeed filled with great expression and wonder.  But The Descendants really has every character put through that.  Case in point: not only does George Clooney’s character goes through an emotional stage after his wife Elizabeth’s death (and later over the discovery of her affair), but so does his father-in-law Scott Thorson, who blames Matt for her death.  The viewer assumes Scott has no reason for blaming Matt on something that isn’t his fault, and that Scott is just a bad father-in-law.  But soon the viewer discovers Scott’s wife has Alzheimer’s, and that he really cares for his daughter.  The same goes for Sid (Nick Krause), who at first seems like comic relief, but has actually gone through a stage similar to Matt’s before.  Even minor characters like Matt’s cousin Hugh and Brian Speer are well captured.

The Descendants is a movie on grief and forgiveness.  Some critics disliked the film for mixing both sadness with touches of humor, but that’s what makes the film.  The Descendants is a piece of cinematic genius, and is the strongest and best-acted and written film of 2011.  This is why I’m rooting for The Descendants at the Oscars.  Though I wouldn’t be disappointed to see The Artist win, I’d like to see some appreciation for Alexander Payne.

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Responses

  1. I was rooting for The Artist over The Descendants, but hey, that’s just me. I enjoyed both films anyway.

    Also, I nominated you for a 7×7 Link Award- you can look at the rules here http://eatsleeptelevision.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/holy-mother-of-mercy-its-the-7×7-link-award/

    Thanks for all of your great posts!

    • Thanks for the nomination. Another reason why I picked The Descendants is because Alexander Payne is a seriously underrated director. At least he won Best Screenplay.

      But both films were great and I was still happy to see The Artist win (at least they didn’t pick Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).


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