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Celluloid Fun - An eclectic blog of arthouse and independent films with some mainstream movies.

Awards Season Gripe; Quality Films Shine Temporarily

November 20th 2012 02:27
Poster artwork for the film Hitchcock.

Hyped-up Hollywood by Linh

You know awards season is near when films such as Hitchcock and Lincoln get huge amounts of praise and attention from film critics before the films even premiere in theatres. Interesting to note that these two films are also not full biopics but deal with a short period in the lives of director Alfred Hitchcock and former US President Abraham Lincoln. It seems like putting your whole life story into a film is no longer interesting and exciting enough for viewers. Wouldn’t showing whole life stories make it a documentary though? These days, a close-up and intensive exploration of crucial catalysts or life-changing moments in a person’s life is the way to grab viewers’ attention. Hollywood producers have noticed this trend and scrounged around for every bit of detail that perhaps most people do not know about, so they can turn it into a potentially award-winning script for a star-studded award-winning movie. It must be star-studded, because who wants to see a no-name actor nobody has ever heard of winning the Academy Award for Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role? Pardon my cynicism and sarcasm.

Poster artwork for the film Lincoln.

Seriously, it seems de rigueur for Hollywood to release biopics near the end of the year for consideration in the upcoming awards season. Afterall, I am willing to pay $16 -18 a ticket in mainstream theatres to see Anthony Hopkins in prosthetic makeup as Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock and Daniel Day-Lewis sporting a hairy beard as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln. Luckily, I can see a film for $7 before 4pm and $8.50 after 4pm on Mondays at my local arthouse cinema. I am a sucker for a well-directed, performed, scripted film but it disappoints me that Hollywood only releases decent and high quality films just to fuel its awards season. So, for only three months of the year, audiences get fantastic and critically acclaimed films, while the other nine months are filled by mindless, over-the-top, big budget blockbusters? It’s no wonder I head off to my local arthouse cinema and give mainstream theatres a wide berth. At least we are seeing more independent films getting some appreciation and attention from critics and those in the film industry during awards season. Remember when Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards in 2009, as well as numerous other awards? That was a classic example of brilliant independent film-making from director Danny Boyle and his award-winning film crew/writers. Millions more people saw Slumdog Millionaire after it won all those awards, than before the film got any award nominations or won anything.

Bless Hollywood for giving independent films some support, attention and a place in the fickle American entertainment industry, even if it is for only three months of the year. Enough ranting, now let’s get back into award season celebration mode. Check out the potentially award-winning performances in the film trailers for Hitchcock and Lincoln below. Yes, these two men are so famous and well-known that only using their surname in the film’s title will suffice. Okay, I will now stop with the smart-arse cynicism. Seriously, these two films look excellent!

Hitchcock, Film Trailer from Trailer Addict (courtesy of Fox Searchlight Films):

Lincoln, Film Trailer from Trailer Addict (courtesy of DreamWorks, Twentieth Century Fox):

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