It’s Oscar season, one of my very favorite seasons of the year. The Oscars are a time where movie obsessers and casual movie watchers alike get to spout out their thoughts and feeling of the one the coolest forms of entertainment that has come out of humanity, films. From the insider info on Academy politics, to the Midwest eagerness to see the pretty dresses, the Oscars are a universal love-fest night that showcases what the Hollywood Dream is all about. It’s glamour. It’s heart. It’s storytelling. It’s entertainment.
I fucking love the Oscars.
What’s fun while leading up to the Big Night is hearing people passionately defend or despise the recognized films in the Best Picture category. I myself am guilty of love/hating the nominees, and it is endless amusement to analyze the pedigree from which these movies come. What cliché marks did these films hit to get the gold? What was clearly just “Oscar bait” vs. what was truly a remarkable film of the year?
Every year I watch all the Best Picture nominees like I’m going to be quizzed on them later. I demand to dominate my Oscar ballot, and I know in my heart who should win vs. who is gonna win so I vote accordingly to win the pool.
The Oscars are my SuperBowl. March 2nd 2014, let’s do this.
Deadline recently wrote an article about “The Scene” in Oscar Bait movies. (check it out here: http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/oscars-awards-blue-jasmine-dallas-buyers-club-captain-phillips/ ) The Scene is that memorable, almost unexplainable scene that defines the movie, and makes viewers as a whole sigh “this film needs to be nominated for an Academy Award.” I love discovering “The Scene” in Best Picture nominees, mostly because they are so indefinable yet universally agreed upon, and a little bit because they make me feel fuzzy inside.
So for this blog post, I decided to take a look at the last five years of Best Picture nominees to see if I can recall the best of “The Scene” from that particular collection of pictures. No research except for recalling it from my noggin. Because if it is, in fact, “The Scene” I should be able to remember it easily. That’s it’s point.
Often, “The Scene” is from a movie that didn’t win the big prize in the end, and for sure people will read this and debate and argue about a better “The Scene” from the bunch and to that I say, you’re welcome.
So without further adieu, here is my list of “The Scene” from the Best Picture nominees.
(Don’t read if you haven’t seen these movies. Or do. It’s your life.)
2014 – (This Year – Doy)
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
“The Scene” – From Captain Phillips. The Final scene.
After being saved by Seals, Tom Hanks is brought onto a Navy Ship to be looked over by medics, and as they are checking his wounds and asking basic questions, Hanksy’s Phillips begins to register the whole “kidnapped by pirates” ordeal he just went through. In tears and in between hyperventilation, Hanks does his best at answering the Navy medic. The scene is simple, real, not overdramatic, and honest. It almost feels like an afterthought scene, like one to watch while the credits roll, but if you as an audience member are catching it and not balling your eyes out, then you, sir, are not human.
And no, Hanks was not even nominated this year. Bizarre.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJMDdT24_98
Honorable Mentions –
Dallas Buyers Club – Jared Leto’s “I don’t want to die” scene.
Gravity – “Sandra Bullock Looks Like A Baby Fetus In Space” scene.
American Hustle – Any scene where Jennifer Lawrence talks.
Honorable Mention Despite Not Being Up For Best Picture –
Frozen –The “Let It Go” scene.
2013 Nominees –
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
“The Scene” – From Les Mis. “The Anne Hathaway Scene.”
So Anne Hathaway is barely in this flick. Her character dies pretty much right away, but not before she sings a really powerful version of “I Dreamed A Dream.” It’s super zoomed in, her hair is short, she’s singing live, and she looks super naked. After “The Scene” she peaces out and you as a viewer still have five and a half hours to go in the movie. Which sucks, but that scene sticks with ya.
She won. The movie did not. But that’s because ARGO was amaze-balls. (BEN AFFLECK FAN 4 LYFE.)
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyQ-0JOF1Qk
Honorable Mentions –
Argo – The “they are in the airport and cutting it close” scene.
Zero Dark Thirty – The “We Killed Bin Laden” scene.
Argo – The “Ben Affleck in in a tight shirt” scene.
Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper’s “I’m Freaking The Fuck Out Over My Wedding Album” scene.
Argo – The “Ben Affleck is Rad” scene. (i.e. All of them)
2012 Nominees –
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
Midnight In Paris
The Tree Of Life
“The Scene” – From The Descendants. The “George Clooney Kisses His Wife Goodbye While She Is In A Coma” Scene.
After an arch of really villain-izing the coma woman who plays Clooney’s wife, (a silent character who never gets to say her side of the story to the audience, making Clooney the victim and sympathetic character throughout), Clooney is faced with the task of saying goodbye to his unfaithful and unhappy love. And, in the quiet, climatic moment of the film, it’s realized that love is love. No matter how difficult a marriage or a relationship can be, it is still hard to say goodbye to someone you know very, very well.
Clooney and the film did not win because the Academy had way more fun pretending we were still in the 1920’s making silent films.
Couldn’t Find the clip because FUCK YOU INTERNET.
Honorable Mentions –
The Help – The “Poop Pie” Scene
2011 Nominees –
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
“The Scene” – From The King’s Speech. The King’s Speech Scene.
Yeah, yeah, I hate myself for it. But it’s true. The whole movie you are waiting for a stammering Colin Firth to deliver a speech perfectly and when push comes to shove in the end he does and it’s pretty great. (I say “great” in terms of it being a fluffy, British, charming film with not very high stakes. I mean the man had trouble talking and was king, he wasn’t curing cancer here.) It’s a very tense and satisfying scene and probably why it won Best Picture and Firth Best Actor. Dammit.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHY2UzOonig
Honorable Mention –
The Social Network – The “Jessie Eisenberg is a dick to Rooney Mara” scene.
Winter’s Bone – The “OMG JLaw had to cut off her DEAD DAD’S HAND” scene.
Toy Story 3 – The “these toys are holding hands because they are pretty sure they are going to die in a fire-y pit” scene.
2010 Nominees – (the year of great first scenes)
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
“The Scene” – The Hurt Locker. The First Scene.
To kick off The Hurt Locker, a solider must dismantle a bomb while two other soldiers stand guard and talk casually about grass. It really paints the picture of the entire film, which is basically about the duality of a soldier’s life at war (the intensity of the tasks at hand vs. the desire to find normal in the chaos) and it’s an on edge scene that sticks with you for the rest of the film. Yep. It beat that Fern Gully in 3D movie.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_cFzTjI10
Honorable Mentions –
Inglourious Bastards – The First Scene. Shit I probably should’ve gone with this one. Pretend I did. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uldpQpoZQM
Up – Again the First Scene. A love story in four minutes. God, that’s good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2bk_9T482g
I could go on and I want to but I should probably live a little bit today. Hey, it’s been fun.
What are your favorites of “The Scene”?
– One L
“And the Oscar goes to…”