Oscar 2013: Avenging the Marigold Kingdom
By Tom Houseman and David Mumpower
June 13, 2012
Dear David Mumpower:It has come to my attention that there have been whispers across the winds of the internet that a few of the films that have already been released in theaters this year are threats to be Best Picture nominees. The films in question are The Avengers, which is currently in the process of making all the money, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, AKA British porn for old people (although I should note that my grandmother did not enjoy the film nearly as much as I did) and Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson's latest love letter to Wes Anderson. There is also some talk about Prometheus being a contender, but until we see what happens to it critically and commercially before we can start talking about it seriously.
Yes, The Avengers, Marigold Hotel, and Moonrise Kingdom are all popular with critics, and all of them are going to make money (in the case of The Avengers, all the money), but does that alone mean that we have to take them seriously as potential Best Picture nominees? Right now, if I were to make a list of the ten films most likely to be nominated for Best Picture (and at this point we have no way of knowing how many films will actually be nominated) I would not include any of those films. I am tempted to come up with a bunch of straw men arguments about why they might be nominated, just so that I can tear them down, but considering that you are from Tennessee and therefore probably spend most of your days making literal straw men, I figured I would offer you the opportunity first.
Please, David, enlighten me as to why some people think that these films are going to be in the Best Picture race at the end of the year. I am very curious to hear your reasoning, no matter how wrong I am certain it is going to be. Who knows? You might even be able to convince me about the chances of one or more of them, but, in all honesty, you almost certainly won't.
Tom Houseman, you ignorant slut
(This is a reference from before your time, by which I mean one from prior to 2008). I guess because you are barely out of diapers, you do not have the requisite attention span to follow any trend before 2011. Since I keep up with movie trending the entire year rather than just December-February like you short attention span awards trackers, I've noticed that many over-hyped November/December releases bomb while titles from the summer and earlier in the year have a tendency to hang around long enough to linger in the memory of the Academy.
I won't ask you to do research because I realize that as a child of the internet era, you only know what Google tells you to know. So, I will save you the trouble by pointing out a few films that you must have forgotten while you were busy trying to create the next great Carly Rae Jepsen viral video. What do think the grouping of The Kids Are All Right, Inception, Winter's Bone, Toy Story 3, The Hurt Locker and Up represents? Since this is a column about Academy Awards contention, one you narrowly confined to Best Picture, I will cede that you (probably) deduced that these are recent category nominees. And I don't mean ones from the Hitchcock era, either. These are all from 2009 and 2010 when you were (presumably) post-pubescent. How could you have already forgotten them?