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Chill, Dude

Jim Geraghty writes:

Nothing (so far) at Eschaton, Daily Kos, James Wolcott, Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias, Tapped, The Left Coaster… Did I miss some [Michael] Moore fans? I realize most of these guys are policy wonks, but none of them has any take or opinion on Hollywood's elite giving the thumbs-down to the most prominent anti-Bush piece of work from the past year?

Also, so far, nobody at the New Republic, who called for Democrats to reject the heavyweight documentarian, is gloating…
Oy. I didn't think it was a very good movie, and I don't believe a documentary has ever won a "best picture" nomination. Moore didn't submit F-9/11 for a "best documentary" nomination, so that explains why it didn't get one. Failure to be named as one of the top five movies of the year hardly qualifies as a "thumbs down." I don't believe F-9/11 had a serious Oscar campaign behind it, since the movie was already so high profile that a nomination couldn't possibly have helped business. The "Hollywood elite" that votes on the best picture nominations is actually mostly composed of technicians, not movie stars (think about it -- lots of people work on any given movie, and you only know the name of a handful). Should I go on? At any rate, in my opinion Million Dollar Baby was clearly the best film of the year by a large margin.

January 26, 2005 | Permalink


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» FAHRENHEIT 9/11 from T.J. Lang
I saw this on the morning news and then forgot about it. As Yglesias points out some Republicans and some in the media are making a big deal out of the fact that Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't get nominated for an... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 26, 2005 3:50:27 PM

» No Statuettes for Fahrenheit 9/11 from Jim Snowden's Omnibus
Bitterspice said once--and I don't remember if she was quoting someone else or if this was her line--that either movies are a joke, or the Oscars are a joke. Movies aren't a joke, therefore... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 27, 2005 6:11:25 PM


Jim Geraghty: So chalk me up as one of the folks who was really surprised that Oscar voters didn’t give “Fahrenheit 9/11” a Best Picture nomination.

OK, I'll chalk Mr. Geraghty up as one of those rightwingers who's surprised when his strawman turns out to be (gasp!) a strawman.

Posted by: Paul Callahan | Jan 26, 2005 2:27:51 PM

I sometimes wonder if right-wingers just sit around everyday thinking of things to complain about. And they call us whiners.

Posted by: Matt (not MY) | Jan 26, 2005 2:36:43 PM

I would've been surprised to see F9/11 nominated. I think even Moore's biggest fans would acknowledge that its main selling point was never its artistic merit. Given that the awards are intended to honor filmmaking rather than to shill for a political view, the Academy is doing its job by passing Moore over.

Geraghty seems disturbed by this fact, and also disturbed by the failure of "lefty bloggers" to be disturbed. I'm guessing either Geraghty is such a partisan hack that he really cannot comprehend awarding prizes to movies for non-political reasons, or he had another article all planned out based on his rather ludicrous expectation of a Moore nomination, and is just venting his frustration.

Yeah, it does suck when your opponents aren't the brainwashed sheep you think they are. Thank goodness the Bushies rarely disappoint in that regard.

Posted by: Paul Callahan | Jan 26, 2005 2:45:39 PM

Didn't see "Baby" - seemed like hackneyed boxing flick with not very ingenious twist (the boxer's female). Maybe I was wrong.

I did like Sideways.

Posted by: Otto | Jan 26, 2005 2:45:44 PM

On second thought, maybe it's a desperate attempt at diversion: please, lefty bloggers, stop talking about the mess in Iraq and Bush's plans to gut social security. Here's a nice non-event you can talk about instead; it has all the ingredients I'm just know you lefty bloggers go for. (Seems to be working for me; of course I'm not a blogger.)

Posted by: Paul Callahan | Jan 26, 2005 2:50:39 PM

I assume he also missed all the "MICHAEL MOORE DESERVES THE BEST PICTURE OSCAR!!" posts we all made before the nominations came out.

Because, you know, that didn't actually happen.

Posted by: Atrios | Jan 26, 2005 2:54:00 PM

Geez Atrios, talk about your strawman.

Posted by: Ugh | Jan 26, 2005 2:55:05 PM

And, as for my opinion on the movie -- I quite liked it, but mostly as a commentary on the vacuum created by our own media, whose negative hysteria about the movie only confirmed. that, also, is why anybody bothered to see it.

I would've been shocked to see it nominated for best picture, and never claimed it should be.

Posted by: Atrios | Jan 26, 2005 2:56:02 PM

Given that the awards are intended to honor filmmaking rather than to shill for a political view,

Huh? I don't think so...

Posted by: Al | Jan 26, 2005 3:00:44 PM

I'm outraged at the outrage.

Posted by: praktike | Jan 26, 2005 3:02:15 PM

You are absolutely right about Million Dollar Baby. That move kicks Sideways' ASS. I'm pissed that Clint was nominated for best actor -- it's his best performance ever, IMO.

Posted by: Realish | Jan 26, 2005 3:16:15 PM

I can see that in certain circles, the litmus test will not be what one thinks of Michael Moore, but whether one is a booster of Million Dollar Baby or Sideways.

I'm a Sideways-ite. (Only a churl would insist that I see both films before making a judgement.)

Posted by: janet | Jan 26, 2005 3:26:06 PM

I'm pissed that Clint was nominated for best actor -- it's his best performance ever, IMO.


Posted by: right | Jan 26, 2005 3:26:10 PM

The first two thirds of Million Dollar Baby, at least, show excellent craft in telling a very cliched story. It's the underdog makes good combined with someone breaking through to a loner with a heart of gold. The last third is far more interesting, and there is a case to be made that the last third wouldn't have worked without the earlier cliches, but I don't think that's true. This is almost a verbatim repost of what I said on my blog a couple of weeks ago when I saw it, though more positive about the film after thinking it over for a little longer.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Jan 26, 2005 3:28:35 PM

And all the gloating that I didn't hear after the People's Choice...

I loved the national discussion after F9/11, the sudden obsession with "fact checking."

“Michael Moore is a liar!”

What did he lie about?

“He said that Saddam Hussein wasn’t a bad man!”

He said that?

“He implied it. Showing happy Iraqis. What about all those the Kurds he gassed??”

You mean, with gas the U.S. gave him?

“Mass graves!”

You mean, the Marsh Arabs we told to rise up, and then did nothing as they were killed?

“And the torture chambers! Why didn’t he make a movie about the torture chambers??”

You mean, like the torture chambers being used now in Kazakstan, our ally?

“Kaza-what? What are you, some kind of commie towlhead?”

We were talking about Michael Moore’s lies.

“Yeah – he showed whats-his-name licking his comb!”


“That’s just a cheap shot! It proves that freedom-hating Moore is a despicable liar!”

Because he showed someone licking a comb?

“Yeah! And he shows the Commander-in-Chief golfing! Trying to ridicule him during a time of war!”

Showing George Bush golfing is treason?

“It should be! You have to support the troops!”

You mean, like planning the war correctly, sending in enough troops with enough armor, and only as a last resort?

“Huh? The U.S. kicks ass! Saddam was a bad man! Why do you hate freedom???”

Why would I hate freedom?

“You want the Iraqis to live under tyranny!”

Opposing a war that has killed tens of thousands, and maimed many times more, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, against a country with no WMD and no ties to alQaeda, while allying ourselves with and supporting other brutal dictatorships, means I hate freedom?

“SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! I can’t talk to you America-haters! I’m calling Ashcroft. He knows how to deal with America’s enemies!”

Posted by: MattB | Jan 26, 2005 3:29:06 PM

Looks like Jim finally got back from the toilet paper run.

Posted by: deckko | Jan 26, 2005 3:42:55 PM

Uh, didn't Mr. Moore say he was foregoing the Oscar nomination when he put F9/11 out on sale as DVD and VHS?
Seems the Academy didn't want to consider any straight-to-video fare, so it wrote a technicality into the rules that if a film is sold as a video before nominations, the film was disqualified.

What do you expect from people saying "get over it" about election fraud (again) out of one side of their mouths and blaming Clinton for Social Security, Iraq, Osama, and the recession?

Posted by: bartkid | Jan 26, 2005 3:44:24 PM

I wrote: Given that the awards are intended to honor filmmaking rather than to shill for a political view,

Al wrote: Huh? I don't think so...

I can't find an official statement of intent about the Academy Awards, but it is not hard to find it implicit in statements such as:

"After more than seven decades of recognizing excellence in film-making achievement, the presentation of the Oscars® has become the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' most famous activity."


So yes, intent of the Oscars is to recognize film-making achievement--jackass rejoinders aside--not to shill for political views. The criteria applied by individual voters is another matter, as is any possible institutional bias.

Note that I could have shorten my statement by omitting "are intended to" if I was talking about anything other than the intent of the awards ceremony.

Posted by: Paul Callahan | Jan 26, 2005 4:15:44 PM

I'm sure Michael Moore is heartbroken. Anyone who's laughing all the way to the bank would be.

BTW, I'm surprised that sMel Gibson's "The Passion for the Cash" didn't get a best picture nomination.

Posted by: raj | Jan 26, 2005 4:45:29 PM

Unrelated, but I don't see a general email response option...

Could you make the print bigger, especially in stuff that you are quoting? Not all of your readers are young, and reading with my nose on the monitor leaves unattractive spots on the glass.


Posted by: lahke | Jan 26, 2005 4:53:05 PM

Could you make the print bigger...

I'm not sure you will be able to read this, but at least with Internet Explorer you can adjust the text size yourself.

Menu: View -> Text size -> (then you can select from very small to very large)

I don't know about other browsers, but that's how you do it with Internet Explorer.

Posted by: raj | Jan 26, 2005 5:09:39 PM

bartkid -- not so. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to take one example, has long been out on DVD/Video. And got nominated.

Posted by: jackiet | Jan 26, 2005 5:22:19 PM

bartkid is slightly confused. There is an Academy rule against releasing a documentary to TV within 9 months of its theatrical release. This rule does not apply to the "best movie" category. Moore chose not to submit F911 for the "best documentary" category so that he could release it to TV before the election (I think Sundance channel showed it). The word last summer was that Moore planned to submit F911 for "best movie", but I don't know whether he did.

Posted by: Observer | Jan 26, 2005 6:06:12 PM

I don't know about other browsers, but that's how you do it with Internet Explorer.

Ctrl+ in Mozilla/Firefox
Ctrl- to make the font smaller.

Posted by: mg | Jan 26, 2005 6:09:35 PM

So the wingnuts who are all exercised over what they perceive as the Academy's snub of The Passion can't understand why progressives don't likewise give a shit whether F911 gets an Oscar nod? Gee, maybe "political correctness" is actually a disease of the right and not of the left at all.

Posted by: Donny | Jan 26, 2005 6:18:06 PM

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