Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I See the Light

So, Oscar noms yesterday... and one of my favorite movies from last year, nay, from ever, Tangled, didn't get nominated.

And that bothers me. Because, why wasn't it nominated? Because it's too happy? Not edgy enough? It (gasp) made people feel good after watching it? If someone says because it's not realistic, I beg that they read the synopsis of Black Swan or Inception and get back to me.

I have written previously about how happy movies and music are considered "guilty pleasures" so this is a bit of a repeated motif but I feel really strongly about this! Can someone explain to me why happiness isn't valued? Why Natalie Portman as charming is laughed off and as psychopathic is revered? Actors know that it is much easier to play evil, twisted, dark and tragic than funny or light; comedy and happiness are the hardest to pull off while being the least appreciated.

I don't understand.

Everybody says how hard comedy is, but, when it comes time to honor things, whether it's on a weekly critical basis or whether it's award time, at that time of the year, comedy is the poor, dumb child of dramatic work.
Ivan Reitman

P.S. I am glad Toy Story 3 was nominated. That was a good movie too.
P.P.S. Feel free to follow me! I promise only ever to lead you to bright, sunny places!


  1. Happiness is valued, just as sweetness is valued. But a film without complexity is like comparing an apple to a lollipop, or even a sugar cube. I actually saw Tangled and I thought (forgive me for saying this) that it was oppressively bland. And I am not against Disney films in the least, nor am I against so-called "happy movies." But if you compare Tangled to just about any other Disney Princess movie that I can think of, or even Pollyanna, the gold standard of "happy movies," it comes up short. My opinion is that Tangled wasn't nominated, not because it was too happy, but simply because it was not good enough.

    I do apologize for those cold, harsh words against what was apparently one of your favorite movies. No judgement.

  2. That's a shame, I loved Tangled!

  3. Emma, I completely agree with you! I hate to say it, Nathaniel but you're very mistaken about Tangled being bland. If it were bland, then why was it at the top of the box office for so long? Bad movies do not do well with audiences. How on earth can you say that Tangled comes up short compared to other Disney films? I know so many people who considered it a return to classic Disney films and they praised Disney for finally going back to a good formula. It was inspiring, beautiful, humorous, and had a great deal of heart.

    Obviously, happiness and sweetness are not valued as happy and sweet movies never ever ever win awards. We, as a culture, for some strange reason find dark, depressing, twisted films more critically impressive than films that inspire or make us laugh. We pass them off as "fluff" as if fluff is a negative thing. But I think we need fluff if the world is as harsh and cold as the honorable dramatic movies seem to suggest.

    I am very disappointed in the snubbing of Tangled for nominations. Disney is finally showing an ability to make a comeback a la the 90's Animation Renaissance and they should be rewarded not ignored.

    P.S. I think I'd consider "Singin' in the Rain" closer to a gold standard than "Pollyanna" ...but that just be me!

  4. I agree with Sally. Back in 1992 I was rooting for Beauty and the Beast to win Best Picture over The Silence Of The Lambs, a film about a cannibalistic serial killer who goes free at the end.

  5. Sally, you also wrote what I was thinking. I loved Tangled because it was such a wonderful return to the Disney princess movies I have always adored so much. Our society does not value happy movies, and I think that's sad. Yet, at the same time, most people would not hesitate to admit someone like Charlie Chaplin is important. There are good things in all genres, and it says something that you can pretty much predict which movies and actors are going to win these awards beforehand.

  6. I also like Tangled!"Toy Story 3" represents the end of our childhood and I also glad that it is nominated!This movie is joyous and beautiful. Anybody who grew up with the "Toy Story" films should see this movie, but moreover, anybody who grew up should see this movie. Free downloading on: It's one of the best sites with movies

  7. I haven't seen Tangled yet but have heard good things! For me I never understand how more comedies aren't appreciated.

  8. I haven'r seen Tangled, but I've heard only good things about it. It's a shame it wasn't nominated!

    Camila F.

  9. I totally agree. The older we get the more we realize how inept those in the "Christmas Tree Bubbling" habit of favoring one star over another can lead to the uninterrupted ballast of corporate favoritism that fuels collective thought. Love happy.


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