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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nostalgia Wins Big In Oscar Nominations

Asa Butterfield portrays Hugo Cabret in a scene from "Hugo." (AP/Paramount Pictures)

Nostalgia was a big winner when the Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning.

We’re talking about the fact that films from Martin Scorcese’s “Hugo,” set in 1930s Paris, to “The Artist,” a mostly silent film that the New York Times calls a “tribute to old Hollywood,” to “Midnight in Paris,” set in the 1920s, pulled in a number of nods– Hugo led the way with 11.

“I would say at least six are focused or set in the past,” Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

“This collection of movies is saying something about how we don’t want to be here or like being here,” he said.

There were nine films nominated for best picture, down from 10 last year.

Guest:

  • Wesley Morris, Boston Globe film critic

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  • avid but curmudgeonly listener

    The guest critic, Mr. Morris, seems to be pretty far outside the mainstream of film audiences (and critics). Did I hear the host say that not one of the nominated films was on Mr. Morris’ “Ten Best” list? There’s nothing wrong being outside the mainstream, if there is some organizing principle at work, but Mr. Morris did not reveal one. For example, his objection to “Hugo” was that the director used the film to teach people about film history. Does Mr. Morris object to being educated, or is he saying that he already knew all this? His objection to “The Help” was that we don’t need another film about black servants. But is he objecting to the number of films in which there are characters who happen to be black servants, or the number of films in which black servants are the main focus, and are portrayed positively? Have we really seen so many of the latter? “The Help” may or may not be a great movie, but I don’t think we can say that it walks a well-worn path.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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