Yes, yes. We know what you're thinking. You looked at that headline and thought, "This man is daft. The academy doesn't honor that kind of movie."
Put aside for a moment what type of movie Oscar voters generally recognize and simply consider this question: What if best picture means just that? Best picture. And not best picture within a narrowly confined set of criteria that generally include characters with impediments or accents, preferably working in a historical epic that tackles an Important Issue or two and imparts Life Lessons just as the musical score reaches the sweet spot of its crescendo.
Rian Johnson's sci-fi time-bender, "Looper," was greeted with ecstatic reviews when it arrived in theaters last Friday. Among movies currently released this year, only "The Master" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" rank above it at Metacritic, a website that aggregates reviews and assigns them a numerical score. "The Master" and "Beasts" sit at 85. "Looper" and Wes Anderson's glorious "Moonrise Kingdom" come in at 84.
Pretty heady company, no? But then, Bruce Willis, who costars in the film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, says "Looper" is "better than anything I've ever done." And, just in case you need a reminder, Willis' resume includes "Pulp Fiction," "Die Hard" and "Twelve Monkeys." (He was pretty great as the small-island sheriff in "Moonrise Kingdom" too.)