Monday, March 08, 2010
The Oscars!® It’s good for what ails ya!®
The Oscars have long suffered by comparison to other award shoes, and have famously sought to distinguish themselves from them, so of course the show began with a musical number danced and sung by Neil Patrick Harris – which was a completely new and original idea if you do not count the last Tony Awards show. Or the last Emmy Awards. Oscar then followed that up by proceeding to reward exactly the same people it always rewards and be ridiculously overblown in all the same ways it always is.
Case in point is that a major acting award went to someone who does a lot of crap but who managed to pull off a respectable serious performance. And no, I’m not talking about Sandra Bullock. Jeff Bridges finally won the Oscar on his fifth try for what was basically Tender Mercies 2, and I’m fine with it even though he is frequently terrible because he did Starman, and I love Starman, and he was really really good in Starman. The academy, like Olympic judges, prefers performances with a high technical difficulty, which usually means that they’re unduly impressed when an actor plays a real person. Morgan Freeman must’ve thought he had it all sewed up then, since he played not just a real person, but a real black person. A real, cool, black person – everything Hollywood loves, in theory. But I think the voters realized that Bridges, the Dude, was not, you know, getting any younger, and it was time for him to have his little statue.
Similarly, Sandra Bullock won for Steel Magnolias 2 under the Ron Howard Provision of academy voting, which is, if you stick around long enough and don’t rock the boat and do reliable box office, you will be rewarded, even if your work is mediocre.
And so, blah blah blah, predictable awards, predictable witty banter, predictable self-effacing visual humiliation of Ben Stiller, predictable terrible dance number in which the dancers’ interpretation of the song tends toward the hilariously literal…
The only mild surprise was that The Hurt Locker managed to hang onto what everybody figured it would get, in spite of a last minute whispering campaign against the filmmakers (financed by, oh, I don’t know, the producers of Inglorious Basterds, maybe?) and a rather suspiciously-timed lawsuit filed by one of the soldiers that the screenwriter interviewed before he wrote the script. But the Academy was rather obviously prepared for their first female Best Director, as they had long time bridesmaid Barbra Streisand there to hand over the award for which she was at one time herself famously snubbed. Also, they had the band poised to play “I Am Woman,” because hey, that’s not dated and cheesey!
Another predictable result of the Oscars was Japan’s reaction today to the Best Documentary win. The film, The Cove, tells the story of a small Japanese town and their horrific and secretive culling of the local dolphin population for food. If you’ve never seen film of what they do, they trap, drown, and spear the dolphins in numbers sufficient to turn the water of the cove completely red with blood. It’s barbaric and ugly, to say the least, and Japan has shut their eyes to it for years, saying that, essentially, we should respect the practice because it is a very old practice. As if that makes it okay.
I’m not sure why, if they’re so miffed and defensive, they don’t simply point out the incredible hypocrisy of our position. After all, lambs are cute. Pigs are intelligent. What exactly is the basis of our objection to this? There’s nothing going on in that cove that doesn’t happen on the kill floor in slaughterhouses all over the United States in every single minute of every single day.
You know what else is predictable? That there will be two reactions to this part of my post: 1. crickets, or 2. but I love bacon! Man, that shit is tired.
So go at it. I’ll be in the bar, trying to replicate that insensible stupor.
Posted by vikkitikkitavi at 5:28 PM