Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscars in Review

Alas, the Oscars have come and gone. The annual party was quit the success and by success I mean I got drunk and predicted fifteen out of twenty-four awards correctly. Spike's formal attire was a hit as well as the vege treats I made. After the Oscars, it seems there is a lull in film. You get a few good ones here and there then the shitty summer blockbusters hit. Don't get me started on that. Today I would like to reflect on this years award show.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how swift and smooth things ran. Sure Billy Crystal is ancient and dull, but his flat routine was a joy compared to Franco & Bland Hathaway. I still think Natalie Portman should get her Oscar revoked for her association with Episode 1-3. Even the speeches were pretty short & sweet. I was incredibly disappointed to see PARADISE LOST 3 lose to a Friday Night Lights ripoff. It just proves that middle-aged white men love football way more than uncovering injustices in the legal system. I can't imagine why?

Of course I was unhappy to see Gary Oldman lose Best Actor, but in my heart I already knew he would not win. His talent is not judged by an award, but by his incredible, long-standing career. He built the mold for method acting and paved the way for people like Christian Bale, Guy Pierce, Daniel Day Lewis, Ed Norton, and Adrien Brody. Oldman has an even longer career ahead of him and will undoubtedly be recognized down the line. Remember, Al Pacino only received his Oscar in 1992 for SCENT OF A WOMAN. That is twenty years after his legendary role in THE GODFATHER. He received what they call a "career Oscar" because let's face it, SCENT OF A WOMAN was a terrible film.

Even Meryl Streep is aware of all the player haters out there. In her acceptance speech she noted that:
"When they called my name I’d had this feeling I could hear half of America going 'oh no…oh c’mon…why…her…again?' But whatever."
Yeah she has like fifty nominations and three statues, but the woman earned them. I guarantee most of these naysayers have yet to see SOPHIE'S CHOICE or KRAMER VS KRAMER. She earned those awards and her talent is boundless. I am more impressed that her brilliance has spanned decades. Meryl always chooses hefty roles. It's inspiring to see such a proficient actress consistently be a leading lady without having to compromise her integrity. She's never had to pose for Playboy or Joan Rivers her face to stay relevant in Hollywood which many actresses unfortunately resort to. Haters gonna hate.

I am surprised to see how many people belittle THE ARTIST for all the awards it received. I suspect many of those critics didn't even see it in the first place. THE ARTIST is an incredible film. People complained it was redundant due to the fact that it was a silent film and in black & white. I think it was the absolute opposite! THE ARTIST celebrates film of the past and future. It's a nod to the beginning of cinema by showcasing all the elements of film we often forget about. It reminds us that music, plot, and emotions play a huge role in creating a film. We only remember this when you remove dialogue and color. THE ARTIST also shows us the future of film and where we can take it.

We forget that film is not just entertainment, it is an art form. We've become so used to big budget bullshit with explosions and sparkly vampires, that we dismiss the true elements that make up a film. Why should we settle for mindless dribble? I think Americans are too distracted by reality TV, CGI effects, and 3D glitz to realize the true art of film. Other countries champion those components which is exactly why France swept the Oscars with THE ARTIST while TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON took home the Razzie.

And then there's Uggie! They say never work with animals or children. I read somewhere that the Academy didn't want Uggie to attend the Oscars. Why, you ask!? Because they didn't want a dog to get so much attention. If they can let a couple hacks like JLo and Jonah Hill on the red carpet why not Uggie! They even let Nick Nolte roam around without a leash. Uggie had a huge role in the film and appeared in almost every scene, yet Gloria Stuart was nominated for her role in TITANIC. A role that only entailed a few minutes of screen time. I think we need to recognize the importance of dogs in our lives. They're not just pets, they're companions (as seen in THE ARTIST). Dogs have so much character and charm. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for movies starring dogs and obviously the Academy is not. I must declare the Academy dogist!

Ok, before I go on and on about dogs, I am going to wrap up this post. I hope everyone had a great time watching the Oscars. And if you haven't seen THE ARTIST, I suggest you go to the theater as soon as possible. Watching it on DVD will do no justice to the beautiful score. Also, check out PARADISE LOST 3, A SEPARATION, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, BULLHEAD, THE TREE OF LIFE, and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. See you next year!

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