For the past week, I have had a post in mind on the Oscars and yet I keep putting it off. Â It seems that this year, I, who love movies and who for the past decade has looked forward to watching the live telecast of the celebrated ceremony, have become indifferent to the event.
Maybe it’s because none of the movies nominated for best picture stand out as anything more than very well-made features, only one (Juno) with a meaningful story. Â This seems to be the year Oscar forgot about story-telling and focused on film-making. Â
And the box office returns for these films shows it. Â Even with the added publicity boost of their Oscar nomination, Juno is the only best picture nominee to have a box office exceeding (or even approaching) $100 million. Â The films this year seem to be distinguished by their absence of audience.
It’s not just the film that lack an audience this year. Â Some are predicting the worst Oscars ever, with a much smaller audience than in years past.Â
That’s not to say there are not some notable performances this year and some amazing film-making. Â While I found No Country for Old Men more of a character study than Â a story, I found the movie compelling and beautifully made. Â That is partially true for There Will be Blood, but that latter reeked of pretension and was disturbing to watch.
One might contend that there was the Coen Brothers flick had a story, but could not say the same for Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie. Â And in that movie, most of the characters were more caricature than anything else.
And yet while those filmmakers were nominated for Oscars, the Academy left out the man who accomplished the most impressive achievement in directing this year, Ridley Scott whose American Gangster captured the feel of a 1970s movie while creating believable characters and situations.
And I haven’t even gotten to the political aspects of this year’s Oscars. Â See the nominees for best documentary.
Then there’s the host, someone whose fame comes from a political show. Why can’t they pick someone with a background in movies and non-political entertainment? Or is that they see their industry as a political one.
(This post is already longer than anticipated & I have more to say about the Oscars so may do so in a subsequent post in which I note some of the truly great achievements this year, some of which have been honored with Oscar nods.)Â