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The Oscars? Who Cares?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:44 pm - February 24, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

For the past week, I have had a post in mind on the Oscars and yet I keep putting it off.  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.  This seems to be the year Oscar forgot about story-telling and focused on film-making.  

And the box office returns for these films shows it.  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.  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.  Some are predicting the worst Oscars ever, with a much smaller audience than in years past. 

That’s not to say there are not some notable performances this year and some amazing film-making.  While I found No Country for Old Men more of a character study than  a story, I found the movie compelling and beautifully made.  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.  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.

I’m disappointed that Lars and the Real Girl, my favorite movie of the year only secured one (much deserved) nomination — for best screenplay.

And I haven’t even gotten to the political aspects of this year’s Oscars.  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.) 

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15 Comments

  1. "Some are predicting the worst Oscars ever,…"

    Oh, I dearly hope so!  I want to see lots of bad outfits, stilted teleprompter readings, pompous acceptance speeches and almost unwatchable musical numbers.  And all of it in just under 4 hours.  Nothing brings Hollywood down from its pedestal of self-importance better than the wretched show they put on once a year to celebrate their industry.

    Bring it on!

    Comment by Draybee — February 24, 2008 @ 4:28 pm - February 24, 2008

  2. [...] The Oscars? Who Cares? [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Dan’s Oscar favorites — February 24, 2008 @ 5:02 pm - February 24, 2008

  3. Of all the things I will be doing later this evening, watching the Oscars will not be among them.

    Comment by benj — February 24, 2008 @ 5:36 pm - February 24, 2008

  4. I’ll be watching COPS on TruTV. It’s their Sunday night marathon, from 7:30 to 10:00! I love the doggies and the Tasers!

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — February 24, 2008 @ 7:02 pm - February 24, 2008

  5. I gave up on that crap ages ago. The movies I like rarely even get a mention. What’s more, it’s way too long. It should be like graduation. Just call the names, tell us the category, hand them the trophy, exit stage right.

    Oh and shave about half of the categories off the show too. Do we really care who the best caterer or port-o-john companies are?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 24, 2008 @ 7:03 pm - February 24, 2008

  6. <blockquote cite=""> Do we really care who the best caterer or port-o-john companies are?</blockquote cite="">

    This is the one reason why I’m glad the Oscars are on this year. these are the people who need the jobs. I couldn’t care less about the fashion designers and Jewelers, though I confess I love watching and commenting on the clothes.
    Of the movies that Dan mentioned, I’ve seen La Vie en Rose and Lars. Juno is on my netflix list. But the others I have no interest in seeing, too much blood, gore and plain old vicious scenes of violence.

    Comment by Leah — February 24, 2008 @ 7:33 pm - February 24, 2008

  7. First, those of us who are pro-choice are well aware of the complexities of choice.  Give us some credit.

    Second, I always cheer for the people who make movies so magical who aren’t often celebrated in the way that actors are.  My favorite moment in all my years watching the awards was the best costume for Priscilla Queen of the Desert.  A well deserved award and the woman accepted the award wearing a dress made of American Express Gold cards (on display sometimes at Amex Corporate HQ in NYC).

    The show is too long.  And this was a year was full of dark movies that weren’t very popular.  But these aren’t exactly happy times either.

    And I love Jon Stewart.  He’s funny.  Relax and laugh a little.

    Comment by Houndentenor — February 24, 2008 @ 9:07 pm - February 24, 2008

  8. Jon Stewart?  Funny?  Except for a few good lines, that was hardly apparent in his performance tonight.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — February 25, 2008 @ 12:34 am - February 25, 2008

  9. But these aren’t exactly happy times either.

    Well, just spend tomorrow at an infanticide clinic. That should cheer you up.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 25, 2008 @ 3:45 am - February 25, 2008

  10. It might sound lowbrow, but I like watching the Oscars… especially this year’s 80th anniversary show. 

    I did NOT enjoy the red carpet/pre-show for 30 minutes on the runway… I didn’t think JonStewart was even a tad funny -heck, for the 1st time in history, the show’s MC was more liberal than the Hollywood crowd assembled for the annual self-congratulatory ego-festival.  Stewart is really the most overrated, pompous windbag on the Left and he isn’t funny without his prepped, mid-drained and adoring studio audience.

    The best moments, for me, came when they highlighted the 80 years of BestPicture flick awards and when Robert Boyle rec’d the honorary award –what a class act at 98.  He spoke of Hitchcock as "Hitch"… yeow, there’s a career and body of work.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0102327/

    Speaking of design, Dan, did you think the set for the 80th Oscars looked stupid?  Tubes up, tubes down; late 20th C science chic with a reference to greek ruins or what?  Stupid.

    And for the last time, I hope next year’s production company gets rid of BillConti’s horrible music contributions.  The guy makes elevator music more memorable (ugh).  BritneySpears has more talent at conducting.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 25, 2008 @ 1:18 pm - February 25, 2008

  11. Stewart is really the most overrated, pompous windbag on the Left and he isn’t funny

    I gotta go with Maher.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 25, 2008 @ 5:51 pm - February 25, 2008

  12. #10 – Agree on Robert Boyle’s long-overdue Oscar, M-Matt.  The sets weren’t that bad, though.

    Please, Academy – bring back Billy Crystal next year!

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — February 25, 2008 @ 9:34 pm - February 25, 2008

  13. And speaking of which, did anyone else think that with the notable exceptions of Heath Ledger and Suzanne Pleshette, the "In-Memoriam" tribute was kind of thin?

    Not that I’m complaining, mind you – I for one wish everyone good health and long life.  But it seems that Hollywood didn’t lose really big celebrities last year.

    Just an observation.  It was very touching puting Heath on last for the biggest applause, poor guy.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — February 25, 2008 @ 9:36 pm - February 25, 2008

  14. What gets me is they award for movies that havent even been shown here yet, and most of the movies I watch on a movie channel are 1-2-3 years old by the time I see them. Never heard even reviews for most of them.
    I guess it must be a hollywood thing, kind of like the broadway shows in NYC are  a thing.

    Comment by chris451 — February 25, 2008 @ 10:08 pm - February 25, 2008

  15. Hey Peter H.

    Are you forgetting Deborah Kerr?  Jane Wyman?  Betty Hutton?  OK, that last actress was just a personal favorite, but the other two were bigger stars than Pleshette and Ledger ever were (God love them both).  But there were a lot of omissions.  Robert Goulet?  Joey Bishop?  Alice Ghostley, Marcel Marceau?  Granted, they weren’t primarily movie stars, but neither was Richard Pryor and he got the "final spot" in last year’s montage.

    By the way, when did they start including agents?

    Comment by Draybee — February 26, 2008 @ 4:06 pm - February 26, 2008

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