With each passing year since I became a film buff in the 1990s, I become less and less interested in the Oscars. To be sure, there are always artistic achievements which merit our attention, acknowledgment and accolades.
This year is no different. But, it is seems that increasingly, the Academy strives to please the cultural critics rather than appealing to the public at large. It should recognize excellence, rather than politically correct social concerns as it now seems to be doing.
I’ll be rooting for Slumdog Millionaire for Best Picture because it provided a novel twist on a traditional Hollywood tale–and it is not a Hollywood production. It is a perfect example of how a film can affirm our basic humanity, the power and meaning of human relationships.
In a previous post, I noted how I’m torn between Mickey Rourke and Frank Langella for Best Actor. Both men clearly earned the Oscar for their performances in The Wrestler and Frost/Nixon respectively.
For Best Actress, both Kate Winslet and Angelina Jolie merit the honor for The Reader and The Changeling respectively. I do hope Jolie’s film wins for Art Direction and Cinematography for which it is also nominated. Art Director James J. Murakami, Set Director Gary Fettis and Cinematographer Tom Stern did a great job of capturing the feel of Los Angeles in the 1930s (at least how I imagined it). At times, it even felt as if it were a film from the 1930s.
It seems a given that Heath Ledger will win Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, an honor the late actor truly merits.
All of the four performances nominated for Best Supporting Actress that I’ve seen (Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Amy Adams and Viola Davis in Doubt and Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler) are truly outstanding, I believe one stands head and shoulders above the rest, that of Viola Davis.
I find the Oscars have gotten more and more boring as I get older.
So we are enjoying the NASCAR race on HDTV right now.
So far the biggest factor in the race — rain.
While reading more and more on Moyers, I scribbled a note on one of the articles I printed out calling that sanctimonious self-proclaimed journalist, “Keith Olbermann with a federal subsidy.”
A few seconds later, I chanced on the transcript of his December 14, 2007 program where that angry anchor was the Democrat’s guest.Â Then, Olbermann opined:
Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom and not merely because it the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as his troops still fight this very evening in Iraq.
Shouldn’t that mean that Olbermann will now be praising men like Rick Santelli, congressional Republicans, conservative talk radio hosts, bloggers like us, editorial pages like those of the Wall Street Journal, all of whom, in dissenting from and disagreeing with government policy, now serve as “the life’s blood of human freedom” in the United States?
Last time I saw his show, however, Olbermann was criticizing such people as obstructionist.Â Well, offensive as Olbermann is, at least he doesn’t take a government subsidy to support his hypocrisy.
As I’m working on this Bill Moyers piece and spending way too much time wading through the Democrat’s self-important posturing as a sage commentator on media and politics, I’m wondering if PBS, being a taxpayer-supported media outlet, has ever tapped a top aide to a Republican president to host a regular public affairs show.
I thought President Obama would wait at least until his third year in office to raise taxes.Â Well, I was wrong.Â He’s not even waiting until his third month in office to propose hiking those “fees” the government takes from us:
President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on business and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.
Raising taxes on business? That’s a great way to encourage them to expand and bring on more employees, you know something that might help during economic hard times.
Well, we currently have “the second-highest combined federal-state corporate tax rate among industrialized countries.” Maybe the president just wants America to be Number One.
UPDATE:Â Via Glenn, a suggestion on how to get the economy moving again:
The economic forecasts are gloomy despite the hastily passed stimulus package; and we haven’t seen what new regulations are hidden in the stimulus package. I doubt that anyone has read the entire bill even yet.
The best way out of this mess is the German Economic Miracle way: suspend regulations. All regulations. Make it easy to start new companies. Let ingenuity work to allocate capital.
And if taxes on ingenuity aren’t so high, it could do its work better.
Researching a piece for Pajamas on Bill Moyers and came across this gem from that Democratic hack.Â So delicious was it that I had to post it right away, especially given my most recent post on the Obama/MSNBC “machine”:
The press is also hobbled by the intimidation from ideological bullies in the propaganda wing of the Republican Party who hector, demonize, and lie about journalists who ask hard questions of this regime.
So, Bill, how do such actions “hobble” them?
And, um, what do you have to say about the Obama folks demonizing their political adversaries?Â Guess it’s fair play when the Democrats do it, but hectoring and demonizing when the Republicans do it.
And given that “journalists” like you seem only to find problems on the right side of our ideological spectrum, what’s wrong with asking hard questions of the media? Or, do you believe, only the media should be allowed to ask tough questions? I mean, Bill, you earn your keep off the taxpayer’s dime. Don’t media watchdogs have the right to question you?
Moyers wrote this during the Bush Adminsitration which he calls a “regime.” An interesting betrayal of his extreme partisan bias.