Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Schmoscar--Please Make It Stop

I can't remember the last time I watched the Oscars. The gaudy spectacle of the most famous people on earth taking four hours to congratulate themselves on television is unbearable. Ugh.

So, no, I didn't watch last night. But my new yearly ritual has been to roll out of bed the morning after the telecast and trip over all the footage of the nonevent. And have you ever noticed that the footage is always the same?

News Flash: The Oscars sucked last night.

News Flash: Someone said something stupid.

News Flash: The winners were the people who were predicted to win.

I could have written this two days ago and wouldn't have to change a word. It's always the same.

Since I'm a movie geek people always want to know what I thought of the winners. Here goes: I think voting on art is silly. I think Black Swan was trying to be Black Swan and The Fighter was trying to be The Fighter. Why force them to compete for a prize like a couple of Roman slaves? It makes no sense. It's a waste of time. Worse, it devaules the films themselves.

Is there an upside to all this bullshit? I'm forced to say yes. An Oscar nomination can shed light on a little-seen film. Something like Blue Valentine probably roped in some new viewers because Michelle Williams was up for best actress. Good. More power to her. Blue Valentine is cry-in-your-popcorn beautiful. It deserves so much more attention than it got. And if an Oscar nomination helps reward the people who made such a daring and lovely film, and if the promise of such an award motivates people with money to spend that money on such daring and lovely films, then I say that's wonderful.


But if we ever get to a point where the Oscars don't perform this function, a point where there's nothing left but the vapid, humorless, laborious broadcast itself then can we please just put Oscar out of his misery?

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