Oscar Thoughts

Well it’s been a week since the show and I guess it’s time for my though. Firstly, many of the results didn’t shock outside of Mark  Boal, The Hurt Locker, beating out Quintin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds, in the original screenplay category and Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, beating out Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air. Boal’s win was a bit more shocking since his script had come under much scrutiny by war corespondents and Iraq War veterans. Another shock was the foreign film Oscar which was given to The Secret in Their Eyes over Jacques Audiard’s brilliant gangster opus A Prophet, which placed number 2 on my list of favorite films of 2009, and Michael Haneke’s equally deserving Golden Palm winner The White Ribbon. Even Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani’s Ajami was beginning to pick up some steam, yet they give it to a film no one has heard of from Argentina. I haven’t seen The Secret in Their Eyes, but it has to be a  masterpiece not only beating the films I mentioned, but also being selected over Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman as Argentina’s official selection. But in hindsight i shouldn’t really be all that surprised by the Academy’s choice since their winners in the category have been baffling to say the least. Last year the Japanese film Departures beat out the Golden Palm winner The Class, Ari Foldman’s animated masterpiece Waltz with Bashir, the Janus release Revanche, and the critically aclaimed The Baader Meinhof Complex. Another problem I had with the show was the Honorary Award presentation. Many film fans were excited when news was announced that Roger Corman was going to get the award along with Gordon Willis and Lauren Bacall, but of course we were all cheated of that and just shown a short montage of an event that took place early. Then there was the horrendous celebration of horror films with an even worst montage. The celebration was probably to honor Corman, but it was hard to tell since he montage didn’t include a clip from any of his films. It was even worse seeing the kids from Twilight to present the montage and see a clip from Twilight in the montage. It easily ranks among the stupidest things done by the Oscars ever. The montage was just awful, selecting the most predictable choices (Jaws, Shining, Exorcist, Psycho) yet they didn’t include a clip from Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Evil Dead, Suspira, or anything by David Cronenberg. But the worst part of it all has to be the fact that they thought that a stupid little montage was a good way to show respect the genre. I have a better idea, why not nominate a horror film once in awhile? This year was as good as any especially for American horror films with Ti West’s House of the Devil and Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, but of course both films garnered the total of zero nominations. The final thing I wanted to discuss was the memorial for John Hughes, which I thought was actually pretty cool. Seeing the whole group of 80s actors together was a hell of a sight. But when I saw the the “In Memoriam” segment, I thought there were questions to be answered. Obviously the absence of Farrah Fawcett, as well as others, while Michael Jackson, star of only film (The Wiz), was left is noteworthy and pretty damn stupid, but my biggest problem was the fact that Eric Rohmer only mentioned for 3 second. No offense to any John Hughes fans, but it’s kind of hard to justify a long 10 minute memorial for him but only have a three second for a director like Eric Rohmer who is considered one of the most important figures of the French New Wave and one of the great directors ever. But I had the same problem when the Academy didn’t do much for Michelangelo Antonioni or Ingmar Bergman, both Oscar nominees and honorary winners, when they died a few years back. Well that’s about it for the Oscar rant and now that it’s over expect to see a few new posts in the near future  (including my long promised review of Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor and my selections for the best from the previous decade). Thanks and till then.

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One Response to “Oscar Thoughts”

  1. Tim willis Says:

    A couple of layers to this cake. The November awards show was outstanding and the Lifetime achievement recipents were honored with quite an evening that could never be replicated on the Oscars. My problem with Oscar night is the brief overview of that November evening. There was a ton of crap in the Oscar show that should have been flushed to make at least a 5-10 minute presentation of the November Lifetime achievement award show. Here’s the found time… Cut the opening number with Neil, Cut the crap with Ben Stiller, cut down some of the animated stuff and the production numbers. Do we really need 10 movies? Is that so difficult?

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