Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the Oscar Goes To

Magnet #186:  Batman - The Dark Knight

Material:  Metal, Paper, Mylar Shell

Purchased By:  Me

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards airs tonight, and there is at least one award I'm particularly interested in.  Sandra Bullock is poised to make history this year, albeit in a rather unusual manner.  She's nominated for the Best Actress award for the Blind Side and if she wins, she'll be the first actor to ever win an Oscar and a Razzie in the same year.  A Razzie, or Golden Raspberry, pokes fun at the worst films Hollywood releases every year and questionable actors like Madonna and Sylvester Stallone really clean up at this show.  But for her performance in All About Steve, the usually talented Bullock ended up with a Razzie win herself and, unlike nearly every other A-lister in Hollywood, she showed up in person to collect her award, and handed out DVDs of All About Steve to those present, insisting they hadn't really seen it.  Okay, on that gutsy move, Sandra Bullock has shown true greatness and I really hope she gets that Oscar.  I salute you Ms. Bullock, and your superior moxy!

I have to admit, I'm not quite sure just how I feel about the Oscars.  When I was growing up, I pretty much thought they were infallible and held up the best films in the industry.  And then Saving Private Ryan lost to the, let's face it, inferior Shakespeare in Love and, like many others, I began to have my doubts about this award thing.  In the years that followed, other example of bad judgements trickled out of Oscar until last year, when I pretty much lost whatever respect for them I had left.  Yep, that was when the Batman film The Dark Knight was shut out of a nomination for Best Film.  Like many geeks, I was furious.  With its grim, realistic themes, gripping story, and superior performances, this was easily one of the greatest films in years.  Even if it's not one of my favorite films, I recognize that it is a truly great one.  It did for the comic genre what Silence of the Lambs did for the horror genre, but while that film won for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress The Dark Knight didn't even get a nomination in any of those categories.  It only won two of the six nominations it did receive.  Slumdog Millionaire was the film that oddly cleaned up at the Oscars that night with eight wins.  Sure, it was good and dealt with sobering topics like poverty in India, but did it really deserve to win two less Oscars than Gone With the Wind?  I saw it, and I certainly didn't think so.  So yes, I'm a bit disillusioned with the Oscars, and I'm not sure if that will change anytime soon.

This year, Oscar has felt the backlash and now ten films, not five, have been nominated for Best Picture.  But I have to ask, why should we all care so much about the Oscars, anyway?  For some reason, Hollywood (and I guess Broadway) is the one industry whose awards we're all supposed to be excited about and tune into, regardless of our profession.  There's no televised awards show on a major television network for the John Newberry Medal for children's literature, the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award, the Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education, or even any category of the Pulitzer and so on.  It just seems a little odd to me that all of society puts so much emphasis into these awards that effect so few of us.  But I must admit, there is one category I've tended to care about with over the years - Best Costume Design.  Sure, my personal favorite film, Dangerous Beauty, was never nominated for this award, which it could have easily won, but I really do agree with some of these winners.  Films with gorgeous, flowing gowns like Dangerous Liaisons, The Duchess, and Memoirs of a Geisha tend to dominate this award, and I'm glad that hasn't changed over the years.  This year, I'm pulling for either The Young Victoria or Coco Before Chanel, although I still haven't managed to see either (but really want to).  But, as I have for all of my life, I probably won't watch the drama unfold on television.  I may tune in for a few minutes here and there, but I have never watched an entire Oscar telecast.  I used to check the newspaper in the morning for the results, but now I can check the Internet as soon as it's over, and that's nice.

Well, if you're into the Oscars, I hope my mixed feelings toward it haven't put a damper on your mood.  I guess I've gotten somewhat fed up with the entire process that I'm supposed to care about it, regardless of the fact that my opinion truly doesn't matter.  And if I hadn't already posted my one Hollywood magnet, I'd have used it today - really, I'm not that bitter about The Dark Knight snub, it's just the magnet that best fits this post.  Of course, I'll have a look at the red carpet best and worst, probably tomorrow - that part tends to be fun.  I do hope there is a win tonight for Sandra Bullock.  Not only would that be well-deserved on her part, it would underline just how much of a mess this whole Hollywood award process is if one actor wins for both best and worst performance in the same year.  Regardless, I guess we'll find out just who wins soon enough...


  1. For the first time in MANY years, I watched the Oscars - for I too had become disenchanted with the winners in the past. They put on a good show and most of the winners were also my choices. I was especially glad to see Sandra Bullock win one. I did hear that more people watched the Oscars this year than had for some time. Wonder what they did right this time?

  2. That's tough to figure out. Maybe the upping the contenders for Best Film to 10 did the trick? But, yes, I was very happy for Sandra Bullock - and The Young Victoria.