Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Oscars are Irrelevant

I suppose everybody and their grandma with a blog has already made their opinions known about the recent Oscar nominations. I guess the main complaint is, of course, The Dark Knight being ignored for Best Picture and Best Director. The frontrunner? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The unknown underdog? Slumdog Millionaire.

But where the hell is Wall-E for Best Picture? It's easily one of the best films of the year, but since it's animation, for kids, and a comedy, it's being edged out for more "serious" fare as
Milk, or The Reader.

The Academy has a famous history of ignoring comedies and focusing on works that are "serious" and deal with VERY IMPORTANT ISSUES, such as the Holocaust, or racism, or gay cowboys. ISSUES are what the Academy likes, and it's always what they reward.

Here are the Best Picture nominees...
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire
Who should win? I don't know. Of those five, the only that I've seen was the first half of Benjamin Button, and I got bored real quick. The Reader? Not interested in the slightest. Milk? The only reason why I would see it is for Sean Penn, otherwise... not interested. Only Frost/Nixon and Millionaire interest me, but they're not going to be as good as The Dark Knight or Wall-E.

This is the worst showing of Best Pictures in a long time. Last year was great.
Michael Clayton, Atonement, No Country for Good Men, There Will Be Blood? These are some serious contenders. If Atonement had been in this bunch, it would surely win.

Okay, moving on, let's take a look at Best Director.

Danny Boyle –
Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry –
The Reader
David Fincher –
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard –
Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant –
Milk

Ron Howard... really? Is he that good of a director? Better than Christopher Nolan? Better than Batman? I think not. Who should win? Fincher. It's deserved. After the Academy ignored the brilliant and beautiful
Zodiac, I think we should give him whatever he wants.

In terms of acting, I don't really care. I know Heath Ledger will win, deservedly, and that's all there really is to talk about. So let's move on with our lives, shall we?

I don't know. Every year the Oscars come, and the Best Picture winners become smaller and smaller, as studios invest more money into big dumb spectacles while smaller imprints, such as Focus Features, puts out the prestige films. This means the "better" movies get less exposure, so I don't get to see them until much later.
Milk has yet to be released where I am. That's terrible. I haven't even seen any advertisements for it.

Every year I say I'm not going to care, and every year I end up caring. I'm going to try and watch the five Best Picture nominees, like I do every year, but other than that... do the Oscars matter anymore?

Ratings are going down, like usual, and the self-congratulatory montages make the bloated running time of the ceremony even longer.

It's frustrating. The entire world put their money in
The Dark Knight. That's the movie everybody went to see. Everybody. I saw it two times in the theater, including once on the Imax. If everybody saw this movie, and the Academy is shunning it, then it just goes to show that they're out of touch and irrelevant.

The Dark Knight should win Best Picture because it's a fantastic movie, and it's the one that everybody wants to win.

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