Day At The Hoopla; Night At The Oscars

artistI love the movies.

Have since I was a kid, and Kirk Douglas as Ulysses took me on a marvelous adventure through Greek mythology. The technology has greatly approved (no more Gumby claymation monsters), making the places and emotions where films take us even more amazing.

Yesterday, after months of campaigning in the newspapers and trade magazines, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave out their famous gold statues. It was a good TV show, dare I say entertaining. Billy Crystal was funny and a comfortable host. I loved his film and musical opening, “Say ‘I’m Batman.’ It’ll help.” Danny Elfman’s music. Cirque du Soleil soared above the audience. Acceptance speeches were short and emotional. Dresses were fancy and revealing. Angelina Jolie won the best leg pose award.

Now to the voting and results

As a SAG member, I am fortunate enough to get screener copies and actually got to see most of the nominated films, unlike most of America. In my opinion, Oscar voters don’t always get it right, and seem to be influenced by all the hoopla leading up to the event. Did you know that the average age of Oscar voters is 62 and 90% of them are white males? Their votes do not, I believe, represent the masses.

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For example, I’ll admit, when Meryl Streep said, “Oh no, why her?”  I had to agree. Not that she didn’t do a fantastic job as Margaret Thatcher. Meryl has a terrific ability to mimic a known person or create a character. But Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe was even better. And Viola Davis created a person so believable that your heart aches for her situation, and you can’t help but cheer when The Help is published and balance is restored at least a little.

As expected, the silent, B&W film, The Artist, got most of the “acting” awards, including best picture. Hugo gathered in the “technical” awards, winning for sound, art direction, visual effects, and cinematography. Midnight in Paris got best screenplay and deserved it. Best Woody Allen film in years. Christopher Plummer at 82 becomes the oldest actor ever to win an Oscar. He said he hoped he could keep working for at least another another ten years. Rango won for best animated feature, but does it count as animation when the process started out with real actors (Johnny Depp) in motion capture suits?

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Write your complaints in this space []…

Biggest problem I have with the Oscars is the Academy’s aversion to fame & money. Ironic isn’t it? An industry/business that tracks its success at the box office, apparently believes if a film is actually seen by millions of people and makes billions of dollars, it can not be artistically recognized. It’s a crime Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows 2 did not get a single award anywhere. War Horse got shut out. Ghost Protocol, Pirates: Stranger Tides, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were ignored. There is a reason these films were so popular…they are good, and provide the entertainment that most of us go to movies to see.

One final admission…I didn’t like the real Margaret Thatcher either.

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