Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Considering a Break-Up with Oscar

I can, on occasion, be fairly elitist about films (although I also have appreciation for a good silly romantic comedy or action film now and then), and this awards season, I've found that this elitist side is emerging full force.

The Avatar-mania is one thing, as is the over-zealous Streepfest, and honoring Sandra Bullock for her best performance. (I'm doing my best not to get emotional and write the next sentence in all caps or with a million question and/or exclamation marks.) The Academy went and nominated The Blind Side for Best Picture?! It is a good film, but not a great one. Which also brings me to this - I wasn't exactly sure how the re-expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 nominees would go until this morning when I heard Anne Hathaway read the names of all 10 films. As I was writing them all out, I realized something - I've seen all of them already. Most years, I've only seen two or three (out of five) by the time the nominations are announced - this year, 10 for 10. While I'm happy about that for the sheer movie nerd that I am, I'm also rather disappointed by it. I'm disappointed that, out of 10 films, there were no really "unseen" or lesser-known films, or any (good) surprises to any degree. There aren't any films like last year's Frost/Nixon or The Wrestler for me to go see and be reassured that all of the films nominated for the Oscars deserve to be there. As the years have gone by, the Best Picture nominees have strayed further from my personal favorites each year, but I still found at least some merit in most (if not all) of the nominees. I would say that at least a third of the Best Picture nominees this year honestly do not deserve to be so honored. They are about spectacle and/or box office over storytelling. As one of the biggest fans of the Academy Awards that you ever might come across - and a writer - that is really quite disheartening for me to realize. I just want to go back to bed and pretend that this morning's nominations were all a dream. This all started really sinking in when I got to the last category on my list of nominees, Best Song - two songs from Randy Newman and The Princess and the Frog? Really? It isn't even close to being one of Disney's classics, and while it got two noms, Karen O's amazing tracks from Where the Wild Things Are were completely shut out (and so was Paul McCartney). I suppose I should be happy that the song from Avatar didn't get nominated though, and I know that a deserving song ("The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart) will probably win.

In tracking all of the awards this year, I know that Bullock will probably win Best Actress, and I'm gradually coping with that. However, if Avatar or The Blind Side wins Best Picture, the Oscars and I might be done, or at least on a break for a little while.


Post a Comment