A Few Stupid Opinions About the Academy Awards

6 Mar

This post is a day late and a dollar short, but that’s what happens when vacations intersect with self-imposed deadlines and Fat Tuesdays. C’est la vie. I haven’t watched the Oscars in the last 5-10 years. Maybe longer, and there may have been a year that I checked out a moment or two from the show, but the last one I consciously remember watching included Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller hawking their Starsky and Hutch remake. But, I will also say that one of the reasons I got into filmmaking was the Academy Awards. I thought as a youth that there was no validation as powerful and as a gold statuette named Oscar, well an Oscar and being drafted in the Lottery had the same level of validation points in my book. So, in hindsight, it isn’t a big surprise that right around the time I realized that I could never play in the NBA I began to pursue making films. Wow, that’s an embarrassing bit of subconscious motivation I just revealed to the world. (Phew, good thing that only eight people read this blog) Anyway, here are some thoughts not long enough or weighty enough for their own stupid opinion that came about from returning this year to watching the Oscars this year:

SOWP_Oscars_1

If you haven’t seen the films, the Academy Awards is just a three-hour long commercial, if you’ve seen the films it’s a three-hour opportunity to feel a superficial connection to beautiful, lucky people wearing designer clothes. All award shows are dumb, they are the glamorous under belly of capitalism. But not just award shows, also sports competitions where judges determine the winner, they are nothing more than art sold out to the bank of competition. Both are designed solely to increase the value of art. A way to judge art on something that isn’t emotional impact. The gold medal in figure skating and the Oscar for Best Picture should in theory both be equally worthless to the artists who did the work, but of course that isn’t the case. Steve McQueen will jump for joy, whoever beat Kim Yuna will cry tears of joy. It’s a strange dichotomy of art. Emotional connection is key, but there needs to be exposure to give the opportunity for that connection. The thing I enjoyed about this three hour commercial was that it was presented in a quality way. The graphic design for all of the films was unique, reflected the themes of the films and beautiful. Quality art, design and craftsmanship was used to sell quality cinema, which is more than can be said for any type of art in communist N. Korea.

Next up, the Best Original Screenplay is code for best film in my book. The Academy rarely misses in the category. Nearly all the films nominated are some of the best of the year, in my humble. That or my definition of a quality film is the same as the Academy’s definition of a well written, original film. There is one minor thing that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around, why does the Academy regularly nominate Woody Allen for writing to the tune of sixteen original script nominations, while the Coen Brothers only clock in at two original and three adapted. I wonder if the Academy is susceptible to psychological reactance, where they want it(Woody Allen’s attendance) more when they know they can’t have it. It’s shocking that Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t get a nod, but the blue period Blue Jasmine did. Even with that miss, the Best Original Screenplay is the best example of proper artistic appreciation. So good on ya, Spike Jones.

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Last stupid thought generated by the stupid Oscars is that Matthew McConaughey could be the most likable dude on the planet. What a professional. His acceptance speech was a perfect blend of entrainment and genuine gratitude. If everyone prepared a speech as well crafted as this, instead of playing the false modesty game of not thinking they were going to win, then the Oscars would be worth watching once again. I don’t know if retweeting a picture will make the Oscars more worthwhile, but hearing gems like your hero is yourself ten years in the future is something that makes the three-hour commercial worth it.

-C.Charles

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