I was 12 years old when I started to follow the Oscar race. I had just seen Fellowship of the Ring and had fallen in love with the movie. So just like my passion for my St. Louis Rams at the time, Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring was my film and I wanted it to win the top prize, being named best film by the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences. I started to follow a local columnist who wrote about the Oscars on KMOX’s website. He wrote about how Fellowship had little to no chance behind A Beautiful Mind. Under the supervision of my mom, I proceeded to write him a letter explaining how I felt that there was no way that A Beautiful Mind was a better film than Fellowship. He wrote back and explained to me what the Oscars really were. A group of agendas and prejudices that seldom sought out the BEST in film. It was like hearing that Santa Claus wasn’t real and Fellowship of the Ring proceeded to lose to A Beautiful Mind.
So I am always amused when people bash the Academy every year when the nominees are announced. Each year there is such anger at those that are left out and those that are put in. I learned my lesson long ago when The Dark Knight was snubbed for Best Picture. I still feel it is one of Oscar’s worst moments and I swore not to watch the ceremony that year in protest. The problem was that the Oscar’s went on without me and my protest was nothing more than a temper tantrum. The Oscar’s are a myth of what they are trying to be and each year they prove this statement. So I have learned to not care and enjoy the Oscars for what they are and looking at this year’s nominations I have to say that I was left with a mild response. There were things that I hated and things that I loved and a list of nominations that sort of bored me. But we are left with what the Academy has given to us and find comfort in the fact that something’s never change. The problem is that there is still that 12 year old kid yearning for the promise of that gold statue.
Things I Loved
- Margin Call for Original Screenplay – what a great script about the fall of a company and the likely beginning of the recession. Didn’t think that the Academy would like this great piece of storytelling but they have and it surprises me as much as it probably surprises them.
- Midnight in Paris for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay – Midnight in Paris is a lovely film by a director that I have never understood. Midnight in Paris may not be Oscar bait but the Academy loved the name (the Allen name for that matter) enough to include in some of the top categories.
- Rooney Mara for Best Actress – She gave one of the best performances of the year and I am glad to see it recognized. If there was one award that Tattoo deserved over the others, it was this one.
- Bret Mckenzie is going to the Oscars! – “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Things I Hated
- Albert Brooks snubbed – really? This was probably the second best performance by a supporting actor (I loved Christopher Plummer in the Beginners) and Brooks defiantly deserved to be at least nominated. Maybe Drive was just a little too violent for the older Academy members.
- Tilda Swinton snubbed – This one hurt the most. Her performance in We Need to Talk about Kevin was not only great; it was the best by any woman this year. If Meryl Streep wasn’t always hogging a Best Actress spot every year maybe Tilda could have snuck in there but for now we are left with Meryl and nobody really cares. sigh
- Extremely Loud and Incredible Close for Best Picture – No film with that bad of reviews should have ever been nominated. I haven’t seen the movie and that’s probably why I hate it being nominated this much. Because now I have to go see it. I’d rather watch the dog from The Artist for two hours than watch some weird kid try and explain 9/11.
Things That Made Me Disappointed (even if they were a little unrealistic)
- No Michael Shannon or Take Shelter – My favorite film of the year was shut out in every category which means Shannon’s great performance went unrecognized. Disappointing but hey, disagreeing with the Academy is hip this year so it’s got that going for it.
- Think You Can Wait by The National is just too Indie – The original song category has only two nominees which is almost as silly as The National’s great song from Win Win getting no love. I mean they are no Peas (sarcasm everyone) but the song is pretty damn good. Wish the Academy could at least try in the Best Song category instead of treating it like the kid nobody likes.
- No Best Picture for We Need to Talk About Kevin or Margin Call – Ok this last one was a bit of a stretch but hey, they are both probably better than War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredible Close!