Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar, Shmoscar

I don’t know what conclusions to draw from last night’s Oscars. For one thing, I didn’t watch, so my opinion isn’t worth much. Nor obviously are my predictions.

I was upstairs reading, Katie downstairs watching when the name Christoph Waltz filtered up the well. I said to myself, Bedtime.

There is only one possible explanation for Waltz’s mediocre turn winning best performance by a supporting actor and that explanation is, 21 percent. With five nominees, that’s all the votes it took to win. Waltz outpointing Alan Arkin, Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones—four top screen actors of our age—is like the Red Sox winning the American League East this year. Winning 21 percent of their games won’t cut it.

But please, “Argo”? Best Picture? A movie that makes the Iran hostage crisis look like a triumph, when “Zero Dark Thirty” gives a much more honest and nuanced account of a far more current event, no matter how fictionalized.

And “Django Unchained”? Best Original Screenplay, over the likes of “ZDT”?! I’ve already written how reprehensible I found Quentin Tarantino’s latest gorefest. But Q is obviously Hollywood’s boy.

Even the Academy voters weren’t dense enough to overlook Anne Hathaway’s amazing performance in “Les Miz,” and I’m glad I was right about Ang Lee, Best Director for “Life of Pi.” The movie is a masterpiece, and Lee one of Hollywood’s finest (“The Ice Storm,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

But the night’s greatest travesty was the snub for “Zero Dark Thirty,” which got the meagerest of consolation prizes: a tie (!) for best sound editing. Yeeesh.

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