Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Told You So

Well, well, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences did me/us one worse. Scorsese for Director AND the not so dearly "Departed" for Best Picture.

The T-shirt I happened to see on a grimy Chinatown street got the zeitgeist right: "Fuck You You Fuckin' Fuck." Glorifying "The Departed" would be about the same as daring to wear that on your chest, 'cause that's the message in a film full of sleaze bags, meant to be playful with a slew of deaths, yet it fell flat-footed, pedestrian in its plodding march to the credits. A movie meant to shock yet woefully predictable until the final five minutes of the final reel. Jesus, fuck, it makes Tony Soprano seem interesting, though even in therapy, Tony's not all that interesting either. Shows you can fool most of the people too much of the time. We seem to like the cowboy gunslinger F Word World. We seem to respect the ongoing glorification of sleaze. Martin, if you want to hit us like this again, I say retire.

As it seems to me they're going soft and sloppy, maybe it's time the Academy came up with the guts and the wherewithal to announce what the criteria are -- and to renew the distinctions between picture, director, producer, editor and so on. Things have gone fuzzy for the Academy and much more so for the viewing audience. By the end, the world's most popular ceremony just got lame.

So be it. There are many other good movies to see from recent times, made with actors who sport talent more than the star power du jour or du generation. I've had enough of Jack Nicholson. In fact, you know, by the end of "The Shining" and "Terms of Endearment," the need for Jack was way over. And his undeserved Oscar for "As Good As It Gets" over Robert Duvall's deeply driven performance in "The Preacher" taught me that the travesties of the Academy Awards could cut deep. Duvall got snubbed, ne nearly snuffed, for the devilishly amiable old clown.

As the New York Times' said of the evening, the Big D'parted got it's prizes as "fair tribute to Martin Scorsese, recognition of the movie’s brute force at the box office, and an acknowledgment that stars not only make movies, they make the movie."

Moral of the story: insider trading. It was an inside job.

Too bad the Academy has been fooled more than once or twice by the stars making the movie instead of the other way around. Too bad. Our loss, as far finer movies get lost in the shadows and the Academy fades to black. Or the color of money.

And what's up with Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg all being on stage to present the award? They're not supposed to know what's in that envelope. Did they? They lined up like studio mafiosi. As I say, this time around, apropos a bunch of gangster insiders, the fix was in, I tell you, the fix was in.


At 2/27/2007 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you! The fix was in!!! Isn't what's in the envelope supposed to be a SURRRPRISSEE!


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