Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar impressions

Yawn! I wasn’t terribly interested in the Oscars this year. Once again, I have yet to see any of the major category nominees and it is unlikely that I will rush out and see them anytime soon. The only one I wouldn’t mind seeing sooner than later is Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd”.
I wouldn’t mind eventually seeing “No Country For Old Men” “There Will Be Blood” and “Michael Clayton”, but I’ve said the same thing in the past about other Oscar films that I have yet to see. I’ll probably never see “Atonement” or “Juno”.

The best film I saw all year (which I finally watched over the weekend) was the “Bourne Ultimatum”, which I was delighted to see win three Oscars, a sweep of every category it was nominated for. I was also happy that “Ratatouille” won for best animated film, although it should have been nominated for Best Picture as well.
But the Academy has even less respect for action/adventure movies than it does for comedies. Thus the past oversights for all time great films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I thought the acting awards were fairly predictable except for Best Supporting Actress which I figured would go to Cate Blanchett. I was disappointed with the Oscar choice for Best Song going to some independent film no one has ever heard of and no one will ever see, passing over three Disney songs from “Enchanted”. I can pretty much guarantee that I will soon own a copy of “Enchanted” and know all those songs by heart, while I will probably never hear the other song again.

But that is what the Academy likes to do these days. Diss the big megaplex movies that most Americans get to see in favor of little known independents that you would be lucky to find at your local video store in a year. This somehow demonstrates the Academy’s superiority and elite tastes compared to the mongrel hordes who shell out most of the money that supports the industry in the first place.
If the Academy wants to honor these kinds of movies every year, then they should put their money where their mouths are and back these films from the get go. Give them enough financing to get better distribution and advertizing and marketing budgets so that people will actually have a chance to go see them during the year instead of only having a choice of films that the Academy typically turns its nose up to.

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