Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Review - Thumbs Down!

My Lord that was awful!
Oh, there were some good moments, I guess, I thought Ben Stiller was hilarious making fun of Joaquin Phoenix and I appreciated the tribute to Jerry Lewis, but for the most part I hated the Academy Awards show last night.
It's not that I mind so much that Slumdog Millionaire won everything. I'm getting used to the fact that we can't give the top awards to actual American films anymore. No, now it almost always goes to a British film, or an Austrailian film or now an Indian film.
I guess I'm still just bitter that for the third year in a row, all of the popular films were completely shut out of the top categories again. The one exception this year - the one sop to the unwashed masses - was, of course, the posthumous Supportin Actor award for Heath Ledger. But after that, forget it.
None of the five nominated films cracked the Top 20 films at the Box Office this year, at least not before the awards show. I've not seen any of them and the one nominated film that I most want to see - Frost/Nixon - was completly shut out.
I guess what drove me over the edge last night - the final insult - was when they started handing out even the technical awards to these snooty, high-brow movies. The awards such as sound mixing and visual effects used to be the last place where popular films could still get some recognition from the Academy. But not this year!
I mean, they completely humiliated Will Smith. Did you see how they had this long video tribute to "action films" and then brought out Smith, whose action film Hancock was dissed by the Academy. And then Smith gives this speech where he talks about how much he loves action movies and then he presents to award for Best Visual Effects, which used to always go to popular action films - and the Academy gives it to Benjamin Button over Dark Knight and Iron Man. Ha Ha!! Screw You, Will Smith.
You could tell Smith was annoyed later when he was still out there giving technical awards to Slumdog and cracked that award show host Hugh Jackman must be back stage taking a nap.
But the worst was yet to come. When it came time to do the traditional salute to actors who passed away during the prior year - one of my favorite parts of the whole show - they freakin' screwed it up!!! The director decided it was more important to leave the camera on Queen Latifah while she sang some syrupy number and kept panning away from the screen showing the tributes for the dead movie people. I couldn't read half the names or descriptions of the people being honored because they kept panning the film back and forth giving me a headache and forcing me to strain my eyes to try and read the text. I was so furious! And I still am!!!
The only real surprise of the night was the Best Actor award for Sean Penn when everyone, including Penn, thought it would go to Mickey Rourke.
But other than that, it was pretty much predictable once you saw in the early categories that Slumdog was winning everything over Benjamin Button.
I'm really ticked at the Academy Awards right now. If they do this again next year and nominate a bunch of high-brow, little-seen artsy films and ignore all the movies that have, as Will Smith noted, "fans," then I am definitely not going to waste my time watching it again.
Personally, I hope the ratings for this show was in the dumps.

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