Home > Film & stuff > My (unnecessary) Disgust with the Oscars

My (unnecessary) Disgust with the Oscars

Well, I mentioned in previous posts (here and here) how much I loved the performances this year of Michael Fassbender in Shame and Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin. About the thespians, I said, “It’s a good thing these two aren’t competing with one another for awards because I would be at a loss when choosing a favorite.” Thanks to the oh-so-wise-and-cutting-edge  jackasses at the Academy, I’m in no danger of choosing my favorite actor or actress this year.

I hate to say it, but I was fuming when I read the Oscar nominees that were announced on Tuesday morning. I know it’s silly to be so incensed over something so trivial and vain, but I feel like I am the Academy Awards demographic– I love movies! I love the art of movies, I love a wide variety movies, and I love film performers of all kinds. The Oscars should be my goddamn awards show!

The People’s Choice Awards generally represent people whose movie tastes I can’t relate to (e.g. hicks and tourists). The Golden Globes consists of a bunch of preening press whores and glad-handers. The SAG Awards are such a political joke that I won’t even bother calling them out with any specifics– we all know what they are (hint: Team America got it right). The Academy Awards are supposed to reward the best achievement in film. I’m not so naive that I think they actually reward the best, but I have come to expect that the best at least get some nominations. Some obvious examples include Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves— at least Goodfellas got a nomination; Harry and Tonto‘s Art Carney beating Jack Nicholson’s performance in Chinatown– at least Jack was nominated; or ‘ol jack-o-lantern mouth Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich triumphing over Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream— at least Burstyn was nominated (and Roberts hasn’t won since, luckily).

Tilda Swinton and Michael Fassbender went to some dark places this year in a couple of dark films, so the Academy shunned them for some easy, accessible nominees, the worst of which are the following:

  • Brad Pitt in Moneyball: Inconsequential movie with a bland performance by Pitt (and fellow nominee Jonah Hill).
  • George Clooney in The Descendants: A competent but underwhelming Clooney performance in a damn good movie.
  • Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady: Meryl Streep would get nominated for a YouTube video at this point. It’s getting silly.
  • Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn: I like Michelle Williams, but her performance is satisfactory at very best, and the movie feels like amateur schmaltz.

Again, I feel ridiculous for even being surprised. It’s just that even though the Oscars consistently disappoint, they usually leave me with one or two glimmers of hope to look forward to. I figured Shame wouldn’t have a shot at Best Picture due to it’s honest and sometimes graphic depiction of sex and depression, and I had similar expectations for the non-linear and difficult-to-stomach We Need to Talk About Kevin. I wish the voters would have left me with at least one acting nominee to look forward to this year.

Maybe Woody Allen will shatter precedent and make an appearance…

  1. Gary
    January 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Ditto. Politics everywhere.

  1. December 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

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