23 February 2009

Completely pointless Oscar thoughts

I need to say a few words about the Oscars. I didn’t actually watch the ceremony; I no longer have the same attraction to the awards that I once did, and this is perhaps because the films that most interest me usually don’t end up getting nominations—and there’s only so much red carpet pagaentry and bad jokes I can take in a three-hour time period. But I do keep up with the nominations and the winners, so here’s some useless nuggets from me about last night’s statuary distribution.

None of my three favorite movies of 2008, The Dark Knight, WALL·E, and Gran Torino, were in the Best Picture category, but the best of the five nominees, Slumdog Millionaire, won the award. Got no problem with that; it’s a great film, an unusual winner in a pretty bland year, and gives me hope for Danny Boyle’s career once more. I don’t think it deserved some of the other awards it picked up, but Best Picture winners often scoop up a few other bits and pieces in the processes of sweeping up. It didn’t derserve the score award—that should have gone to either Dark Knight or WALL·E, but this is a category that I know better than most Academy voters do.

WALL·E did win Best Animated Feature, but was there ever any doubt about this? It deserved to have a place in the Best Picture category.

Likewise, who doubted that the late Heath Ledger would follow in the footsteps of fellow Australian Peter Finch and collect a posthumous Oscar? I think Ledger would have won the award even if he had lived—what he did with the Joker completely re-imagined an iconic character, it will stand as one of the great villain performances of all time, and the actor fully disappears into the part—but his shocking death last January almost sealed the deal even before the film hit theaters. Whatever the reason, Ledger deserved it and he got it, and it’s sad he isn’t here to enjoy it.

Sean Penn as Best Actor—again. I know it’s a socially relevant movie and role… but I hoped for Mickey Rourke or Frank Langella. Just to be different. I know Langella had no chance, But I rooted for him because he’s been one of my favorite character actors for years. But Clint Eastwood got robbed. He should have had a nomination, and he should have won, dammit. We may never seen another performance from him again.

Kate Winslet won for The Reader. Nobody cares about The Reader. Not even Kate Winslet. I’m sure in her heart she considers it an award for Revolutionary Road.

No awards for Beverly Hills Chihuahua or The Hottie and the Nottie? The End Is Nigh!

See you next year on the red carpet. Maybe I’ll actually watch the show this time.