Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Oscar time. What a bore!

Here we go again. It’s Oscar time. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Oscars, or even much of a fan. I usually hate award shows. And even though I love films I can’t tolerate the glitter and glitz – and phony introductions and reception speeches – that go with such high profile events honoring the Hollywood elite, the closest America gets to, uh, royalty. And this year there’s a further reason not to watch. Low life animation creator Seth MacFarlane is MCing the production. Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal, where are you when we need you most!?....I would be a hypocrite to say I’ve never watched the Oscars or have never tried to work up excitement about them, work up being the operable term. But it’s rare. By and large I can’t be bothered.....Woody Allen had it right. He wouldn’t give this phony ceremony the time of day, even when he was a recipient of the golden statue in all its nude unadorned glory. You see, Allen would rather spend “quality time” doing things he loves rather than dressed in a penguin suit and fake gratitude to an Academy he has almost zilch respect for.....So why do the mass of people tune in, the vast majority of whom probably have seen very few of these movies? Of the nine competing for Best Picture - Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Amour, Django Unchained, Argo - how many of your average Oscar night viewers have seen even three, as I (almost embarrassed to say because I've also seen so few though had little desire to see more) have? But that’s not what motivates people to watch. The masses love watching the Oscars because it’s a chance to see the stars and, of course, to judge Hollywood’s female elite’s fashion (non)sense - sorry guys. It’s also, I suppose, to get a glimpse of their personalities. And to anticipate verbal and physical stumblings by presenters and winners alike......As for Oscar buzz, Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell) has been coming up strong, like a racehorse about to move in the homestretch from the middle of the pack to finish first. As I’ve earlier posted I hated (or should is say strongly disliked, “hate” being such a strong word, you know - ha ha) that movie. Yes I walked out on it. The story is ho-hum and the characters grating. Yuck!.....Zero Dark Thirty, which I did like a lot though it wasn’t perfect, is apparently out of major contention because of its depiction of torture. This all has to do with politics of course. Director Kathryn Bigelow is being condemned because she’s depicting a reality (water boarding) that took place in the War on Terror. If Bigelow is to be dropped from major contention then what about dear old Quentin Tarantino for depicting the “reality” of the brutal violence against slaves in pre-Civil war America in Django Unchained? Not a chance he’ll be dropped. This is entirely about political correctness, folks, hardly about good film-making.

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