Every year I get sucked into the Oscar debate and every year I end up bitter. It’s not so much the idea of the Oscars that bothers me, it’s the execution. The awards are based solely on appearance and buzz, they have nothing to do with actually watching movies. Why? Because, by and large, the voters don’t watch the movies. Why not? Because they aren’t movie reviewers, they’re actors, writers, and directors, and they are busy pursuing their careers. Asking them to look at the 50 movies nominated would be like asking them to carve out a month of their time. It’s silly talk. So I don’t even blame the voters. Who do I blame? The system. There’s got to be a better way than this. Someone call Public Enemy.
Along comes this article in which USAToday takes an early look at the competition. I’m happy we’re taking an early look, I like looks, the only problem is that of the eleven films listed five of them don’t even merit a rental. Here are some quick hit thoughts for venting purposes:
Little Children: Not a good film. It’s a film that’s made for snobs, long and boring with no real point. It’s like they put it in an entertainment sucker-outer. No noms for you!
Flags of Our Fathers: Very poor. Long, boring, pointless, cliched, hackneyed, silly, infuriating. A good example of how to make a classically poor over sentimental monstrosity. I liked it otherwise.
Babel: Probably the worst film of the decade. This isn’t even a joke.
Volver: This film isn’t horrible, but it is being graded on a huge curve because it’s from Spain and in Spanish. Oscar will slot it into the best Foreign Film category and then quickly forget it.
Stranger Than Fiction: A very average effort. It’s a failed romantic comedy and a failed drama. Let’s not call it one of the five best in anything other than “Will Ferrell’s 2006 movies” (where it would rank 3rd).
Reading this back I’m not even sure why I’m so mad. I guess I just want my people to see good cinema. The good news is that article mentioned Dreamgirls too so there is officially a groundswell.