Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oscars and the Couch

My relationship with the Oscars is my one sorta guilty pleasure. You see, I don't believe in guilty pleasures as far as entertainment goes. If I find enjoyment in something, I don't feel guilty about it. There's obviously some something right going on. However cheesy the exterior may be, within, someone has done a good job and I can find value in that. Be it the Shakespearean undercurrent of Gossip Girl (an entire show based on the city-wide fallout of one toxic couple, brilliant!) or the way a badly conceived horror movie like Hostel 2 can still comment more on the human condition more than most movies with loftier ambitions.

It's with a cheerfully dreadful anticipation that I approach the Academy Awards telecast with every year. The kind of feeling that you might get with the approaching season of your favorite sports team who you know deep down will only crush your soul. The Academy never picks the right movie to win; often, like this year, it doesn't even nominate them. So as I do every year I make it even more potentially painful. I bet on them. And you can too with the handy-dandy Fun Pointz system found in the ballot above. Good luck.


Sean said...

Another horrible side-effect of Oscar season is the ineveitable backlash it produces against otherwise inoffensive films like Benjamin Button. Fincher still carries a lot of goodwill due to Fight Club and Zodiac, but Benjamin Button is so less great than those films and Wall-E and Dark Knight and The Wrestler and Rachel Getting Married or even Tropic Thunder that it suddenly becomes offensive. Especially the Adapted Screenplay nomination. The only thing that was adapted from FSF's short story was the title. What are the voters looking for in this catagory? Is it really Oscar worthy to completely disregard every aspect of the original material? Anyway, an ok movie with a few great scenes turns into a filmic pariah. It'll truly be a shame for the movie if it actaully does win Best Picture -- then it really will be Forrest Gump Part 2.

Padraic said...

I don't think you mean "pariah." That would be something like, say, Dune, where everyone associated gets as far away as possible.

For what's its worth, I wasn't a big fan of Batman, but it sure as hell was a better movie in every respect than something like Forest Gump.

I would respect Hollywood for ignoring low-brow spectacles with high-brow gloss like Batman (and sorry kids, that's what it was) if they realized that stuff like The Reader, Forrest Gump, and Titanic are in the exact same category.

Sean said...

I wouldn't mind a chance to debate the immense pleasures both of brows high and low that the Dark Knight gave me (even Herzog digs it for crimmeny’s sake). But I might prefer to have that debate with someone who didn’t derive their opinion (and sorry Paddy, that's all it is) after viewing it on an airplane from one of the worst, disregarded 9 inch televisions to still be flickering its last fuzzy image from some burnt out, decades old tube. I saw Raging Bull, of all movies, on a tiny airplane television and it made it look like some especially violent episode of The Honeymooners.

Padraic said...

I'm not sure how a bigger screen would make any difference.

In fact, a small screen probably helped. It kept the repetition of obvious themes to at least a physical minimum and Bale's absurd "IM ANGRY - GRRR" voice to a tolerable mono output.