Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nominations 2009

Once again the Oscar race has proven it’s irrelevance with the rest of America. You can see all of the nominations here, but for all those who go to see movies to be entertained or, like the rest of us, whenever we can get out; you may not recognize much on there. There are a few travesty trends that must be pointed out…
‘Mainstream’ = No Love:
The Reader and Frost/Nixon over Wall-E and The Dark Knight? How can that be? I am more and more convinced that the elitist attitude in Hollywood prevents great pictures from being seen or considered since they were ‘mainstream’-sickening
Fame > Talent:
Jump on the Brangelina bandwagon folks, all Brad and Angelina had to do was show up on the red carpet for their movie premiers and POOF! Nominations. Its comforting to know neither will win it even though that doesn’t dull the pain from Cate Blanchet and Sally Hawkins being left out.
Political Causes & Holocaust always trump:
How could The Reader and Milk rack up so many awards? They were barely seen, positively reviewed and seriously flawed. While the acting was impeccable, both suffered from a serious case of mediocrity and left us knowing they could have both been so much more. But when you make a films that ring sentimental to agendas and races in Hollywood, you will get nominated aka Brokeback Mountain and Beautiful Life.
Good songs belong on the radio, not in movies:
Springsteen's Wrestler song being left out of the race is like denying U2 the chance to play Cochella because they are too big. Like Enchanted last year, throw in some zany dance numbers, forgettable lyrics and you have this years Slumdog Millionaire song nominations.
What exactly does a director do?:
Best director nominations are always messed up. Most people think that if they nominate a movie for best picture, they have to nominate the director as well. Hmmm, not so. Chris Nolan beat out by Stephen Daldry, Danny Boyle being nominated for one of his weaker films and Gus Van Sant for Milk over Paranoid Park? Why do we even have this category anymore if people can’t understand what a director does?
See More Films:
The one thing that the Oscars do get right is instilling that little sense of interest in main stream audiences that tend to reward the curious. There are the little gems scattered throughout the nominations that, if you take the time to find out “was she really that good?” you will be pleasantly surprised. Here’s to all the Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leos, Viola Davis' and Foreign and Documentary categories of the world. You make us proud, and barring any further ridiculous snubs by the elitist members, might even get the exposure from viewers to lift you to the level you belong.

If there is a message to this rant, it’s a plea for the academy to nominate the deserving and popular films. That way everyone gets exposure, rather than just a dwindling telecast of mediocre artsy films on a pity party watch.
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