The Oscars Are Old!

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This year, the Oscars have snuck up on me because – uh – well — for the first time in living memory, I don’t really care. This isn’t a sudden revelation: it’s been building for a few years.  Oscar and I are just not that into each other anymore.  It’s sad to lose a lifetime lover, but we’ve grown apart, Oscar and I, and I’m probably going to spend the evening playing with my new friends on Netflix.  So what happened?  Oscar got old.

I’ll grant you I’m no spring chicken, myself.  I can clearly remember the night Oliver, a piece of junk musical, beat The Lion in Winter, for Best Picture – what a shock!  But that’s what Oscar used to be – wild and unpredictable.  It was magic.  It was fun, and everybody wanted to know who won.  These days, despite its chiseled abs and perky breasts, Oscar is old enough to be my grandfather and acts the part.

Let’s face it: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have become a bunch of dithering old people, worried about what the neighbours will think.  Look at all the dicking around over Kevin Hart.  Why does this remind me of Shady Acres Care Facility?
“Okay, fine!  If Mrs. Crabtree can’t run the rummage sale, then I guess we just won’t have a host this year.  Satisfied?”
Plus, there’s the on-again/off-again Popular Picture Award and the bickering over which awards do or do not deserve television time.  God, folks!  Get over yourselves!  Nobody cares!  Ordinary people tune in to Oscar night for the Big Six and wade through the rest because of the dresses.  Here’s a newsflash: there’s only one person who remembers who won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2010 and that’s Nicolas Schmerkin – the guy who won.

The problem is, like old people everywhere, the Academy just doesn’t realize it’s old.  It’s still thinks it’s Ava Gardner-glamourous with oysters and champagne, but what the rest of the world sees is Meryl Streep, drinking low-fat Chablis and blathering on about the intestinal benefits of ancient grains.  The Oscars are too earnest, too political, too aware, and too damn grouchy to be magic anymore.  They’re not fun.  They’re scolding.

So I’m going to give them a miss for all those reasons and mostly because — ever since The Hurt Locker — Oscar has become totally predictable.

Good luck, Black Panther – you haven’t got a chance!

Fun Stuff For The Oscars

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I’m going to watch the Oscars again on Sunday — even though I’ve been mad at them for over twenty years.  (Braveheart? The English Patient? Titanic?  Give me a break!)  I watch every year ’cause I love movies and — like it or don’t — Oscar is the Big Kahuna!  However, I think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is packed with a bunch of pompous asses.  And while I don’t mind if a crowd of obscenely rich people want to prance around, congratulating each other on how awesome they are, I do object to them telling us ordinary folk how to save the world.  Quite frankly, Hollywood people live so high up in their Tinsel Tower they can’t see the common people for the cloud cover.

This year’s Cause Celebre is women, so the Red Carpet won’t have as much colour and cleavage as we’re used to, but at the end of the day, remember — it’s still about the movies.  So, to enhance your experience, here are a few fun facts about this year’s Oscars.

I’m no Nostradamus, but I think it’s a safe bet to predict a) President Trump will get a whippin’; b) the same people who were applauding Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey a couple of years ago will be pushing each other out of the way to get a kick in (BTW, Louis CK will not be mentioned); and c) one of the Grande Dames — might be Meryl/might be Oprah — will give an impassioned speech about change.

This year’s host is Jimmy Kimmel (for the second time.)  This is a guy who made his bones on The Man Show which featured, among other things, Topless In America, Girls on Trampolines and The Juggy Dance Squad.  Somehow, I don’t think that kind of obsession with breasts really catches the zeitgeist of contemporary Hollywood.  (Just sayin’.)

And as an extra added attraction, it will be interesting to see if Kimmel continues his mischievous faux feud with Matt Damon, who, as far as I know, is still persona non grata this award season.  (Don’t worry, Matt! Even Mel Gibson got rehabilitated.)

Despite the long tradition, Casey Affleck has chickened out and will not present the Oscar to this year’s Best Actress.  Personally, I think it’s because none of the nominees wanted to get that close to the guy.  His brother Ben (two-time Oscar winner) probably won’t be there either considering he got caught — on tape — groping Hilarie Burton.  (Those Affleck boys!  What a couple of scamps!)

And finally:

In a town where money talks, it’s interesting to note that, of the top 10 money-making movies of 2017, not one has been nominated for Best Picture!  In fact, more people paid money to see Wonder Woman (#10 on the list) than all the Best Picture nominees combined!  The big question then is, if these 9 nominees for Best Picture of the entire year are so damn good, how come most people didn’t bother to go see them?

I have the feeling that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just told all us common folk, in no uncertain terms, that we prefer crap!

Oscar 2017 –Again

oscar-memeI guess it’s not too late to talk about Oscar some more — everybody else still is.  The ceremony was fairly cool.  The sets were gorgeous, most of the gowns were not and the ongoing faux feud between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon played out very well.  Things fell a little flat when Jimmy tricked a bunch of ordinary folk into the auditorium for a “Hey! Let’s meet the peasants!” segment, but the millionaires were gracious and the peasants weren’t too unruly.  The best line, however, came when Kimmel got a little too honest and quipped that Viola Davis was such a good actress that she had just won an Emmy for her very dramatic acceptance speech.  As the man said, “The secret of success is sincerity.  Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

Politics took centre stage most of the evening.  And, surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!  Trump was the target.  Many of the millionaires wore blue ACLU ribbons in solidarity with something or other, and the audience gave several standing ovations to a variety of causes-de-jour — including Meryl Streep.  One director, however, Ava DuVernay, went the extra mile and wore “a gown by a designer from a majority Muslim country.”  She tweeted her bravery out to the world — just in case the Wal-Mart crowd weren’t aware of what a Lebanese-designed designer dress actually looked like.  Given that many celebs charge designers a healthy fee to wear their creations, this might very well have been a politics-for-profit moment.  And speaking of profit, the Swag Bag the millionaires got, just for showing up to the Oscars (actually a good-sized box — hand- delivered) was worth somewhere north of $100,000 this year.  It included — among a boatload of other stuff — a free stay in Hawaii.  Somehow, those calls for equality just got a little hollow.

But it was all in good fun.  Mel Gibson was welcomed back into the fold, Auli’i Cravalho got whacked on the head and some unknown somebody got scattered applause for mentioning the Koran.  Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to win an Oscar, Damien Chazelle became the youngest director and Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty became a meme for having one job — one job.  However, their performance deftly illustrates that even though actors have an exaggerated sense of self-worth and a gigantic soapbox, at the end of the day, they’re still just reading the words they’re given, and have very little idea what’s actually going on in the world.