A Cranky Critique of Oscar Night
Last movie word I promise. Oscar night was good at my place. Nice movie-smart friends brought delicious Oscar-themed food, the apartment was warm and cozy, the wine was fine. Perfect, yes?
But then came the actual show. The Academy Awards. Didn’t it seem like there was more than an average number of puffy white and pastel dresses, sort of faux-50’s-prom-like? Then the standard red-carpet blather. Then the sly and initially funny Neil Patrick Harris. Then the boring Neil Patrick Harris. Then underwear-clad Neil Patrick Harris. Slight depression set in. I was longing for Downton Abbey but my film friends came over to visit Hollywood…not the Abbey. THEN the momentum of the commercial breaks increased. And Neil Patrick Harris was babbling—but at least he had his pants back on. Those of us still hanging in there were tired but we had too much time invested not make it to the grand finale.
The awards had been piling up for Birdman. I was pouting. I had a stake in Boyhood. It’s my story. My sons’ story. It’s ours dammit. Boyhood is a quintessential American story and yet it feels almost European. It take its time. No Flash-bang. No frills. Just an ordinary story of time and family.
Oh well. Eventually I had to accept that Boyhood was not going to win. That it was going to be Birdman was unavoidable. Hey Birdman is a good show. Fast and furious and fun and games. The other BP nominees felt flatter and flatter over the course of the evening. Selma lost its righteous glow; The Imitation Game stayed solid…meaningful… maybe a little dull…; The Theory of Everything showed that in spite of your hideous disease you can share your genius with the world and be a bit of an egocentric jerk besides; Whiplash proved…well nothing really. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a crazy romp through some nasty history. It actually is a bit special. But it lost too.
So My Movie Did Not Win. Bad Hollywood. Bad Academy. I won’t play next year because I’m mad at you. So there.