So the Academy Awards are over and even after last weeks explosion, I’m still angry. What can I say? Too much testosterone, or maybe just raw seething hatred where my heart should be.
My main problem with this years telecast is the blatant class system in place. Favorites are played, both in judging, categories, and speeches. True, none of us want a 5 hour telecast – but it ends up being 5 hours every year, no matter what. So let the sound guys from The Bourne Ultimatum speak for fucks sake. You have three guys get the award, but you only let one of them talk. You then cue in the music and play over the second guy and totally cut the microphone on the third guy. Whoever did that is an asshole. Let the man thank his mother and say hi to his kids. Best Actors, Actresses, and anyone else who gets ‘the big prize’ is allowed to ramble on for 8 or 10 minutes. I’m surprised no one cut Robert Boyle (Honorary Oscar, Art Direction) short and just push him into the grave.
Want to see the discrimination? Falling Slowly wins. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are on strage. Hansard says his piece. Then, they cue up his own song to play them both off. Marketa moves to the microphone and want to say something. The music is cut. She backs away. Music cues up again and they’re ushered off. And then she’s brought back on, which I haven’t seen done before, and allowed to say her piece. Now I’m glad she got her moment to say something. But what about all the people that get played off after 25 seconds, period? Hollywood, we already know you only appreciate actors and directors. You pay them well. We see this. But come Oscar season, at least pretend the other people matter too.
Also, categories. Can I just say (and I will, this is my column) that it is bullshit the Academy is still ignoring “Best Stunt Coordination?” It has been submitted and rejected twice. Hansard will never lose his hand playing guitar. If Clooney flubs a line, he will not fall to his death. The Coen brothers have never been inside a flaming car that gets flipped over a railing into a river. Stunt coordination is every bit as important to the success of Oscar winning films like Platoon, Lord of the Rings, All Quiet on the Eastern Front, and Million Dollar Baby. They deserve recognition.
While I’m at it, how about I say once more, that you should reward films that deserve it. The Bourne Ultimatum sweeps the sound categories? That movie was a bland retread of the previous two, in my opinion. But it is so well received that it has no flaws, even in sound design. I guess no one at the Academy could bear to give AWESOME Michael Bay’s Transformers an Oscar, even though the sound design in that film was 10 layers deep and rich and overflowing with timber. And I think what Transformers had against it was that it was a Michael Bay film. Speaking of black sheep come awards season, where the fuck was Gone Baby Gone? That was a better Boston flick than The Departed and while it was based on a book, it wasn’t a remake of another movie. The biggest drawback of that Gone Baby Gone? Probably this whole “Ben Affleck is a dumb actor guy” who dated J. Lo crap. Granted Affleck has been in some terrible movies, but apparently he is an awesome director. He’s also funny and likable, and is capable of turning in great performances. Ignoring Gone Baby Gone was a tragedy.
I’m sure I could rail on this more, but I’m going to let it go, at least for another 11 months. I will end by saying, number on, 3:10 to Yuma was my favorite score of the year, and the Coen Brothers acceptance speech for Best Directors was great – “I don’t really have much more to say, so – Thanks.” Brilliant.
But maybe some of you out there don’t think stunts are worthy or you’re fine with Oscar ignoring action flicks and blackballing a few people. But me, well obviously the Academy has just nudged me past my boiling point once again.