Tuesday, March 07, 2006

CRASH and Carry

Hollywood’s Big Night has crash and burned…literally. CRASH whooped BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN for the Best Picture Oscar, thereby creating the only excitement of the night. (That is of course unless you count IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP. "Shout out to Jesus and Gil Cates!") Is CRASH worthy of the big prize? I can’t honestly say. The only other nominee I saw was CAPOTE and though I believe it was better made than CRASH, the former stayed with me longer. Yeah, it resonates. I haven’t seen the cowboy picture yet, but if it’s anything like 1982’s MAKING LOVE with Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean only with horses, maybe I have already. I don’t want to diss BROKEBACK. Ang Lee is my short list of the finest directors of today. It’s just that I resist hype so strongly; the actual film might have an adverse effect on me. I need to give it some distance. As for the other nominees, I'll get to them when I get to them.

As for the show itself, I have to hand it to Jon Stewart who, though out of his element, still made it work. His jibes about the ridiculous montage segments, a major cause for the time overrun, were spot on. It wasn’t Stewart’s fault the crowd was so dead. The cause for this might be that everyone was just burned out. Since the Oscars got moved up a month, there has been an awards show almost every weekend and toward the end, two in a row with The Independent Spirit Awards the night before the Main Event. With the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers’ Guild, the Directors’ Guild, the BAFTAs and so on and so forth, the Oscars just aren’t that special anymore. It’s like the Super Bowl, which everyone usually acknowledges as a big bore fest. No wonder so much is made of the commercials. The Oscarcast is the same way. Nobody (but me, of course) likes the show. It’s always too long. The technical awards seem to be just filler. And it’s become more about what anyone is wearing that the awards and even more importantly the films themselves. For one thing, why are there no film trailers during the commercial breaks? What better time is there to announce what’s coming up for the rest of the year? Yesterday I heard a radio promo for that night's episode of 24 that included a look at X-MEN 3. Why not at the Oscars too? Also I say move the show back to April again, away from the clutter of the other shows. The same people are getting the same awards and they’re giving the same acceptance speeches. It’s beginning to show. I almost think BROKEBACK lost because everyone was tired of it winning everything. (I only know this because I’ve watched every last one of these suckers this year. Talk about a masochist. Why wasn’t I just watching movies instead?) Maybe this is the same as the box-office slump and the Academy Awards don’t really matter like they once did.

Well, they’ll always have an audience in me. That’s right. I’ll always watch. Some day I’ll be sitting on my couch looking just like Mickey Rooney did at this year’s show, looking just as bewildered and befuddled as he did. Maybe that'll be me next year.
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