Friday, January 22, 2010

It's awards season! Why I didn't have a list of picks for the Golden Globes

Ricky Gervais, doing what he does best: making people uncomfortable

It must be January.

The celebrite are rallying around a common cause (Haiti, licking Cameron's balls), wearing designer clothing, and giving Katie Holmes a chance to show her face in public. It's awards season, people, and Hollywood will not stop patting its back until after "Wolfman" has entered and left the theaters.

You may have asked yourself why, oh why, did this internet sage/court jester not weigh in on the Golden Globes with a list of picks prior to the ceremony?

The easy answer is I am fucking lazy.

The other answer is that even though I saw over 30 films released in 2009, I saw only a fraction of the movies that were up for awards last week.

I haven't seen "Precious" and it's vomit-inducing gorging of KFC, I haven't seen Jeff Bridges in his asshole country singer with a heart of gold performance in "Crazy Heart", didn't see the pirouetting madness of "Nine". Didn't see "An Education", "A Simple Man", "It's Complicated", "Julie & Julia", "The Blind Side", "(500) Days of Summer", "Invictus", "The Messenger", "The Last Station", "The Informant!", or "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", to name just a few several.

To make judgments on all the nominees even though I've only seen a fraction of the films up for awards would feel, at the very least, disingenuous.

Therein lies the problem with these awards, specifically the Oscars. Most of the people voting on the awards have likely not seen all the movies in question, and in turn tend to vote on either word of mouth (Marion Cotillard winning for "La Vie en Rose") or marketing (the frustrating Best Picture win of "Crash"). These awards are no more a yardstick of artistic merit than is any middle school student council race a yardstick of sound fiscal policy for the spring dance.

I've long since grown jaded with the awards season in Hollywood, but, not to sound like a broken record, I was still rather surprised and disappointed that James Cameron won the one-two punch over ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director, the former being the visually impressive but largely lackluster sci-fi epic "Avatar", the former being a gritty, intelligent, and visceral tale of a bomb demolition squad in Iraq, "The Hurt Locker". At least Cameron gave props to Bigelow, as he has ever since her film began making the rounds early last year. This was especially surprising inasmuch the Globes often recognize the smaller pictures that walk away empty-handed on Oscar night; the implications of Cameron's win at the Globes could mean a multitude of things I'll try to deconstruct after March 7th.

As I would have suggested for the Globes, I'll likewise suggest for the Oscars. Don't watch it for the winners.

Watch it for the hosts.


  1. i saw crazy heart...jeff bridges KILLED it but the story was NOT that tight.

  2. That's what I've heard, especially over at the Slate movie blog. It seems like he's got the momentum built for a statue on Oscar night, though, even though Jeff Bridges is no Kevin James in "Paul Blart".

  3. The Blind Side was awesome. And the Meryl Stree/Stanley Tucci half of Julie & Julia was great too. Otherwise I didn't see any of those either, and my favorite movies tend to not be the ones that win awards.

    Also, didn't Avatar just overtake Titanic to be the highest-grossing movie of all time?