Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To ...

As usual, the talk after the Academy Awards turns to the usual suspects for about four days: what was who wearing, the hosts' performance (Franco stoned, Hathaway lame), surprise moments (someone said "fuck" -- how shocking), what films deserved to win, which ones didn't deserve it, the ratings, the swag, and on and on.  The E! channel seems to have several hundred hours of shows dedicated to after parties and so-called "fashion police" (which are apparently just like Nazis in the sense that they send fashion faux pas folks straight to the ovens). 

None of this means anything, though.  It's an awards show.  A very boring awards show that gets it right sometimes, gets it wrong often, and seems (thankfully) out of touch with what most Americans watch.  If it were in tune with the cultural zeitgeist, the show would be honoring The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which was the sixth highest grossing film of 2010 according to Wikipedia.  Imagine the horror of that awards show.

For people whose film knowledge is based solely on what they see on television and read in Entertainment Weekly, the Academy Awards show offers them a chance to feel cultured and as if they are part of something greater.  For those who really love cinema of all types and delve into the history of film and filmmakers as a way of learning more about the art -- the awards is really nothing more than a write-off.  You're happy when something good is acknowledged, but you understand it means little more than an ego boost to the participants.  Great films are overlooked every year.  That will never change.  So what kind of validity does the show have for cinemaphiles?  None.  But for the average viewer with it mirrors their tastes almost perfectly.  Boring, predictable and scattershot.  People may be tuning in less and less, but they are still tuning in, and people are still talking about ... including me.

Oddly enough, I wasn't going to write anything on this subject except I overheard a snippet of conversation that made me think it was warranted.  I heard one man tell a woman that he has as many of the Oscar winners lined up in his "queue" to watch.  "I figure if they won I better watch them," he said without a trace of irony.  And that's why I wrote this.  A boring show with boring awards that matches the audience.

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