Sunday, March 7, 2010

TOP 5 THINGS THAT IRKED ME ABOUT THE OSCARS THIS YEAR

1. Sandra Bullock's win for best actress. Her performance in "The Blind Side" was right for the part and good as far as it went--but it was totally two-dimensional in a field of rich three-dimensional performances (even the ones in films I didn't care for). It was one of the clearer popularity picks in recent memory. It's not the award for most popular actress; it's called an award for best performance by a leading actress. I defy anyone to make a convincing case that Bullock's performance in "The Blind Side" even belongs in the same league with Helen Mirren's or Gaby Sidibe's.

2. The way they introduced the best actor and actress nominees by talking about their work in other films and what nice people they are. Unless we are going to rename it the award for "most popular actor" or "most likable actress" or even "best body of work," these speeches were irrelevant and contribute to the sense that this is actually just a popularity contest.

3. I love Jeff Bridges and, if we were rewarding his body of work, I'd totally support him receiving a best actor award. He has a string of really wonderful performances, including his performance in "Crazy Heart." But the best performance by a leading man was Colin Firth's. Honestly, it's not even Jeff Bridges' fault--the material he had to work with in "Crazy Heart" did not give him nearly the opportunity to plumb the depths that Firth did. The two performances don't even compare.

4. All the attention for "The Hurt Locker." No question it is technically a very competent film, but it doesn't have a sufficiently coherent message do justify dragging the audience through two hours of the hell of war. The closest it comes to a message is that war actually is sort of addictive for some messed up personalities--so why is everyone in their speeches praising war heroes? Whatever truth is contained in the film isn't worth talking about without grappling with the implications of the point the film stirs about war's addictiveness. The film doesen't coherently do that grappling--and the speeches reinforced that essential failing.

5. The fact that the orchestra played Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" after Katheryn Bigelow won the best director award. That is just offensive.

Grrr.

4 comments:

Fern said...

Yes, my skin crawled when I heard the strains of I Am Woman! I love your other comments as well. Thank you for your perspective.
Fern (Starlyn's friend)

Carolyn said...

i agree with you, opinionated judgey! I love Jeff, but I was embarrassed for him, as I didn't think he really won for his role. (Although, I'm sure you and I would have nominated him for his unequaled contribution in our favorite flick, "Tideland" !! - heavy cackle ) Then when his acceptance speech sounded like it was between multiple bong hits, I squirmed for him.

Then Sandra...And all I could think about was, Damn, what is her shiny hair trick? It was a fine acceptance speech. And i hear she's a great gal. but exemplary actress? COME ON, people. I so completely agree that this year's oscar awards were about kudos, and not true, hard-won artistry. It all seemed like a lot of sentimentality. Makes me wonder if Hollywood can evaluate its own craft.

Thanks for your ongoing opinions!

Sheila said...

Agreed on "I Am Woman"; I struggled to think of a worse song and arrived only at "I Enjoy Being A Girl," from Flower Drum Song.

And no one does repressed but roiling emotion like Colin Firth. I knew he wasn't getting it this year, but he really did deserve it.

Paula said...

I AGREE. Wholly insulting to play that song - what glass ceiling??!
This is a terrific blog - just found you!