Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the Oscar goes to ...

I admit it, I love the Oscars. I simply don't understand people who say they hate it. Sure, it's overlong, cheesy, often makes egregious errors (I'm looking at you Roberto Benigni!), can be misappropriated for tedious political statements and has more waterworks than Adventure World when Best Actress rolls around. But it's a celebration of film and film-makers that really can't be topped.

There's a little extra spice this year with the Bigelow v Cameron showdown. To corrupt a Sorkin couplet, I'm hoping it goes something like this:

Josh: “Toby, come quick. James Cameron's getting his ass kicked by a girl.”
Toby: “Ginger, get the popcorn.”

I made no secret of my dislike for Avatar and it's been interesting watching opinion sway in the lead up to tonight's awards. When Cameron's film passed the $2 billion mark for worldwide receipts there seemed to be a sense of fait accompli about him winning Best Picture and Best Director. Now the tide has definitely turned with The Hurt Locker assuming favouritism and Bigelow odds on to take out Best Director for an historic win. You can bet every camera in the western world will be trained on Cameron when those two gongs are announced.

Other sub-plots - can this really be a world where Sandra Bullock wins an acting award, any acting award, let alone an Oscar? Will the Academy really give Tarantino an Oscar for his bloated basterdisation? How many ways will Sheldon Turner find to make subtle digs at Jason Reitman while seemingly praising him when they win Best Adapted Screenplay? Will everyone get bored halfway through tributes to the ten Best Film nominees and decide half of them are only in there as a practical joke?

Speaking of which, the decision to go to ten nominees seems bizarre. Okay, so The Dark Knight wasn't nominated last year - get over it. Do we have to suffer The Blind Side and District 9 et al as penance?

They would be better to split the category - not like the Golden Globes where it's Best Drama and Best "the other stuff we didn't think was a drama but we're not really sure what to call it" - but maybe based on production budget AND marketing. Say a category for films under $50 million and a gong for those behemoths over $50 million. Again, for combined production and marketing budgets. Just a thought.

Anyway, looking forward to the tears, the controversy, the lame jokes and musical numbers, the post midnight finish and the obligatory cut to Jack in shades while the Hollywood elite indulge in mass back slapping and knifings. Now THAT is drama!

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