“Fuck beauty contests. It’s like life is one fucking beauty contest after another these days.” Little Miss Sunshine, Academy Award nominee for Best Picture (2006)
I learned that when I was eight years old and lost ‘Most Valuable Player’ in my T-ball team to a pretty girl with curls who stood in right field with her glove on her head.
I view the Oscars the same way I view life – ironically.
I shan’t waste the binary digits (we used to say ‘ink’) going through the foolishness of the awards. Or the self-indulgent self-congratulating self-adoring four-hour commercial aimed at separating your humble blogger from his money. But that’s not all! There is also the two hour ‘hilarious’ red-carpet show plus (get this) a FOUR hour pre-red carpet show on E!
And sadly there will be no Ricky Gervais at tonight’s Oscars to poke holes in those swelled Hollywood heads as he did at The Golden Globes.
Gervais sees things ironically too.
They say that a billion people watch the Academy Awards. I don’t believe them. But with successful Superbowl-like marketing, we are made to believe that missing their over-produced Hollywood love-in equates to missing an historic once-in-a-lifetime event that is simultaneously shared communally by the entire globe, bringing us all closer together.
Now that’s ironic.
So in the spirit of Oscar night, I’m going to add my own predictions to the mix.
Best Actor: Colin Firth.
Although he plays pretty much the same character in every film he’s ever been in, my pick is Firth. And though he was great in The King’s Stutter, I’m going to give him the award mostly for the brilliant A Single Man which he should have won two years ago.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman
I like Natalie. She makes intelligent film choices (except No Strings Attached) and the woman’s smart – not just smart but scary smart. In a business where most actors are dumb as posts (with at most a high school diploma), Natalie risked it all to go to Harvard for a degree in psychology. She’s taken graduate courses, lectures and publishes academic papers as well. How she stands the inane chit-chat at with her fellow actors at Hollywood cocktail parties is beyond me.
Oh yeah, she was also good in The Black Swan.
Best Director: Who cares.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Christopher Hitchens has written on the many historical inaccuracies in The King’s Speech. To quote Hitchens essay:
“In point of fact, Churchill was—for as long as he dared—a consistent friend of conceited, spoiled, Hitler-sympathizing Edward VIII. And he allowed his romantic attachment to this gargoyle to do great damage to the very dearly bought coalition of forces that was evolving to oppose Nazism and appeasement.”
After publishing the piece, Hitch suffered a backlash from the producers of the film who may have seen their Oscar chances (read MONEY) dwindling. It’s worth a read.
You can find Christopher Hitchen’s piece here: Churchill Didn’t Say That.
But even though they blatantly lied about Churchill, The King’s Speech is still a fine film with fine performances. But more importantly, it’s a film hitting all the points that the Academy seems to love: overcoming obstacles, happy ending, inspiring, sentimental (pretty much everything that irritates your humble blogger). In other words, it’s a lovely film.
It’s all one fucking beauty contest after another.
So who do you think will take home the gold tonight? Do you care?
Maybe I’ll just go to the movies…
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom