Some Oscar Thoughts


…now that I’ve had a bit of time to think about it.

1. Slumdog absolutely deserved every award. Rewarding Danny Boyle’s style of lean, sharp film-making is a very good move, and the smartest thing Oscar’s done in quite a while. That being said, typically the award did not go to his best movie. If you want to know what I’m talking about, set your plusbox to BBC1 at 11:25 tonight.

2. Actually, the other big Brit victory of the night also won for work that will not be remembered as her best. I mean, seriously, why Kate Winslet should get the Golden Dwarf for The Reader instead of Little Children is beyond me.

3. This seems be be pretty symptomatic of the Oscar selection process as a whole, though. Witness Sean Penn’s Best Actor nod for Harvey Milk. This matches the preference of the committee for roles that are either impersonations or, if you’ll excuse the Tropic Thunderism, “half-retard.” This year seems to be better than past events. For example, the 2005 awards featured three biopic roles, with Philip Seymour Hoffman winning for his portrayal of Truman Capote. Even so, two impersonations out of five this year.

4. And I’ll get shit for saying this, but Heath Ledger’s posthumous award may have been deserved, but to my mind he was better in Brokeback Mountain. Oscar once again rewards the right person for the wrong role. Good to see a superhero movie getting a thumbs-up in something other than a technical award, though.

5. And don’t get me started on the whole Best Animated Film gulag, either. Wall-E had a ton more invention, heart and sheer joy than Benjamin Button or The Reader. Or Milk. Or Frost/Nixon.

6. In other words, business as usual at the Oscars this year. Hugh Jackman looks like he might have a gig for life, though. Much to Jon Stewart’s discomfort…

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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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