Oscar season is over for another year, the tents and awnings are coming down, the pretty dresses are, for the most part, going back to their designers.
What have we learnt this time around, Readership?
1. It is possible to be both Best and Worst Actress at the same time.
2. You can win a Best Cinematography Oscar even when your cameras were principally used as motion capture devices.
3. You will win an Oscar eventually, if you hang on in there for long enough. The Oscar will never be for your best work, but for the one that most accurately portrays your public image. For example, Jeff Bridges didn’t win the Oscar this year. The Dude did.
4. Oscar ❤ Pixar, unconditionally.
Every year I can depend on the Oscars being even more bloated, self-congratulatory and pointless. There were no major surprises, no astonishing turn arounds. I’m pleased Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker grabbed so many awards, but what does that prove?
5. Oscar ❤ war movies.
5a. Oscar hates SF. Avatar was there because Oscar is scared of James Cameron. District 9 was there because Oscar ❤ Peter Jackson.
The question we should be asking is why does it take until the second decade of the 21st century for a woman to win Best Direction Oscar?
Further, the illusion of choice in the Best Film shortlist drives me nuts. Expanding the list out to ten does not give us more choice. There’s still a shortlist of 5. It’s just been bloated out with a B-list that have no chance of getting the award. Oscar has been capable of some deeply eccentric choices over the years, but it was blatantly clear this year which movies were in with a shot. The football movie? Uh-uh. The harrowing race/abuse tale? I don’ sink so. The cartoon? Gimme a break. There’s already a slot for Best Pixar Movie of the year.
And then there’s the Moon debacle. The short, sharp debut of a bright new talent, featuring an astonishing, nuanced performance from one of the best actors of his generation was ignored by Oscar this year. It’s partially the fault of Sony, of course, who decided that the film was not worthy of consideration (way to back your creative teams, there, guys. Nice work.) Nonetheless, there should have been an inkling that the film was perhaps worth a look after it did so well at the Baftas. By then, it was probably too late. Another missed opportunity for Oscar to show that it had interest in a broader range of films. But no. Once again Oscar showed hisself to be old, slow and out of touch. It’s the awards show that’s just too easy a target, too bloated and dumb to actively hate. It’s just there, wheezing into view every March like a despised older relative, staying that little bit too long, before blubbering away again leaving nothing behind but a faint whiff of cabbage water and a couple of trinkets that’ll just gather dust on the sideboard.
Until a horror movie wins Best Movie, I shan’t be watching again.