It’s funny how time changes you.
There was a point where the Academy Awards were quite a big deal for me. I did my best to see nominated films, had an opinion on buzzed-about performances and genuinely looked forward to the ceremony itself, even with the cheesy, self-congratulatory, megawatt pageantry which is so frequently inherent in the telecast.
That ship, it would appear, has sailed.
The still above, from Disney‘s glorious animated short subject winner “Paperman”, represents the only major award winner that I saw at the cinema prior to the ceremony this year. Attached to “Wreck-It Ralph“, it didn’t do anything more revolutionary than tell a simple love story without words and
I will definitely get around to watching “Zero Dark…” as Kathryn Bigelow can do little wrong in my eyes, and I’ve enjoyed everything that Ben Affleck has done as a director, but I can’t get excited about the sort of films which have been nominated in the last few years: Vaguely Traditional Musical, Obligatory Mainstream Hit, Ersatz, Quirky Pseudo-Indie Flick, Crossover Foreign Arthouse Piece – these, it seems, are your options when it comes to February and the solemn bestowing of Little Gold Men.
And that is my problem – the woefully predictable Oscar Bait which surfaces in the Autumn and defines the race from thereon. There’s simply no room for a genuine surprise, as even a left-field entry like “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has all edges removed and uncomfortable, below-the-surface truths obscured by the PR hive-mind in order to pitch an alternative, life-affirming narrative about debuting actress Quvenzhané Wallis. It’s the equivalent of patting the cheeky little kid on the head and ignoring all the stuff about post-Hurricane Katrina communities because that awkward stuff doesn’t exactly uplift.
Grumpy old man – moi?
- Academy Awards Winners List 2013: Winners From The 85th Annual Oscars (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Gold Standard: Lessons of an Oscar season – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)