Okay, so this was the year the Oscars got on my nerves for announcing ten Best Picture nominees. (And judging by what was included in those ten, I think we can all agree that I was right to be irked, which is some vindication, at least.)
Though so many of us take the Oscars very seriously (guilty as charged), really, it’s just a game. It’s no different than the Super Bowl, except there are about five teams playing in every “quarter” and it’s actually quite embarrassing to be wearing the same outfit as anyone else. No jerseys on the red carpet.
Naturally, I was on Team Shame until it was not-too-shockingly nominated for nothing. That happens a lot in sports — your team doesn’t make it to the playoffs. Whatever. You pick another horse and bet on that one instead. (I’m almost done mixing sports metaphors, I swear.)
In 2011, there were plenty of movies about scheming, boozing bad girls like the out-of-control flock of Bridesmaids or the self-destructive prom queen in Young Adult (see my post on “The Chicks”). Fun, right?
To counterbalance this, though, we also need that are properly progressive in feminist terms — the medicine to Bridesmaids & co’s spoonful of sugar. Which I’m all for, in theory.
In practice, however, 2011′s lineup of silver screen glass ceiling-breakers left something to be desired.
Extremely Lame & Incredibly Disappointing.
And yet, people do it. I use the term “people” to refer to that small handful of folks like myself for whom the Oscars are like Christmas; meaning the Golden Globes are like Thanksgiving — basically the same thing, but ultimately meaningless and less rewarding. So predicting the Oscars is like warming up for the holiday season — getting a jump on shopping, putting the lights and tree up, and already exhausting the holiday playlist on iTunes before most people have started caring yet.
Nope. The Academy Awards are basically the last group to have their say about which films are the year’s most esteemed, and their picks don’t necessarily (or even often) reflect the feelings of the critical community, which is why you’ll see a lot more of The Tree Of Life, A Separation, and especially Melancholia below than you’ll see of them on the Oscars telecast.
Last year’s winners were Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and The King’s Speech. Sound familiar? The winner of the Best Ensemble award is virtually guaranteed a Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards.
Yes, all eyes will be on the SAG Awards this year.