Sunday, 14 March 2010

Oscars 2010


A somewhat belated analysis...

Step into a world that’s more make believe than fucking Wonderland. A place where sexual deviants, illegal substance abusers and genuine arseholes give themselves to the limelight, wearing expensive suits and gowns and of course fake smiles. Where the overpaid and over appreciated bask in the glory of their self-panegyric, and no this isn't a description of MPs. Having a room containing all these superegos is as good an idea as organising a field trip for a special school to a glitter and paste museum. Yes this was the 82nd Academy awards and it has to be asked exactly what the point is? We all have our opinions as to 2009’s best films so do we really need a luxurious ceremony to confirm these opinions or even tell us why we are wrong? No because that isn’t what the Oscars are for; their main purpose is to examine fashion on the red carpet.

They might as well rename the whole bloody charade ‘FARs’, as in Fashion Awards for Retards. Because while those that cover the spectacle still carry on the pretence they are interested in which undeserving fuckwit wins which menial accolade, it is blaringly obvious that they would rather show us who is wearing the most fabulous frock and then proceed to overstate the beauty of said frocks for the next ten minutes. No I am not interested in what outfit Sandra Bullock is wearing I just care if she is winning an award, wait - I don't even care about that!

The concept of the Oscars seems conceiting to be perfectly honest. Take say Jeff Bridges who is an actor, which is his chosen profession. He may incidentally be good at his job (evident by his winning of the best actor award), just as well as you shouldn’t get paid for doing a half arsed job. If Mr. Generic worked in an office and was good at the role he wouldn't expect to get an award at a fancy ceremony. In fact he would probably be praying to God to not be made redundant, thank you very much Lehman Brothers.

Anyway four paragraphs in and I’ve only touched the surface so to get this inmate to the execution chamber. Beginning with the always calamitous red carpet jaunt grand inquisitors Carrie Ann Inaba and Chris Harrison mercilessly grilled Sam Worthington, discussing his life pre-Avatar, his love life and bizarrely enough Zac Efron’s hair (but not Avatar) using sentences almost entirely non sequitur. They wasted Lee Daniels the director of Precious in a two minute interview merely alluding to his film, not that he helped proceedings. When the inglorious duo finally got around to inquiring about Precious, Lee grazed over this to mention that although he is friends with all the nominated directors his courtesy is outweighed by the complement to win (isn’t that the whole point?). But the crowning glory for worst interview since Tom Cruise appeared on Oprah goes to Miley Cyrus. Picture this – Miley appeared to have all the understanding of the English language as an Albanian farmer mauled by a combine harvester, coupled with the fact her voice is rankling like a vest made from live Piranhas.

Unfortunately all tedium elongated once proceedings began, the nominees for best actor and actress were paraded around in such a fashion normally reserved for those whom have slain the mighty Geryon; which only served to elevate the self-importance of the award and marginalize all other categories. After this display of camaraderie Neil Patrick Harris alongside an ensemble of dancers and a big band opened the show with a musical number and I was genuinely shocked, not the returning home from school early to discover your father sampling lingerie type of shocked either. He put on an entertaining performance and actually displayed raw talent tainted somewhat by feeling shoehorned in to waste time.

If you were anything like me then that moment served as a memory to longingly look back at an hour later. Once the musical opening had finished our introduced ‘esteemed’ hosts for the evening, Steve Martain and Alec Baldwin both of which produced such classic jokes as “Over here is the Inglorious Basterds section. And over here are the people who made the movie”. These two were terrible, and so was their reading of an autocue with jokes that obviously got lost en route to the Christmas cracker factory.

Now hold a bumble bee by its wings I hear you cry, just because the opening ceremony was audacious and the hosts insufferable doesn’t necessarily mean the whole occasion is a write off. And that initially crossed my mind as I endured the rest of this shambolic mess, but the whole thing is held together by more weak links than a suit of chainmail armour bought from Poundland. Interchangeable celebrities presented awards to categories that seem somewhat mis-matched to them, such as Penelope Cruz presenting the best supporting actor award (I can think of at least two things wrong there). Those that got awards gave incoherent speeches, for an example look at Mo’Nique’s acceptance speech for the best supporting actress award in which she almost appeared to be a little too grateful for the horrible abuse suffered by the character in Precious and the novel Push. Mind you she could have revealed she was a Nazi sympathizer and it would have been no worse than Robin Williams’ lame joke about “Balls held all over Hollywood”, yes pun intended.

Ben Stiller was arguably the highlight with his ‘pithy’ dressing as a Na’vi to highlight the irony that Avatar wasn’t even nominated for the best make-up award (which went to Star Trek), although the audience didn’t respond as well to this subtlety as they did the fact he was painted in bright colours. His act akin to a Succubus victim got really old really fast but it outshone the rest of this dreary tosh. The lowlights of this year’s proceedings (the selecting of which was like trying to find a pacifist on Peckham estate) included the whole Cameron V.S Bigelow business which dominated the entire pre-Oscars coverage. It would have been more tolerable had it been focused on who had the better movie – Cameron with Avatar, and Bigelow with The Hurt Locker, but the media went at the they were formally married angle with more enthusiasm than an excitable dog in a fire hydrant store. It was presented as a ridiculous ‘War of the Roses’ style game of one upmanship, and I expected Danny DeVito to arbitrarily turn up, when in reality neither party appeared to give two hoots.

And if Dante Alighieri wanted a vision of Hell than he couldn’t have done much better than get a clairvoyant to look 700 years into the future and show him the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers doing an ‘interpretative’ dance to music from films in the best score category - Up, Avatar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Hurt Locker, and Sherlock Holmes. Sharing Napoleon Dynamite’s dance moves puts me in no place to insult a professional dance troupe but this was as interpretative as a phallus drawn on a piece of graph paper, and had all the same merit. Oh yeah and there was more Nazi jokes than there would be at a party at David John Copeland’s house.

Pieces that had the potentional to work disappointingly fell short because assumedly those in charge of co-ordinate said events were infected with the stupid virus that has recently had resurgence. Take the tribute to the late John Hughes – Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald take to the stage to inform us of their experiences working with the man giving an insight into the type of person that he was, and rounded it off with segments from his more memorable movies. It was amicable and well meaning. However this being the Oscars it didn’t end there as a truckload more of Hughes’ protégés emerged, including Macaulay Culkin (who I remain convinced has a Dorian Gray complex) to not only flog a dead horse but eviscerate it too. I appreciate the sentiment but if you’re going to prolong the experience just so you can reiterate the same points then you slowly eradicate all meaning. Thankfully it didn’t descend into the ‘epic’ that was Vanessa Redgrave’s commendation at the BAFTAs.

Finally a look at the winners;

• Hurt Locker – Best picture, best sound mixing, best film editing, best director (Katherine Bigelow), best sound editing (Paul N.J Ottosson) and best screen play (Mark Boal).
• Avatar – Best visual effects, best art direction and best cinematography (Mauro Fiore)
• Crazy Heart – Best lead actor (Jeff Bridges), Original song
• Precious – Best supporting actress (Mo’Nique), Best adapted screenplay (Geoffery Flector)
• Up – Best animated film, Original score (Michael Giacchino)
• The blind side – Best lead actress (Sandra Bullock)
• El secreto de sus ojos – Best foreign language film (Argentia)
• The new tenants – Best short film
• Music by Prudence – Best short documentary
• Logorama – Best short film (Nicolas Schmerkin)
• The Cove – Best documentary
• The young Victoria – Best costume design (Sandy Powell)
• Star Trek – Best make up

In a fitting end to this exhausted and prolonged micro-view of the academy awards I shall present my own idea for a category, which I have called 'Award for most painful insight into human avarice'. And the sole nominee and winner are Hollywood. Congratulations come and collect your award - a fucking one way ticket to Hell.