Alot of us movie fans, we got this problem called “the Oscars.” Every year we’re pissed off by who they neglect or who they give it to. Akiva Goldsman?! Bitch, are you for real? But then we get involved in it anyway, rooting for the ones we like, against the ones we hate, fuming over how bad those assholes in the academy fucked up this year.
We say we don’t care about the Oscars, because they’re always wrong. Then we spend half an hour complaining about how wrong they are. Because of how much we don’t care. So here’s my thoughts on this year’s nominations.
This year though especially, I think somebody needs to have a talk with that academy, because they seem to be confused about a few things. I mean for example did you know that a fictional movie about a camel counts as a documentary? (THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL was nominated for best documentary feature.) Listen up academicians, if you’re gonna bump CONTROL ROOM that’s your prerogative, but at least bump it for a fuckin documentary if the category’s supposed to be documentary. Or if it doesn’t have to be a documentary, why not just throw anything in there? How bout PUNISHER? That was a pretty good documentary I thought.
And I think they’re confused about adapted screenplay too, since BEFORE SUNSET was nominated in that category. How did they figure that? What are they saying it was loosely based on Ethan Hawke’s failed marriage?
That reminds me, another thing they fuck up – I mean they do this every year – they don’t seem to know what’s a lead actor and what’s a supporting actor. For example, how the fuck is Jamie Foxx a supporting actor in COLLATERAL? Who’s the lead then, the car? They’re trying to say because Tom Cruise is the bigger star he’s the bigger role, but that just ain’t true. The movie starts with Jamie Foxx and he’s in it maybe 15, 20 minutes before Cruise even shows up. The movie is mostly told through his point of view and it ends up with him at the end. He’s the protagonist, the hero, the main character, the lead actor. They pulled the same switch on Denzel and Ethan Hawke in Training Day, and Sam Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. I think the category is actually up to the studios when they submit movies for consideration, but if they’re gonna keep jerkin the oscars around like that the oscars should just say listen up studios, it’s up to us now, quit fuckin around, Jamie Foxx is obviously the lead. Assholes.
You gotta feel for that Paul Giamatti, man. It was one thing when he got snubbed for AMERICAN SPLENDOR. A man can live with that kind of snub. But SIDEWAYS got nominations for best picture, director, adapted screenplay, supporting actor, supporting actress… and not lead actor! In a movie that’s all about his character. At first I thought maybe they were confused, maybe they figured he wasn’t acting, it was all 100% real. But if that was the case, they probaly woulda nominated it for best documentary.
What about Garfield, that was a pretty good nature documentary I thought. Very objective.
Anyway, that was a pretty brutal snub they did there. I thought it was kinda cool that they nominated my man Clint for acting, but Giamatti obviously deserved it more. (Plus Thomas Jane in Stander if the fuckers had even heard of it.)
I really hope Giamatti’s out there somewhere tonight, downing some drinks with the makeup crew from Hellboy. I mean shit, I never saw that Jesus movie but what did they do, squirt some fake blood on the guy? I don’t want to be sacreligious or nothing, but that demon out of hell, that was some good god damn makeup. And his fishman buddy. I never seen anything that good in years. At least now they don’t have to worry about oscars anymore. If they didn’t get an oscar for that it’s not ever gonna happen. I mean if it was up to me, slim pickings this year, but I would put Ron Perlman pretty high up in the list of performances. But I’m realistic, I know that could never happen in mainstream society. But I really thought the makeup was a shoo in. Damn, if only they had jesus in that movie somewhere.
(When are they gonna do separate makeup and effects makeup categories, anyway? Isn’t it kind of dumb to have latex monsters always competing against eyeliner and blush?)
Also, a quick note for all you cartoon animators out there. Remember when you were asking about why your medium don’t get enough respect? Maybe a good place to start would be YOU JUST NOMINATED FUCKING SHARK TALE FOR AN OSCAR. I don’t care if you had to work on the fucking thing in order to eat, that’s not a good enough reason to vote for it. I don’t buy the idea that some adult somewhere actually liked that movie and thinks it’s worthy of even some kind of field day third place ribbon, let alone an oscar. If SHARK TALE really is the best you can offer then be a fuckin man and cancel the category this year. Bugs Bunny would be rolling in his fuckin grave he saw how you people are behaving.
But to be fair to the cartooners, it does seem like alot of the other categories aren’t being taken too seriously either. For example, the appropriately named Taylor Hack-ford was nominated for best director! I liked that movie Ray but come on, at best it was real good TV movie directing. He shoulda been disqualified for the text at the end alone. That’s to say nothing of the tv style white flashes he uses before flashbacks. That movie is all about the performance of Jamie Foxx and the music of Ray Charles. It’s a triumph of just-good-enough-to-work, not virtuoso filmatism. Taylor Hackford does not, and never will, have a commitment to excellence. He has a commitment to getting lucky. I mean I should be nice to the guy, I liked his movie. But it’s ridiculous to see this guy nominated over Tarantino, or Zhang, or some of the other fellas. Scorsese’s finally gonna get his Oscar, but it’s for the movie he did as a favor to Dicaprio, and against mediocre competition like this. Not as meaningful if you ask me.
And the best original song category is really living up to its tradition of terror. I mean I actually kind of liked that freaky ass Polar Express movie, but if the song they nominated is the one I’m thinking of, it’s one of the most sickening, saccharine pieces of garbage this side of the dumpster behind the saccharine factory. And saccharine has caused cancer in lab rats so why you wanna give it awards? You trying to encourage cancer? Anyway it’s another case where they single out the very worst aspect of an okay movie and offer an award for it. Way to protect the culture, assholes.
It really seems like they just pick out some movies they liked and nominated them for everything possible. I mean shit, you know how much I loved Million Dollar Baby. But no fuckin way Morgan Freeman deserves a nomination for that shit. I mean he is literally playing a character he could play in his sleep. I know it sounds like I just misused the word “literally” like people always do but seriously, I bet he talks in his sleep and it’s the same down home wisdom narration stuff he does in this movie. This is exactly the character he plays in everything, the one thing different being the one contact lens he wears. Yeah maybe it’s uncomfortable to sleep in a contact lens, I’ll give you that, but still, not oscar worthy.
I don’t think Hillary Swank really deserves it either but Morgan Freeman’s nomination makes that seem more reasonable by comparison. I woulda liked to see David Carradine for Kill Bill and Mark Wahlberg for I Love Huckabees (he won the Cinemarati award, I’m happy to say).
And speaking of Kill Bill, and back on the topic of Ethan Hawke’s failed marriage, that’s the one thing I most woulda liked to see, even though I knew it was a long shot: I think Uma Thurman shoulda got nominated for Kill Bill. In that movie, even if you don’t count the first volume, she’s doing so much. She’s doing badass action movie swagger, she’s doing trauma and horror, she’s doing the awkward Keds-wearing girl going up in the mountains to be tormentored by Pei Mei. And remember those heartwrenching scenes between her and the little girl? She does everything in this movie, and all that’s fine for Oscars, but what I think lost it for her is that she’s also fighting. Choreographed kung fu, street fighting in the mobile home, and the sword fights. I think physically she’s spectacular in this movie, the ways she moves, but going that extra 85 miles loses her any serious consideration. That’s bullshit, because Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifah didn’t get disqualified for singing and dancing in that Chicago movie a year or two ago. But give a girl a sword and suddenly the best female performance of the year doesn’t count for shit.
OH well, it wouldn’t be as cool if those squares were into the same movies we are. Fuck ’em.
But I love them though. And I want them to love me back.
But fuck ’em.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.