I almost gave some thought to live blogging the Oscars this year, but I can't get even remotely interested to care enough to do some passive star watching let alone write about it for almost four hours.
Most of the nominees are nothing more than pretentious self-absorbed snoozy doozy art films which enable the elitist of the Academy and the internet cabal of those pretending they are members of that group, to tell us what's really good for us. In other words, they want your dollars for the terrifically made Candy Bar but they'll only reward the overpriced soufflé. No thanks.
I don't know why so many of the excellent "entertainment films” continually get crapped on. It's a sin to entertain an audience I suppose. Or do the quality of these films suddenly take a dive with each 100 million in box office gross they ring up? To be up for an award these days your film has to be able to induce you into taking a nap about 15 minutes in when you wake up to hear the newest Oscar nominated song playing over the end credits.
Guardians of the Galaxy had a 91 per cent rating at Rotten tomatoes. I could make a damn strong case that The Hunger Games series which is continually crapped on by Hollywood Elite and Film Snobs alike is just as relevant and that it's dark themes regarding war, the price we pay, and the inner political manipulations, is every bit as important as any of the insomnia curing nominees trotted out this year. But gee, with such massive audiences how could Hunger Games actually have a message to deliver? According to Hollywood, any cinematic achievement with a box off of over $20 million dollar doesn’t deserve anything more than to be frowned on, ridiculed, ignored or all of the above.
More evidence: Trade papers who went out of their way to proclaim that The Hunger Games was going to be a box office failure, yet went on to become the highest grossing film of 2014 even beating Guardians of the Galaxy. But one thing we do well in this country is to bring down and make a failure out of that which is successful. Lionsgate is laughing all the way to the bank.
And I’m not the only one who feels this way. From Variety:
The fact that “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” isn’t being heralded as a contender in the best picture race is ridiculous. The box office juggernaut, which opened to $123 million over the weekend, is precisely the reason why the category was expanded in 2010 to include up to 10 nominees. Yes, “Mockingjay—Part 1” is the third movie based on a popular three-book series divided into two parts for financial gain, but director Francis Lawrence pulls it off. And the Academy owes the franchise, after it foolishly didn’t nominate last year’s “Catching Fire” for anything. Not even best song.
The truth is, the Oscars need “The Hunger Games” more than the series need the Oscars. It’s not that the Oscars should mimic the MTV Movie Awards. But at the same time, the ceremony is at risk of looking like a day-late shadow of the Independent Spirits Awards. Every single major winner at the last Oscars (with the exception of Alfonso Cuaron) had picked up a Spirit Award just before the telecast.
And, in the past decade, the Academy has given the best picture Oscar to a studio film only three times. Despite the expansion of the best picture race to include more populist titles, Oscar voters frequently give those extra slots to arthouse favorites like “Nebraska,” “Tree of Life” and “Amour.” So far, this year’s best picture competition is again shaping up to be another indie race — with frontrunners “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “Theory of Everything,” “Birdman” and “Foxcatcher.” This is a problem, because fewer hits among the list of nominees generally means fewer viewers watch the Oscars.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” is a blockbuster that’s good enough to be considered art. It’s an impressive accomplishment to keep a beloved franchise fresh, from the script (by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, which delicately builds on Suzanne Collin’s final book) to the special effects, cinematography and sound. In an industry that rarely allows women to headline blockbusters, Jennifer Lawrence delivers yet another layered performance as Katniss — every bit as rich and nuanced as her Oscar-winning role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” In a weak year for lead female performances in movies, why isn’t she being talked about like Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”) or Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”)?
Of course, the writer was ignored and excoriated in the comments section and if anybody really cared about what I wrote, I’m sure the same thing would happen here.
The best reviewed animated film of the year and one of the best reviewed films of the year, The Lego Movie, wasn't even nominated in the animation category, while two unknown foreign animated films that nobody gives a shit about, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea were trotted out instead. Saw the trailer for Song of the Sea and it absolutely looks is if it was animated by the guys at South Park. Sorry, not interested in screen doodles in this day and age. It absolutely makes no sense.
And it’s very hard even for the Oscars to muck up the documentary category, but they manage to do so anyway and this year is no exception. They nominated the let’s fellate Ed Snowden Documentary Citizen Four. That would have happened regardless of how propagandistic or crappy the movie was. It was inevitable.
I can hear the speeches now: Snowden, Snowden, Snowden, NSA, NSA, Pardon, Pardon, Pardon, Snowden, Pardon, Pardon Pardon. All the while they’ll forget that this traitorous narcissist bastard lied about his intentions from the get-go, exaggerated much of his other claims, and then headed over to Russia to give that great defender of human rights and privacy, Vladimir Putin, a rim job. Make me vomit.
Meanwhile, the documentary on Roger Ebert, Life Itself, wasn’t nominated. This was a terrific documentary about a guy who probably did more to convince audiences to see exactly the kind of bologna covered hot air exercises nominated this year than anybody on the planet. Ebert in fact, did more to bringing critical viewing to the masses than this entire auditorium of tuxedo clad “ain’t we just great” crowd. The only explanation is that many of these people aren’t over some of his more scathing reviews. Talk about carrying a grudge.
Don’t even get me started on best song. In my recent memory, no song has ever been as important to a film as The Hanging Tree was to Mockingjay but it wasn’t even considered. So we have more pointless songs up there being sung that add nothing to the films that spawned them.
The only smart thing they did this year was hire Neil Patrick Harris. And I might have watched just for him to see if he could make a silk purse out of pig droppings. But then I think back to the final season of How I Met Your Mother and his part in that mess and I’m not in a forgiving mood.
The Oscars are pretty much a waste of time. Writing this was probably a waste of time. But I started writing a few things on Facebook that turned into a lot of things and here we are.
Maybe next year will be better, but that’ll happen only if people quit watching this annual ode to Sominex in its current state. Most of the income the Academy has comes from the sponsors and the network broadcast of their annual masturbating extravaganza. Don’t watch, ratings go down, sponsors don’t pay, Network doesn’t want to donate as much to the coffers of the Academy, and then maybe, just maybe, they’ll get the message that making an entertaining high quality film is not a crime.