By the time that this AROUND THE HORN blog is posted, the Oscars will be done and we’ll know the winners. I have become personally jaded when it comes to who is chosen to win Academy awards or most awards for that matter. The telecast is also long and boring and in a world where Twitter exists, I would rather be doing something else (like drinking at my neighborhood bar) and just checking my Twitter feed for announcements.
Plus, there is no real element of surprise nowadays and its almost as if the winners are predetermined already. Granted, this blog could be nullified if the winners this past Sunday were all wildcards… And finally, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges and Akira Kurosawa never won Oscars. But Kevin Costner did for DANCES WITH WOLVES?
So, I ask, are you guys excited about the Oscars or awards season and even if you are not, did you feel the winners were deserving of being the best in their category? Oh, and for the record, here’s who I would have chosen, just from merit alone, in the main categories:
Best Picture: LINCOLN
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for THE MASTER
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva for AMOUR
Best Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman for THE MASTER
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for LES MISERABLES
Best Director: Ang Lee for THE LIFE OF PI
Best Original Screenplay: ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Adapted Screenplay: LINCOLN
To see the actual winners, click here.
QUENTIN: I’m not too much of an Oscars person especially worrying about all the traffic closures it would cause in my hood. I haven’t seen most of the films so I couldn’t comment either… though I thought David Lynch should have won Best Director for Blue Velvet.
ALFREDO: Every year I say I won’t watch the Oscars, and every year I sorta do – checking in to see if the host is funny, hating how British actors always seem to be more eloquent at the podium than us Yanks. Here is my calculus for this year:
Zero Dark Thirty doesn’t win because it’s too similar to The Hurt Locker – Bigelow already has her statuette.
Lincoln doesn’t win because Spielberg already has a couple best pic awards (he does, right? I haven’t checked, I’m just assuming. He should’ve swept for “Jaws,” by the way, for the wonderful combination of thriller and claustrophobic character study). The first ten, and the last twenty, minutes of Lincoln should’ve been lopped off. But I admit I could be way off here and Lincoln takes it all.
That leaves Silver Linings and Argo. I’d be happy if either won. Silver Linings was the most refreshing rom-com I’ve seen in ages (I haven’t seen those kind of realistic, interesting, messed up people in that genre, period). Tangent: watch HBO’s “Girls” for more interesting, realistic, messed up people. I predict big things for its young writer/director/star Lena Dunham.
Argo was an amazing high wire act melding comedy and suspense, something I haven’t seen since….wait for it….Jaws. But then there’s that weirdness of Ben Affleck not getting the Best Director nom. I know there’s precedent for a movie winning Best Pic when its director hasn’t been nominated, but it’s tough.
And we’ll see whether Seth MacFarlane can be funny live and in person. Thought James Franco was hilarious in Freaks and Geeks; as an Oscar host, well…
DHH: I don’t think I’ve watched the Oscars in like a decade or more. I can save a lot of time just checking on Twitter to see who won. The only major Oscar pictures I’ve seen this year are LINCOLN and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, both of which I really enjoyed. Nowadays, I generally find TV more interesting than movies, so if you want to talk about HOMELAND, GAME OF THRONES, DEXTER, VEEP, or GIRLS, then I’ll get excited.
ROGER: I love watching the Oscars for the pure entertainment value of it. However, after working in the industry for now 18+ years, I have come to feel that placing a contest on art is a strange and perhaps unhealthy proposition. Who’s to say if one director, actor, producer, writer, etc is better than another. If one gives 100% of their heart to a project, that should be enough. Actually more than enough. About 14 years ago I spent 3 months in Ireland doing summer stock theatre. There I got to work with actors, directors, writers, etc. from all over the world. Many of the artists I worked with didn’t even view their art as a paid career. They saw it as a passionate hobby that filled their souls and was an activity they took part in after they clocked out of their day jobs. And the scary thing was some of them were incredibly talented. They had no plans on going to Hollywood to make it big or dreams of leveraging their talents into the cinematic mainstream. They just loved creating and performing because it was something they truly loved to do. They were like exceptional hobbyists who were as good as some of the pros. But they didn’t care if their work was seen by only a handful of people over the course of a many week production run. This perspective was so pure – to make art from the heart and to bravely create for one’s self and not for the approval of others. Those 3 months really left me with a changed perspective (especially since I was probably the most Hollywood of the bunch). Now for me, it’s much less about what is better or who is the winner or the runner up and much more about committing 100% and whatever materializes will always be magical, wonderful, and good enough. All that being said, I still love watching the Oscars every year too. :)
JEROME: Here’s an anecdote that sums up my relationship with the Oscars: I received a text from a friend today that said “Jennifer Lawrence just won.” My very first thought was “What’d she win?”
BEVERLY: The only awards show I tend to watch are the Grammys simply because they’re chock full of live performances. I’ve never been into the Oscars. It always seemed like a homecoming parade levered with possible back-door dealings of “If we get the Oscar, the film will gross at least 5 million more dollars, give us your vote.” I find some of their choices suspect.
And honestly, I discovered that when I was NOT living in LA, that the majority of people around me could care less about the Oscars. Interestingly enough, there are less billboards of what films to watch in other cities (I find them EVERYWHERE in LA) and so it’s not uncommon to hear about a film 4-5 weeks after it opened, and to read about how the film was such a box office disappointment because it didn’t make a killing in the first 2 weeks. I remember thinking, “But I JUST heard about it!” and they’re already pulling them out of movie theatres. Go figure.
So yeah, Oscars are nice, but word of mouth is still better for determining whether po-dunk me sees a film or not.
PHILIP: Speaking of BLUE VELVET, since Offender Anderson and I were watching that movie at the Arclight while the ceremonies were taking place, that pretty much sums up how I feel. And yup, it’s more fun just to follow along the snarky tweets and you can watch all the good parts online immediately afterwards anyway.
IRIS: Maybe I’m in the minority, but I thought it was fun watching the Oscars in a group/party. I used to gather a few friends and we’d pick up some crabs from the 99 Ranch store and have a very messy crab-cracking night at home while watching TV. I don’t know if this is a tradition with a lot of other Asians, because they always seem to be low on crabs on Oscar night. Otherwise, it is kind of a snoozer, and this year, I just DVR’ed it and watched it in FF in about 1 hour.
Regardless of how good the show itself is, and who wins, I do like the idea of the awards in general, because I think it’s the only way nowadays that good films can continue to get made. Otherwise, the only movies that would be out there would be the usual summer fare of remakes/superheroes/teen-oriented stuff. I watch most of my movies around awards season and appreciate that the awards give some publicity to movies that would otherwise not get an audience, especially those that don’t have the big advertising budgets–like BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.