Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar Night '06

As the Oscars have now come and gone, here are a few of my thoughts:

BROKEBACK DID NOT GET BEST PICTURE

And I’m glad. Not because of the gay non-issue (and may I say that yet again the general Christian buzz on the film is misplaced. Really, we are supposed to be upset because the adulterers in the picture are romanticizing same sex relations? How about being upset because the two adulterers are, oh, I don’t know, romanticizing adultery? For some great thoughts on BROKEBACK, check out Jeff Overstreet’s blog, and scroll down to “Revised: Revisiting Tonight’s Big Oscar Winner”)

No, the reason I am glad is that from all reports, BROKEBACK is a good film, not an Oscar worthy film. I felt the same about SIDEWAYS, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed, but thought was a tad over-hyped.

On the carpet tonight, I watched the critic’s round-up as they picked their winner for Best Pic. Interesting to watch, as they practically all agreed that BROKEBACK was important and groundbreaking (I disagree), and just about admit out loud that if it was about a heterosexual couple, it wouldn’t be in the running.

In other words, a good film, but not an Oscar worthy film.

CRASH WON BEST PIC

And I am happy with that. I really liked CRASH; it worked for me. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here is a tip: it is NOT a slice of life movie. Most of the criticism I have heard of the flick comes down what I think is a misread of the kind of a movie it is. It is a hyper-reality film; it is nearly a fantasy. Haggis has taken kernels of reality, and blown them way out of proportion to see what would happen if we looked at ourselves under the microscope.

And the real story is about us, the audience. How are we reacting? Where are we forcing black and white answers on this colorized world?

I love that we aren’t allowed to hate the despicable, or grant unconditional approval on the heroic. I love that there is ultimately only one pure character in the piece (a child), and no purely lost character. I love that Haggis forced me (against my will and every fiber of my being) to see the world as G-d does – painfully broken, woefully unable to heal itself, but still worthy of redemption.

Is it manipulation? You bet. But for me, it worked.

Ah, the scene where the child worries for her daddy, because she has his invisible, bullet-proof cape – ah. I still cannot think about her running out of the house without tearing up – months after watching the movie. For that alone, I won’t begrudge the statuette sitting on Haggis’ shelf.

REESE TOOK BEST ACTRESS

And I can live with that. WALK THE LINE was an amazing piece of work; all the brilliant acting and directing of RAY, without the missteps in the script.

I’ll write more about the film soon, but for here I’ll be content to say that I’m glad it got one of the major statuettes. And Reese was amazing, so why not?

WALLACE AND GROMIT GOT AN AWARD

And hopefully they can use it to get some well deserved cheese. The passion required to make animated films, and to especially make them so well with attention to all details from character design to script… wow.

GEORGE CLOONEY HAS AN OSCAR

For a movie I haven’t seen. But I did see GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK last night.

And heck, I’d give George an Oscar for his acting work in FACTS OF LIFE just to say thank you for this film. It’s a weird film, in that it is half documentary and half regular movie, with real footage for all the clips, and many of Murrow’s speeches done verbatim from the original. So I don’t know what category this would fit in, but there is no denying the performances were outstanding, as was the direction.

And it is an important film (unlike the touted cowboy romance). And I don’t have room to say why here, so another promise for a more thorough examination in the near future…

THREE SIX MAFIA WON BEST SONG

I think they sang “This Little Light Of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.” Or maybe not. I was in the other room getting some Thin Mints out of the freezer while they performed. But I’m sure it was a G-dly, uplifting song.

BEST MOMENT OF THE NIGHT

Streep and Tomlin recreating the feel of a Robert Altman film while presenting the Honorary Oscar. Priceless.

Although Jon Stewart’s explanation to the audience of what a pimp is (“an agent with a better hat”) comes in a close second.

Just my thoughts,

Sean

1 comment:

juliep123 said...

With all do respect, sir, you forgot that "Brokeback" DID win Best director (Ang Lee), Best adapted screenplay, and one other award (best original score, was it?). It really saddens me that right-wingers have supposedly issued a full-scale holy war on the film industry. Hundreds of movies are made and released each year; truly there MUST be something out there that reaches your values. People need to stop acting so paranoid about the "worldview" of stories and start appreciating them. Maybe that's the reason why Hollywood is, apparently, dominated by so-called "Liberals".