For your consideration

So, it's that season again. No, no, not that season when the choice between "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" is fraught with political or social import. Like the first bluebird of spring or the first circa-Halloween warbling of "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas" at the department store, the announcement of this year's Golden Globe nominees heralds the arrival of Movie Awards Season. Oh, joy.

As I have alluded before, the Golden Globes aren't particularly prestigious. Bragging about winning one is like listing being elected "Most Likely to Succeed" on your CV. But they are a harbinger of the Real Awards to come. Maybe it will be Kate Winslet's year. I certainly hope so.

Back in the day, the Oscars were my Superbowl. When I lived in Kansas City, I considered it a point of pride to have seen a large number of the major category (Picture, Director, and all the acting awards) nominees before they were announced, and I would make a point of seeing as many of the rest of them as I could. (Living in a large metro area and having a lot of time on my hands, this was possible then. Not so much, these days, with the job in mid-Maine.)

Now? I won't lie that I don't care at all, because that would...be a lie. But I can't pretend that I am as filled with gleeful anticipation as I used to be. This is partly because the winners feel predictable, though there are often delightful surprises. (If you watch the video on that last link, you will also see why I think Cate Blanchett rocks. Anyone who is clearly delighted when someone else wins deserves her own round of applause.)

No, the major reason the bloom has gone off my Oscar rose is that I can no longer pretend that they are truly awards for the "best" of anything. This has been somewhat obvious for as long as they've held the awards, and certainly for as long as I've been watching. "Forrest Gump" over both "Pulp Fiction" and "The Shawshank Redemption"? No. Gwyneth Paltrow over Ms. Blanchett? Ha! And I'm sorry Hilary Swank, but there is just no way you were better than Imelda Staunton in "Vera Drake." (Your Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry," on the other hand, you can keep with my blessing.) Sometimes the Academy louses things up one year, and makes up for it another. The world would be a happier place if Helen Hunt handed her Oscar over to Judi Dench, who deserved it for "Mrs. Brown," and then Dame Judi could give her consolation Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love" to Lynn Redgrave. Perfect.

The real deal-breaker for me, for which it will take a whole pile of Swintons and Cotillards to make up, was "Crash" winning Best Picture. It is not merely that it beat the incomparable, heart-wrenching "Brokeback Mountain" (the last line of which still makes my throat close up) for the win. No, "Crash" is a genuinely terrible movie. As my friend and fellow poster Elizabeth commented when we chatted this morning, it is a movie that Hollywood made to show stupid people that Racism is Bad. Every single person is as overtly racist as they can possibly be in every single situation, with the exception of "I'm-not-racist-oh-crap-I-am" Ryan Phillipe. I will pay cash money to anyone that can plausibly explain to me Sandra Bullock's character. And don't get me started on the entire Thandie Newton story arc. "Crash"'s raft of awards does not serve to demonstrate its quality, but does show that sometimes cliches about the entertainment industry are true.

So, of course I will watch. And I will root for Kate, because she is awesome. Who knows? Last year was a good year, and maybe the Academy will surprise me. I hope so. Because heaven help me if I have to start caring about the real Superbowl.


  1. But there are still the dresses...

  2. I am still waiting for my lifetime achievement awards. Charo