22 January 2009

Obligatory halfhearted man-do-the-Oscar-noms-suck post.

But oh man do they suck. Thought I was probably exaggerating when I declared this year's Best Picture lineup to be the worst ever (on Twitter), but after examining the evidence I must say I can't find a crappier year in my own personal lifetime. Were I an AMPAS member, I'd be forced to cast my vote for Frost/Nixon—a choice that would surely be neck and neck with Mr. John Kerry for this decade's nose-holder sweepstakes. (In truth, I might opt to vote for Milk instead, on political grounds, given my general apathy*.) All other options = egad. It's particularly galling to see David Fincher finally get some long-overdue recognition for what is easily the worst movie he's ever made, Alien to the Third Goddamn Power included. And never before has there been a nominee (viz. The Reader) that was so indifferently received by critics that I didn't even bother to see it.

Admittedly, the prospect of future trailers hyping "Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon" is pretty awesome, even if he has no chance whatsoever against the ghost of Heath. (The S. Actor slate is remarkably strong overall, actually—albeit in part because Philip Seymour Hoffman is in the wrong category.) And some freak spasm of good taste resulted in a Foreign Language nod for Götz Spielmann's superb Revanche, which will hopefully increase the profile of its forthcoming micro-release by Janus. Beyond that, almost a total cringefest. Fortunately, the annual corrective I call the Skandies is only a week and a half away. I can assure you that you'll see few if any instances of the words "Slumdog," "Button" or "Daldry."


* Funny story. At this year's NYFCC voting meeting—I believe I can safely relate this anecdote without incurring the Wrath of Schwarzbaum, since it only involves myself—I inquired, with regard to Best Director, whether a vote for Gus Van Sant for Paranoid Park could theoretically contribute to an eventual Van Sant win that would be credited solely to Milk. (We vote for the individual, only deciding after a winner is declared whether to cite that person's work in more than one film.) A great deal of hair-splitting debate ensued, during which I repeatedly stressed that while I very much wanted to vote for Van Sant's extraordinary work in Paranoid Park, I also very much wanted to avoid inadvertently contributing to a Milk victory. Because this was so obviously a purely aesthetic battle in my mind, it literally never even occurred to me that my dogged insistence on not wanting to support Milk in any way might come across to some as homophobia, though I'm told that in fact it did. So now I'm the group's resident Cro-Magnon, I guess.

7 comments:

Andrew Dignan said...

So just to clarify, if you vote for a gay man who directs a film that possess no specific sexual politics (although boy howdy does that camera linger lovingly on the film's young male cast) over same gay director's expressly homosexual-in-theme film, this can be construed as homophobia? Wow.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is: the Academy finally gets its collective stick out of its ass long enough to nominate a (100%) comedic performance in the best supporting category, and they go for Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder rather than Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Dumb obv.

Wiggum melan said...

congratulations, mike, (...wow !!!in 5 days!). At least, 200 contributors, sure. I spent, 10$ twice...
I hope you have a nice Cannes. I'm waiting (as everyone) for reading it.

Keith Uhlich said...

Take it from a true Milk-detracting homo: You're no Cro-Magnon md'a.

(Gawd, Sexy Rexy wasn't the NYFCC member who got in a tizzy mehopes. Purely rhetorical observation, of course.)

Victor said...

... if the NYFCC is *looking* for a cro-magnon ...

Victor said...

I can assure you that you'll see few if any instances of ... "Daldry."

Isn't thanksbud quite the Daldry fanboy? The auteur of the masterpiece BILLY ELLIOT is back in my opinion. Also costuming Kate Winslet for the first part of that movie was the easiest job in the world.

Alex said...

Re: Milk-gate. In the Dec 31 episode of Slate's Political Gabfest podcast (a fine show; hopefully V. Mo tunes in) David Plotz went on a tirade about the less-than-stellar qualities of the Gus Van Sant joint. Two weeks later, apparently due to a slew of listener e-mail, he felt compelled to clarify that he is, in fact, not homophobic. So md'a, rest assured you're not alone in having your critique of Milk misconstrued.