Well, as the Oscars came to a close, another year in movies came to a close, as well. It
was a pretty good one. As usual, I regret not getting to see more movies than I did. Overall,
the ceremony was pretty meandering, with Seth MacFarlane doing his schtick, the producers
shoving musicals down our throat, the orchestra playing poor visual effects men off the stage
and tons of shots of award losers that are a little *too* happy.
MacFarlane was a highlight in a sort of sick, “can he top James Franco and Anne Hatheway”-
esque way, but a lowlight in the traditional sense. Why can’t they just have Billy Crystal do it
every year? With that in mind, here’s a brief recap by an underpaid volunteer movie reviewer:
Firstly, apparently the consensus is that Ben Affleck got snubbed for a Best Director
nomination at this year’s Oscars with “Argo.” I haven’t actually seen the movie, yet, but people
that I trust to have good taste in movies, books, and all non-Philistine things have told me that
it’s marvelous. I can’t wait to see it, even though I’m pretty late to the party.
“Argo” did win Best Picture, though, so Affleck did get to take home the second gold-statue-
looking thing of his career–the first, of course, earned by writing “Good Will Hunting” with Matt
Damon. This honor has been overdue, quite frankly. Affleck should have gotten nominations in
both Best Picture and Best Director for “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” his two previous
forays into directing. He also could have gotten a Best Actor nomination for “The Town” and the
Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for both of them. He would be the Susan Lucci of the big
screen if he had actually been nominated. Oh, and if Peter O’Toole didn’t exist.
Ang Lee was actually the winner of the Best Director trophy. That’s pretty cool. I can’t really
be bummed out too much by Affleck losing because Lee is arguably the most versatile director
working in Hollywood today. Most actors and directors are pretty typecast – Michael Bay is going
to be Michael Bay, Tarantino is Tarantino, Anne Hathaway is bad, etc.
Lee is a modern anomaly, though. Consider his filmography: he directed “Life of Pi,”
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain.” Those three films alone would
warrant extreme praise for Lee, but none of those is his best movie; his 2003 “Hulk” is an
absolute genius movie. It’s so far ahead of most other comic book movies that it’s amazing that
Marvel chose to redo the character only a short time afterward, and the second version doesn’t
Speaking of things that don’t compare to other things, can we just give the Best Actor award
to Daniel Day-Lewis in perpetuity? This is his third award, now, and it’s getting a little tiresome.
He absolutely deserved it, but seriously, Daniel, step aside and let someone else win it. It’s
Since my editors presumably have a word maximum as well as a word minimum, here are
some other thoughts in brief about the 85th Academy Awards:
Should Christoph Waltz really have won another Oscar for playing the same fast-talking
huckster as he did in “Inglourious Basterds?” Did his character change at all other than being
one of the good guys this time? And wasn’t that the point of “Inglourious Basterds?”
Is the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay based on the number of words in said
screenplay? That’s the only reason I can justify Tarantino winning it this year.
How did “The Avengers” not get nominated for its screenplay? That movie could have been
screwed up in so many different ways, but actually showed surprisingly interesting character
development in a billion dollar movie. It’s criminal.
Are people obligated to nominate you for stuff if you just tell people that you are aiming for a
masterpiece? Because “Les Miserables” is a pretty awful attempt in the musical genre, yet it got
gobs of nominations. I would have agreed if the producers had cast Susan Boyle.