Friday, December 17, 2004

DC...even the movie awards bow to politics

When I first heard the good news that the Washington DC Film Critics had finally given "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" the BEST PICTURE crown that it has deserved all along I wanted to cheer.

But then the rest of the list shut me up immediately. So much for discernment or a change in the precursor wave.

It's the same old same old with Jamie Foxx as best actor for his outstanding mimicry in Ray, Imelda Staunton as Vera Drake, and --wait, what's this??? JAMIE FOXX again (!!!) as supporting actor in Collateral...

pardon my french but FUCK. THAT.

I like Jamie Foxx. I loved his performance in Collateral but there is no possible reading of that film which makes him the supporting actor. The film begins and ends with him --and wow, look at that --the middle is also entirely about him. We see the story through his eyes. He's never off the screen for more than a minute or two.

It's obvious that the DC critics are just bending over and letting the studios plow them with category fraud. Which would be fine if they were, I don't know, the National Board of Review or the Golden Globes both of which are clearly, in one way or another, playing the studio's whore. But critics are, theoretically, supposed to be removed from all of that. Critics are supposed to comment on, analyze, critique, and remain objective. They aren't supposed to be PR hacks for the studios.

If 1939 were 2005 we would see "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION... Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind" If 1991 were 2005 we's see "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION... Geena Davis for Best Supporting Actress "Thelma & Louise" --See, how ridiculous that sounds? With the Globes I'm like "whatever. they're silly sometimes" with the BFCA I was furious. They continue to call themselves "critics choice" and are clearly not made up of critics but of various columnists, gossip columnists, junket whores, and entertainment news reporters, etc... and they went there too. And now DC critics...who to my understanding actually are critics.

Nobody has any integrity. And here's another thing. If everyone agrees why are there so many groups? If you don't have your own opinion... and you can't untangle yourself from Dreamworks campaign wishes, why are you a critic? And why do you have awards?

All that said as a reminder: I loved Jamie Foxx in Collateral. This is not about him.

People say I'm taking this too seriously but my opinion is that if it's not meant to be taken seriously we should all just watch "The People's Choice Awards" and call it a day. If they're giving awards that are called "best" and have other defining words like "original" (screenplay) or "supporting" (actor) than they ought to follow the definitions of the words. The best part I realize is subjective. But the "supporting" part is rather definitive. This is not a gray area in Collateral's case.

If the award was called "Movie Star Whose Ass We Most Want to Kiss Because He's Hot Hot Hot This Year" than by all means, shower Jamie Foxx with that prize.


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