He's 13 1/2 inches tall. He wears only a sword. He's shiny. Everybody wants him. A new weekly Sunday series --my attempt to keep Oscar discussion corraled in the weekends until we're truly in the season.
Previously: The Supporting Actress Stock Shortage
I’ve never met an Oscar devotee who didn’t have pet peeves about or outright disdain for some element of the whole circus they stay enthralled by. With the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and their external “fans” for lack of a better word -- it’s not really the right word – Oscar season, night, nominations, wins inevitably lead to a love/hate relationship. Dedicated long term viewers develop pet years where they feel especially grateful to the Academy for surprisingly good decisions, a particularly satisfying nomination that wasn’t a foregone conclusion or indelible moments within the actual ceremony but, flip side now, they’ll also have the bizarro version of all of those things: decisions that continue to rattle one’s psycho with their boneheadedness. Certain years haunt like clingy unwelcome poltergeists, always threatening to wreak havoc in the repeating, tossing good films to the side violently and sliding mediocrities into the center and forefront. 1999 is just such a year for me. I always fear that its specter will return. Will 2007 go there?
I’ll be more specific. There’s a solid block of cinephiles and critics who praised 1999 to the heavens at the time for its wide array of “masterpieces”. I was less enthusiastic about the year as a whole having reservations about many of the hosanna’d but there was no denying that the films people became wildly enthusiastic about were worth discussing and contemplating, even if you fell on the negative or reserved praise side of the divide. What a vivid array of films the Academy could choose from: Fight Club, Eyes Wide Shut, The Iron Giant, Run Lola Run, All About My Mother, Being John Malkovich, Election, Three Kings, American Beauty, Magnolia, The Insider, The Straight Story, Topsy Turvy, Boys Don’t Cry, The Blair Witch Project to name a dozen or so of the year’s most loved/argued about pictures, an all you can eat buffet of real cinema. The Oscars saved room for fast food.
Read the Rest... I fear for No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood