Nathaniel R: I led with the Reality Television problem yesterday because I'm trying to work through some, um, "personal issues". I actually snapped at two friends this week for no reason other than that something they said reminded me tangentially of reality television and how much I hate it and inbetween these outbursts I sat through the entire new episodes of Amazing Race, Project Runway and RuPaul's Drag Race on my DVR. I'm part of the problem! So I needed to binge and purge the reality television issue before moving on. My chief problem with its dominance is the samey samey ness of everything. Art thrives on variety and so often the pop culture pie -- of which the Oscars are my favorite slice -- comes in only one flavor at a time. And Peter landed on the category that, invariably, I find the most difficult to stomach year in and year out for the exact same reason: Supporting Actor. They seem to use this category as a dumping ground for "types" even more so than the other categories. This will be three years in a row they've gone with a psychotic/charismatic killer for the win... and meanwhile they fill out the category with aging man career tributes. I won't attempt to argue that that winning threesome (Javier/Heath/Christoph) aren't worthy choices but there's something more to it than just coincidence, yes?
Maybe this psycho-killas and revered old men category is actually a metaphor for the glamorous brutality of Hollywood -- they're always trying to kill you but if you survive for any admirable length of time they're sure to kiss your ass...
I'm stretching but anything to take my mind away from this category!
And to take my mind away from Bringing Down The House's blinged up homie --uh, thanks Tim-- because that leads me right back into The Blind Side territory. Racial landmines ahead!
Speaking of... Precious. What Tim said. But the issue of who-gets-credit, which he briefly alluded to in regards to the performances, is so fascinating here (and elsewhere). But for my money, Tilda Swinton in Julia aside, Mo'Nique gave the one performance this year that I can't even wrap my head around fully it's so titanic.
Guy Lodge: Best Supporting Actor may be a dumping ground for "types," but that's no excuse to make it a dumping ground for bad performances too, which is precisely what they've done this year. If they really found Anthony Mackie and Alfred Molina that hard to accept (despite apparently liking everything around them), perhaps they should have applied their new Best Original Song rule to this category, and curtailed the number of nominees. Because, frankly, I'd rather see a two-strong field than have to scratch my head any longer over who was actually impressed enough by Stanley Tucci's sweaty psycho kvetching, or Matt Damon's (more justifiably sweaty, at least) approximation of Afrikaner hulkiness by way of Opie, to place them at the top of their ballot. Because someone did.
Read the rest of DAY TWO
Wherein we move on to individual nominations and snubs that delighted and confused us, what makes some movies click with Oscar or miss entirely, that weird relationship in Crazy Heart and the internal conflict of Inglourious Basterds.
Then return and comment. Continue the conversation.