Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, March 3, 2014


I usually end up watching award shows not because I am in theatre or because I am addicted to movies, the stage, actors or anything of that nature.  I do not watch them because I find them entertaining although occasionally they can be. Ellen's tweeted pic in the middle of the show was outstanding. I end up watching them -- actually having them on in the background -- because I have nothing better to watch since Sunday night, when many award shows usually are on, is pretty bad TV even on the best of Sundays.  I know. Some award shows like MTV or Grammys are on during week nights.  I never watch those.

I mean let's face it, the Oscars and other industry award shows are the most unadulterated self-adulation fests on the planet.  Even the Independent Film Awards, the Spirit Award, was probably created because they didn't feel the love over at the Academy.  This is true, especially if you consider the Academy was created as a way to stop unions from coming into Hollywood by Louis B. Mayer. The idea didn't actually stop unions, but it did start the awards as a part of the plan to show how well the guilds were being treated by the studios.

From that point forward, with few exceptions, the awards are as much or more about the industry and money than art and social statement.  Now admittedly, there have been a few deserving movies and actors.  The Academy has also been wise in usually not picking based on box office but still picking money makers. I mean they have settled for blockbuster movies like Titanic, Rocky and Return of the King, but they have also ignored more than a few great films and performers while nominating some really not so great pieces or actors.  In all honesty, your average blockbuster is usually going to be the kiss of death for Best Picture.  What the Academy wants are a reasonably well-crafted films with reasonably good performances that made money.  Artistic and social merit is a plus if the movie happens to have it when given an award, but it is not a requirement. If they were, movies like Gravity would never see the Best Picture category.

The list of movies and actors that didn't win or even get nominated is substantial.  There are also the sympathy awards. These are awards given for movies or to people that didn't win when they should have so there is an award given later because Karma needed to be balanced. Every year, there will be discussions about who should have won and who wasn't nominated that should have been.  The fact is that the nominees of award shows and the "winners" are more or less arbitrary in who gets to take their award home. This arbitraryness of the annual glut of "who do you predict will win?" is pretty much a reason the odds makers in Vegas can run book on the event.

So, the Oscars are on.  While it may surprise those of you who know me, it's all kind of a yawn...zzzzzz