Monday, March 06, 2006

Thoughts on Oscar

Was it me, or was this telecast last night, the most BORING telecast in recent years? I happen to like Jon Stewart, but I think he missed his mark. If George Clooney was right and Hollywood sits "outside the norm" they sure did not prove it with who was given awards. Come one come all, there is enough to go around for all. No one goes home a looser in one form or the other. I mean I think Oscar played it "safe" and did not expand outside the prescribed norm of acceptance and tolerance.

I thought that the introduction montage did not do justice for anyone, gay men are not old men oogling little boys nor pedophiles, and I think they sent a clear message of what the academy thought was funny and what was repulsive to the moral conscience of America and the world. I was Not amused in any way shape or form. The funny was lost on me and my hubby!! I don't think many LGBT peoples were laughing, when the academy poked fun at one segment of the people in the audience and those of us watching world wide.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman won for Capote, yes Truman Capote was a raging homo, but there was no gratuitous sex in the film, there was no sex at all or mention of it. So it was safe to nominate and have the art house actor win in this category. (safe-nothing out of the norm there). I think there were "Better" acting performances in this category by far, just because P.S.H imitated Capote and was the "natural" to vote for, they could have given it to someone who challenged the norm in acting.

George Clooney, best supporting actor, kudos for Clooney at least his acceptance speech was telling in some ways, but the academy stuck to the party line and did not step outside the box.

King Kong (who knew) you know you could have given those awards to someone who did something a little different. I mean why be predictable when this past year gace us some stellar acting and story telling??? Where was the challenge? Where was the stretch?

I saw the Constant Gardner and I think Rachel Weisz did an outstanding job in the film and that film actually moved me as well, so kudos to her.

You know, I'd rather walk on my lips than say anything bad about Reese Winterspoon, because she is such a class act and she makes a difference in this world and that she matters. I was glad when she won, her acceptance speech was classic and meaningful. BUT, you know I think Felicity Huffman should have won for her acting ability in TransAmerica. I think the academy would have set a precedent HAD they picked winners who did not tow the party line based on social issue and problems of society.

I know that racism and equality are important and all, and Crash was surely the movie to beat for tackling the social issue angle but still, Brokeback and Transamerica were shut out of the BIG awards like acting and supporting actor categories. But Brokeback won peripheral awards like Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, let's give awards to makers and music but not to the movie or her actors in an outwards reach to promote acceptance and toleration.

The academy did not send any difinitive message that they were ready to award a homosexual story or a (preop) transsexual story. They fell short of my expectations to speak to the rest of the Nation of Americans or the world wide audience that stories other than "those that can keep to the party line" is acceptable and winner material.

I think the biggest freak out was the win for Original Song, (36 mafia's) "It's hard out here for a pimp!" they only had to bleep that performance twice as I saw it live, and then they won! What the hell was that, like another fellow commented, were we getting Punk'd? That was just insane. Like I said, there is something for everyone tonight.

I was glad to see wins for "March of the Penguins for Best Documentary, that was an amazing film, if you haven't seen it yet. I watched Morgan Freeman backstage when the win was announced. I think he was moved since he narrated the film. Tsotsi, another film I enjoyed from South Africa was a winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

What the hell was it with the Montages, were they shown to promote the academy's expansive repetoire for films outside the box, films that pushed the envelope of social discussion and reality? Yes some of those films were excellent and such, but from lasy nights Oscars, the academy did not prove anything to me as a gay man. They could have saved over 25 minutes of air time with alot less Montages... It only made the wake seem longer than necessary.

It was just a travesty that the academy caved to the political-christian - political right to keep stories outside the norm of public discourse, out of the awards process. America FAILED to give the world what it was hoping to get, a little validation and respect for the men and women who tackled some of the toughest material in storytelling and they went home empty handed.

America, it seems, is not ready to award those stories and those actors. Phillip Semour Hoffman "interpreted" Capote to a win, big fucking deal. It was not a sexual story was it, that's why it was a winner, because it did not throw the sexuality of the character in the faces of moviegoers.

SAD, truly Sad...

I thought that some of the women were stunning in their gowns. But like others have said, too much Black, this wasn't a funeral, although at times throughout the telecast, it seemed that things were just Dead, no excitement no thrill of a win. (except for the It's hard out here for a pimp Posse!!!) I did not like the musical accompaniment for the acceptance speeches, in the attempt to hurry them along, but did you notice that in certain cases, they did not "play off" certain winners like Reese, and Ang Lee, and assorted other winners, they were given a wide berth to say whatever they wanted for as long as they needed?

I call that preferential treatment.

I have to give Kudos to the Candian Contingent of Paul Haggis, because he brough several wins home for the Mapel Leaf, which was nice to see a Canadian on the stage for his exceptional work. Congratualtions to Paul Haggis for the team from Crash. You know Terrence Howard should have won something, he had some stellar work last year. What was with the Brooch??

Overall thew show was LONG and BORING and close in similarity to a WAKE for the best in film achievement. I think they need to re-hire Billy Crystal for future host duties.

There was no excitement and you did not make any real statement of purpose but to say, we will vote conservative and give wins in specific ways, covertly and from the sides, but we will not openly give a win to gay characters in a film sharing difinitive story telling at its best. That would say of America that they were ready to accept gay thematic story telling, and that just rubs the social and moral agendas the wrong way of most of America and the Religious right.

It struck me that many of the winners of other awards for other categories were gay and mentioned their partners on air, lots of gays in the process given wins for work outside their sexual preferance, not many wins for characters who may have been or were openly gay or questioning their own sexuality.

The academy FAILED to move me and I was terribly disappointed.

Crash won best film, what the fuck? Those issues have been around for decades. Corrupt police and rape, molestation and racism are daily occurrences all over the world, where's the reach? Just because an emsemble cast gave us some serious story telling, you didn't tell us anything we did not already know. That was the safe win, not the right win. I think Brokeback tackled issues that Americans are not ready to give credence to nor accept or raise up and single out as award worthy acting.

Had the "gay cowboy movie" won, it would have sent a clear message that America was ready to validate what real love between two people can do for the world. America is still not ready to enter the LGBT debate in full open force, but we can award peripheral awards to makers and directors and musicians, not just the film directly or its actors.

Gays around the world gasped in horror and I think Jack Nicholson was surprised himself when he opened the envelope. Brokeback Mountain should have won. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences did not make any statement last night of tolerance and acceptanc, you did just the opposite by awarding common easy themes and societal problems that are nothing new.

Just because you awarded a film based on racial-social issues does not make you a trail blazer.

You failed us this year.


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