J-L’s Oscar Recap
So last night Crash was named best picture of 2006, which will be forever remembered as the “Year that Good movies were called Great.”
Goodnight and Good luck was exactly as the title suggested – good. Capote was a step up – I would call it “quite good,” but not greeat. Brokeback Mountain is also good (the best part of the movie was the score and the Oscars did get that right), but a little boring. Crash was good, but felt a little too much like an episode of Fox’s old show “Boston Public,” where 85 social issues had to be addressed in each school day (“Oh my God, my boytfriend is in a gang and I’m pregnant, but it’s not his baby because it’s my math teacher’s baby and my best friend is on drugs and her boyfirend is taking steroids to get a football scholarship and I was just a victim of a hate crime in the parking lot while my best friend just told me she was gay.”
That leaves us with Munich – clearly the best film of the year. It had Julius Caesar from Rome, Hector from Troy and the new James Bond. That is a kick-ass trio, but it was also just a really good movie. It was a classic thriller with a message. Unfortuntely that message was not as stark as “Cowboys can be gay” or “Everyone is racist” or “The Media has no balls anymore.” The message was “Violence solves nothing, and Steven Spielberg is still the best director in the world” – the title he got with Saving Private Ryan, but almost lost with The Terminal.
The biggest mistake of the night had to be George Clooney beating out Matt Dillon for best supporting actor. No one seems to remember Matt Dillon getting snubbed for his tour-de-force as Pat Healy in There’s Something About Mary. Playing a racist cop he is very convincing and the most engaging character and performance in the film. George Clooney got fat (for no reason) and grew a beard (for no reason). Bad choice. The biggest snub OF ALL TIME, however, was in 1999 when Christopher Plummer was not even nominated for The Insider (as Mike Wallace).
As far as the other categories – Memoirs of a Geisha cleaned up the artsy awards – but no one addressed why the geishas all spoke broken English in the movie. The movie should have either been in Japanese or just let the actresses speak normal English – don’t try and fool me into believing that these Geishas, which I believe is Japanese for “whore who keeps kimono on,” learned English just well enough to tell me their story for 2 and a half hours.
King Kong also won 3 awards – for special effects, which means everyone will give it the “technical masterpiece” title instead of saying that it should have been nominated for Best Picture.
Then in foreign film I only saw one – Paradise Now. One word of advice – if you are doing a show being filmed by Israeli TV – don’t open with a joke “I’m going to see Paradise Now after this show.” Even if it is true, they will not find any humor in it.
My top movies for 2005, in order, would have been: 1) Munich 2) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3)King Kong 4) Capote 5) Match Point
Honrable mention to Walk the Line, Sin City and Brokeback Mountain.
And a special note here – I would like there to be a “Best Scene” category at the Oscars – just nominate the best scenes (of any kind) in a given year.
For example a past winner for me would have been in 1989 – the final scene of Dead Poets’ Society would have narrowly beaten out the scene in Glory where all the soldiers are singing and talking before going into their final battle.
Well, this year the race would have been between the T-Rex fight in King Kong and the “Whoop that Trick” scene in Hustle and Flow. And in an upset – “Whoop that Trick” is the winner. It may sound funny, but if you have seen the movie, you probably agree.
I expect better things for 2006 Oscar. Maybe Al Pacino will play a guy who screams a lot or Sean Penn will make a lot pained faces. And most likey best scene nomionee Basic Instinct 2.