Over 100,000 people lost their jobs last week, and here in Illinois we fired the Governor. With the economy looking worse and political corruption appearing more pervasive, let’s move on to something really pressing…
Yes, the Oscar nominees were announced recently, and The Dark Knight took the big fat snub, surprising virtually no one in the Tinseltown scene. There wasn’t much hope after DK received no love from the Golden Globes, but I was still holding out a sliver hope. Sure, sure, Heath Ledger is figure-four leglock for Best Supporting Actor, and they got some nods for cinematography, editing, art direction, special effects, etc., but what about the screenplay? What about Chris Nolan’s directing?
Take a look at the competition for Best Picture:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons (pseudo-romance with lots of make-up )
- Frost/Nixon (post-election hubris)
- Milk (gay political activist)
- The Reader (post-Nazi hubris)
- Slumdog Millionaire (human interest from India)
Now who has seen all those movies, other than critics and film students? I can’t say I’ve seen them, and I usually make a point of seeing most of the Best Picture nominees at the end of the year if I hadn’t already. I would like to see Slumdog Millionaire and wouldn’t mind watching Frost/Nixon, but I have no interest in the others. In a field this weak, you might’ve thought the Academy would finally be able to look past their aversion to comic book-based films.
It’s disappointing, because with beloved President Barack Obama finally in office, I thought we as a nation might finally make it past this kind of prejudice. Shame on you, Academy, for your anti-comic book bias.
Take a look at the Best Picture roll call and you’ll see a host of winning movies that are real head scratchers. Most recently, in 2001, it was A Beautiful Mind. A decent movie, sure, but that was the year of Fellowship of the Ring. In 1998 you had Shakespeare in Love, which I enjoyed and was a good film, but that was also the year of Saving Private Ryan. 1992 had Clint’s Unforgiven as the winner, but that was also the year of a certain Army of Darkness. I rest my case.
But seriously, 08 is already shaping up as another foregttable year for Oscar. We realize we’re somewhat less than objective when it comes to Batman around here, but the Dark Knight was a monumental film. Too bad it made so much money, included a superhero in the title role, and thus rendered itself ineligible for the coveted gold statue.