Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Pre-Oscar Post
First off, I wanted to make a note of something interesting about this year's Oscar race. Since I live in a Red State, I am constantly hearing the moans and gripes from social conservatives about the steady moral decline shown in modern cinema. "Hollywood is nothing but Filth!" they scream, clutching their children to them and running from darkened theaters as the 20th Century Fox fanfare begins to play.
In their minds, every year movies are getting worse and worse, unlike the good wholesome entertainment that they were used to when they were younger. The explanation for this is obvious, when they were younger they didn't watch every movie that was made. Have you seen Bonnie and Clyde lately? or Scarface? You're right, compared to Bambi, The Hangover Part II seems a little crude but even the old Rock Hudson/Doris Day rom-coms are pretty much 118 minutes of sexual innuendo. I mean, Pillow Talk? Come on.
Why am I talking about this? Because amazingly, 8 out of the 9 Best Picture nominees are rated PG-13 and the lone R-rated offering, The Descendants, is far from a prurient romp. It's actually a touching story about a family dealing with the loss of their mother and gets the big "R" because, understandably, the characters use a few F-bombs as they try to vocalize their emotions.
It's unprecedented. Besides the fact that 8 "13s" is a statistical first -- due to only 3 years of 5+ nominees -- you would probably have to go back to the days of the Hays Production Code to find a crop of candidates that would please the Parents Television Council this much. I can actually talk about the nominees, all of the them, with my mom. This has never happened before in my lifetime.
So, to all the easily offended, take advantage of the one year when you can actually go and watch all of the Oscar nominees during AMC's marathon (this weekend). And just remember that next year, when you talk about how bad movies are getting, I will shove 2011 in your face. The proof is in the pudding.
OH, you want to know who's going to win? That's easy.
Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michael Hazavanicious (I probably spelled that wrong)
Best Actor: George Clooney
Best Actress: Viola Davis (Meryl has enough, don't you think?)
Best Supporting Actor: Jonah Hill (conventional wisdom would suggest Christopher Plummer but something in me thinks Hill will be the surprise of the night)
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain (most people are betting Spencer, but 2011 was the year of Chastain and I think it will be a message award for her entire body of work, then again, this is the Oscars not The Globes so I'm only 60% confident on this one)
Best Animated Feature: Rango (you can hear Gore Verbinski saying "Thank you Cars 2 for sucking so bad")
Best Foreign: A Separation (this was on soooo many top 10 lists this year, EW's Owen Gleiberman would have put it in the top category)
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, FTW!
Best Adapted Screenplay: My man Jim Rash (I interviewed him, he's a complete stud)
Best Song: "Man or Muppet" (I mean seriously, Rio? Please)
And...no one cares about the rest.