Monday, March 8, 2010

An Open Letter To The Academy

Dear Sirs and Madams:

Okay, what did you do this year, hold a competition to see who could produce the most boring Academy Awards -- ever? Hollywood is the movie capital of the world, and Oscar night is the biggest award night of the year. Can't do you even just slightly better than you have in the past few years? Never mind that you keep churning out movies that no one wants to see anymore, couldn't you at least make your award show entertaining? We're sitting out here in the dark, waiting to be entertained, so please entertain us. And while you're at it, could you please start making movies that we actually want to see?

How many folks have seen "The Hurt Locker"? Well, I've seen it. Yes, I paid my money, and I have seen "The Hurt Locker". "The Hurt Locker" played to all the stereotypes. It's a piece of war propaganda, trying to sell the idea that American soldiers are in Iraq for good reason -- which they are not. Between "The Hurt Locker", "Avatar", "District 9" and "Inglorious Basterds", I am beginning to wonder if war and violence are drugs, and folks in Hollywood can't get enough of them, and they need a higher and higher fix until they are completely stupefied, as witnessed by last night's astonishingly boring Academy Awards show.

Phinnaeus and Mac phoned me after the show, and they both said, "Well that was the dullest thing I have ever seen." I agreed. And the movies aren't much better. Smarten up, Hollywood, or no one is going to pay attention anymore. I'm a movie buff; I love movies. Please make some movies I want to see.



JeannetteLS said...

I watched my DVD's of the third season of "The West Wing" instead... I'm with you, Jo!

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

I know! I tried to set up internet streaming as I don't get Sky channels, and I did watch some of the red carpet coverage, but I just couldn't bear the thought of sitting through hours of films I didn't care about. So I didn't.
You are so right about the drug fix of war and violence..
p.s. have you read anything by Elizabeth Gilbert?

Lindy said...

I enjoyed the Oscars if only to see all the fabulous dresses and hairdo's. I have to agree with you on the subject matter of many of the movies. There is enough struggle in life. Why watch war? Julie and Julia was a good movie. So was Up In the Air. Precious is probably good, but depressing. They made a lot of fun, escapist movies during the Great Depression, why not now?

Kimberly said...

Not one of mention of Twilight at last night's awards and such a fine piece of cinematic creativity. Can you believe that? I bet you noticed before I did.

I do say that Steve & Alec did a great job. The parody for Paranormal Activity from those two was the stuff.

Judi said...

LOL! I actually thought it was better this year; however, I find Steve Martin funny and I had seen most of the movies. Granted, I would have chosen different films and actors as the winners (and as many of the nominees). The real fun is over at the IFC Spirit Awards, which usually run the evening prior to the Oscars. Sorry you didn't enjoy it, too!

Linda said...

I watched a little of it, but when those dancers came on, and the stage was so dark, I just turned off the TV.

I agree, there are so few movies that are worth going to. I miss the great ones like Gone With The Wind, Ben Hur, The 10 Commandments, etc. All they show today is sex, nudity, drugs, infidelity, etc.

Katy said...

Yeah, we didn't watch it for very long, mainly because I was pretty sure that nothing I saw and liked would win the awards I felt they deserved.

I did see two awards given.. best orginal screenplay went to Hurt Locker.. that upset me. I felt Pete Doctor should have won for Up -and not just because I like Disney, but because it was a movie that was actually ORGINIAL.

Really I think the Academy jumped the shark years ago. It used to be about honoring movies that entertained people, now it seems like its just a way for the voting members to prove that they are all cooler than the rest of the world.

leilani said...

Jo they have become fat and lazy with money.. EVERYONE.. most of the people with money in America have NOOO clue what the average American wants! It will be their downfall one day.

Rebecca said...

Jo...I think there were a few moments of interest but truthfully~I haven't seen any of the films you mentioned.

At the risk of sounding like a prude (too bad if I do), I hate the language and hate the topics so I skip most movies and choose instead to spend my valuable time on the classics. I love BBC movies and the old glamor of vintage Hollywood.

I might also add...I was so hoping that Mo'nique would win (haven't seen the movie, Precious, only clips) but afterward I thought her speech sounded aggressive, angry and a bit indulgent. Did you see Mr. Samuel Jackson's said it all.

I'm not wasting any leisure time on it next year.


Elise said...

I must admit I can't stand these awards things. Maybe they need to change the format or just have them every four years like the football - then maybe they'd mean a bit more ? All that fussing and preening every year, with a whole season of awards, just leaves me cold !

PurestGreen said...

You tell 'em!

Russell said...

I turned it on just as Ben Stiller was walking out dressed as a blue person from Avatar. He was pretty good.

But after that I switched it off - so I only saw about 5 or 8 minutes of the entire show. Sounds like I did not miss too much.

I will say that it was nice that Kathryn Bigelow won for Best Director and Best Picture. That is pretty special.

Land of shimp said...

I haven't watched the ceremony in years, Jo and particularly didn't this year because of the nominated films, only one of which I saw. District 9, as it happens, and whereas it wasn't a bad film, nor was it pro war (it actually comes down on the other side of that) it really also wasn't worthy of a Best Picture nod.

I mean, unless it was a fairly dreadful year, that is.

I did read that Farrah Fawcett was excluded from the memorial reel, and I admit to being angry about that. I was never what you might call a Farrah fan, but she did some good...and in film. Specifically in The Apostle.

I love films, I sometimes even love bad films but The Oscars can be hit or miss for me. I like the Golden Globes, for instance.

The thing that drives me nuts about some of the past Oscar ceremonies have been that they have deadly dull musical numbers...and then try to make sure they don't run over on time by practically kicking winners directly in the backside to get them offstage.

Also I know Avatar made a ridiculous amount of money but...really? Best picture? For something that is allegedly at least a half hour too long, and strikes an overly preachy tone?

Avatar being nominated was the reason I opted out of watching this year.

Susan said...

I liked two things:
1. A woman finally won best director and for an indie film at that.

2. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. made me laugh out loud because it is all undoubtedly true.

It's a very inside party, Jo, and it's not about entertaining us. They want us to think it is so they can sell advertising time, but it's really just a closed club televising their annual dinner. Always has been.

DJan said...

I just couldn't understand why Invictus wasn't even nominated, it was just terrible that Up was and it wasn't even mentioned, except for Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. Clint Eastwood wasn't mentioned. It just blew me away that The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar. But I did watch for the fashion show.

dudette214 said...

Agreed! I haven't been to the movies in ages. Nothing looks good to me. Instead I'm at home watching stuff On Demand or Ally McBeal Season 1 and Grey's Anatomy Season 5.

Owen said...

Amen Jo, Amen... the movie industry could do so much to work for good in this world, but instead it seems they keep sinking lower and lower, trying to pull as many as possible down to the lowest possible denominator...

Brenda said...

I know just what you mean Jo. I love award shows and I love movies...just not the ones in the last few years. I hope everyone in Hollywood gets the message and starts moving in the right direction....soon.

Michelle said...

I totally agree with you - the Academy Awards were rather dull last night and ended so abruptly. The two goofs on stage (Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) did not help matters much either. I also agree that the movie makers have very little taste or class (culture) - I will not waste my money to watch war, hate, fighting so will never rent movies of that genre - our world is dark enough through the media. I will watch a BBC documentary or British-made movie any day - the calibre is so much better. Michelle

Wolynski said...

Now you see why i get so many foreign movies from Netflix with -gasp! - subtitles.

Really liked "District 9 " though.

Yes, this was dulldom.

The Hurt Locker was atrocious - awful film.

Mia said...

Great movies are being made all the time. They're just not shown at the megaplex in the shopping malls. They're in the old theatres without enough parking and the popcorn machines Harry Truman would recognise.

What I've always found funny about awards shows is how much time they spend on poorly written jokes and interpretive dance routines that have little if anything to do with the awards and then fret that their running over schedule.

When Chaplin got his lifetime achievement award in '72 he got a 5 minute standing ovation. Today they'd cut out his speech to save time for the semaphore rendition of the best picture nominations.

They could save a lot of time by not lining up actors on stage and one by one tell each other what superior human beings they are. Do they do that with any other category? You'll never see a bunch of set designers give speeches about how noble the nominated set designers are.

Alicia said...

I too felt it was so boring. I kept switching channels coming back only to hear who won, not even listening to the acceptance speech. It's too bad really.

Aidan said...

Interesting points. But one thing I feel I MUST criticize you for (ooooh I don't want to but...) is lumping Inglourious Basterds in there... that film is not in any way pro-war, or even pro violence. Nor is anti-violence I admit, but then again nor should it be. It is a story about violent people, it doesn't spoon feed morality about who is wrong and who is right in war, the Americans are portrayed as just as utterly savage as the Nazis and Tarantino has even said the point was to show there was "racism and craziness on both sides". It deserved more than the academy gave it.

Sorry for the rant, but I do feel people misjudge that film, and Tarantino's ouevre in general.

Other than that, totally agree with this post :)


Family Dog said...

How about___"Dogville" ___ It's is quite a movie.

Paula Slade said...

I heartily agree Jo!