e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu

3/08/2010

Oscars

I enjoyed watching the Academy Awards last night and thought "Precious" and "The Hurt Locker" deserved the awards they took home. Some of the images in "Precious" certainly verge on racist caricature, but the story and the very real characters therein are honest and disturbing. I only wish the actress who played Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, could have taken the best actress award. She was riveting, moreso than Sandra Bullock, who seems like a perfectly nice person who chooses poor or mediocre films. Meanwhile, I'm a big "Hurt Locker" fan so I was glad to see the suspense and compelling characterizations result in a best picture win.

Random thoughts after watching the show. Does James Cameron really take himself that seriously? Dude, you directed "Terminator 2" and "True Lies." Get over yourself. Smile a little.

I could say the same thing about George Clooney, inserting a reference to his role in latter-day "Facts of Life." Why was he glaring at the camera all night? Was that an act? If so, I don't get the joke.

Oprah said some beautiful things about Sidibe, but it seemed a little patronizing that every other best actor/best actress nominee was introduced by a co-star, while the only young, African-American nominee gets the "Cinderella story" treatment.

Did they really introduce Sarah Jessica Parker by calling her a "clothes horse"? Maybe the meanest joke of the night.

Nice tribute to John Hughes. Jon Cryer, Matthew Broderick, and most of the cast of "The Breakfast Club" turned out for a loving homage. Roger Ebert called this one of the most memorable Oscar moments in recent history, and I tend to agree. Nothing wrong with saluting the person responsible for at least a half dozen films that meant a lot to people. Even in a room full of too much self-importance, evidence that distinctions between high and low art are completely meaningless.

1 comment:

Luisa said...

I too enjoyed the Oscars. Unlike you however, I did not root for Precious but my reasons are personal and not based on any political correctness, which seems to affect many of my academic colleagues.

I go to the movies to learn and to be entertained. So The Hurt Locker got my nod because I felt I was going with the young men on their tour to disarm bombs meant to hurt them and others. I learned how hard it can be to deal with such lethal weapons and still remain a human being. I did not root for Precious because I did not learn anything new and I did not need that particular lesson having come from situations all to similar to that of Precious. It was a painful movie and thus I had to avoid seeing much of it. I don't begrudge others learning of the plight of poor African Americans. I just did not need that particular lesson as it made me relive some pretty bad stuff. Also, I saw no patronizing in the treatment of the young actress. She is a Cinderella Story in the flesh. Cinderella is a story too many young girls get and strive to make real in their lives.