February 26th, 2012

Anybody want to talk about…

…the Oscars?

Be my guest.

I watch them off and on, mostly for the fashions and hairdos.

And the politics. Love the politics.

And also, in order to have some posts in the category “pop culture.”

26 Responses to “Anybody want to talk about…”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    “Anybody want to talk about…

    …the Oscars?”

    No.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun: didn’t think so.

  3. reliapundit Says:

    NOT THE OSCARS, BUT THE WHOCARES.

  4. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Used to think the Oscars meant something, don’t
    anymore. Used to think the Golden Globes meant something, now know they mean less than nothing.

  5. E.M.H. Says:

    Why are folks so down on the Oscars? I’m watching it, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

    The politics have been pretty much absent, with only a couple of peeps (one about Pakistan, another about Ireland, neither about America), which is always a plus.

    Some years are up, some are down, but I’ve always gotten a kick out of the Academy Awards show.

  6. John Dough Says:

    Do they still broadcast the Oscars? They hold the same credibility with me that the Nobel Peace Prize does.

  7. Pat Says:

    Boring. Streep winning for a hit job on Margaret Thatcher did it for me.

  8. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Great acceptance speech by Christopher Plummer. It was full of grace and wit. He’s still sharp and didn’t miss a beat. At 82, that’s a worthy performance in itself. Have always enjoyed his work and he’s an inspiration to old geezers like me.
    Guess my age is showing.

  9. rickl Says:

    Didn’t watch. Haven’t seen any of the movies; never heard of many of the stars. Bunch of self-absorbed narcissists living in a bubble and congratulating each other for their brilliance.

    I did wonder what it might be like if other professions or trades held awards shows:

    “And the award for Best Coronary Bypass goes to Dr. Pradip Choudhury of the Mayo Clinic.”

    “And the award for Best Cabinetry goes to Ron’s Home Improvement of Easton, PA.”

  10. Parker Says:

    “And the award for Best Cabinetry goes to Ron’s Home Improvement of Easton, PA.”

    In a sane society the award for cabinetry would trump the oscars hands down. The award for “best coronary bypass” would make 9 out of 10 nobel prize winners cower in shame. Alas, we do not live in a sane society.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl and Parker: actually, a lot of other professions do hold award ceremonies. They’re just not on TV.

    Journalism and magazine and book publishing certainly do. Doctors can get awards, like this one, for example. Teachers certainly do, as do volunteers, as do social workers. Dancers have competitions with medals. Etc. Etc. Etc….

    The Oscars are on TV because movies are popular entertainment. Movie stars make a lot of money and are celebrities because movies (and DVDs) make a lot of money because people like them and will pay for them.

    I’m surprised at all this talk about a sane society. What about capitalism?

    I’m not a big fan of movies, but the ones I like, I like very, very much. I feel that in general my life has been enriched by them. And I get a kick out of watching the Oscars (a) to see how silly some people look and act; (b) to watch the montages of old movies and old movie stars; and (c) to see the sometimes touching moments (like Plummer’s speech, for example, as well as that of charming French actor Jean Dujardin).

  12. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    “Alas, we do not live in a sane society.”

    Humans have always been interested in other humans performing roles. Theater goes way back to early Greece and probably before. Sports are another form of performance. They get bigger and more popular every year. Lots of awards and congratulatory acts there as well. Films are lagging behind because, IMO, they are no longer telling stories that make sense to and inspire many. The real heroes of the films and TV are not so much the actors, but the technical people – makeup, photographers, stunt people, special effects, editing, music score, writiters, and so on. We seem to be most interested in the actors though. Probably because they are what we see and hear. All the other magic is unseen.

    I see maybe two pictures a year and even those are seldom worth the money. Good story telling is in demand – witness the number of books sold every year. The movie business seems to have lost its way in that regard. Too bad. At one time (WWII and for a time afterward) it was a medium that told good stories and helped unify the culture.

  13. Marine's Mom Says:

    Nope. 8-D

  14. rickl Says:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:57 am

    The real heroes of the films and TV are not so much the actors, but the technical people – makeup, photographers, stunt people, special effects, editing, music score, writiters, and so on.

    Excellent point. I loved Titanic. The ship was the real star of that film. The filmmakers knew that they had to get it perfect down to the tiniest detail, because otherwise legions of Titanic buffs would have ripped their throats out.

  15. SteveH Says:

    Let’s get down to brass tacks. The film industry sucks because their liberalism has morphed into an intolerant religion that they wear on their sleeve.

    And they can’t tell good stories or be creative in any meaningful sense because of this bizzare affliction they seem powerless to resist.

  16. Beverly Says:

    I’m glad the delightful Jean Dujardin won over the detestable George Clooney.

    I have to say, I thought “Midnight in Paris” was grossly overrated: thin, with the historic characters written much like a clever high-school senior might see them. And Woody Allen (er Owen Wilson in an embarrassing Woody imitation) as the “Mary Sue” of the 1920s Paris literary set.

    Yeesh.

    I do want to see “Hugo,” though.

  17. Beverly Says:

    I’m glad the delightful Jean Dujardin won over the detestable George Clooney.

    I have to say, I thought “Midnight in Paris” was grossly overrated: thin, with the historic characters written much like a clever high-school senior might see them. And Woody Allen (er, Owen Wilson in an embarrassing Woody imitation) as the “Mary Sue” of the 1920s Paris literary set.

    Yeesh.

    I do want to see “Hugo,” though.

  18. texexec Says:

    I haven’t been watching the Oscars in recent years but I did last night and I enjoyed them.

    Billy Crystal always does an excellent job as host. Not hilarious but funny without being too sarcastic or crude.

    Fashions this year seemed reasonable…not as wild as other years. My favorite was Gweneth Paltrow’s elegant, simple gown and coat (seen as she was interviewed on the “red carpet”). Meryl Streep’s gown was Gawd awful. What was she THINKING?

    As usual, most of the acceptance speeches were boring and almost embarrassing. My all time favorite was Joe Pesci’s “It was my privilege…thank you.” given a few years ago for best supporting actor.

    Movies? I liked “Midnight In Paris” but mostly for the scenery. Paris is the city I go to when I need a big city fix (my main house and my summer home are both in rural areas).

    I thought “Hugo”was OK. Really liked “War Horse”.

    When I tried the watch “The Artist” on my computer, I thought something was wrong with my computer’s sound card…guess I need to go back and watch it all the way through now.

    I liked “The Descendants”, but of course I had to separate the art from the politics of the artist.

  19. texexec Says:

    “…when I tried TO watch…”

  20. texexec Says:

    …and “Gwyneth Paltrow” also. I need an editor baaaaaad.

  21. M of Hollywood Says:

    Beverly: couldn’t agree more. The smartest people in the century were supposed to believe that buffoon was one of them? gimmeabreak. Also, if Paris is one color, to me it is blue-gray. For that cinematographer Paris is yellow. Where’d that come from. And we’re supposed to admire that guy and his relationship to that Bev Hills girl? I saw nothing to recommend that film. A concept film, like so many these days. Just a concept.

  22. Conrad Says:

    I watch mainly for the reasons described by Neo. I’m a fan of OLD Hollywood (TCM, anyone?), and the Oscars usually are an occasion to celebrate that history.

    Unfortunately, last night’s show just wasn’t very good. I could blame Billy Crystal and the writers for the fact that the comedy bits didn’t work, but I think the problem actually goes deeper. The main problem, IMO, is that the stars of today (along with the directors and executives, for that matter) simply don’t have the glamour or the grandeur needed for effective parody. When the two biggest “stars” in Hollywood are George Clooney and Brad Pitt, then clearly something has gone terribly wrong. Pitt in particular is a good actor, but you can’t even start to compare him to guys like James Cagney, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, or Humphrey Bogart in terms of projecting a personality. Ironically, Pitt’s wife comes a lot closer to the classic movie star ideal — but only in real life! Her movie performances are pretty forgettable (or at least have been for a long time).

    Another (related) phenomenon is that movie dramas now strive so much to portray “real life,” there isn’t much of an an opportunity for stars to BE movie stars on screen. It seems like most of today’s “stars” are competing to see who can give the most “restrained,” “understated,” and “nuanced” performance. That style of acting is fine as far as it goes, but don’t you kind of miss Bette Davis? (Actually, you don’t need to go back nearly that far: Jack Nicholson, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, and even Julia Roberts could be pull off being larger than life.

    All of that said, I thought last night’s winners actually did reflect a bit of longing for the old days. The Artist, most obviously (Best Picture, Director, and Actor). Meryl Streep, for what I take was a pretty uncompromising take on a great broad, Lady Thatcher. And Christopher Plummer, who started acting in the movies in the late 1950s.

    One could argue that the relative popularity of movies in the action (Transformers), fantasy (Harry Potter), and animated (Toy Story) genres means that the public wants more movies with larger-than-life story-telling and acting and fewer movies about George Clooney spending time in airports and hospitals.

  23. T Says:

    rickl @ 12:04 above,

    “Bunch of self-absorbed narcissists living in a bubble and congratulating each other for their brilliance.”

    C’mon rickl, this topic is about the Oscars, not about the White House!

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oscar who?

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    texexec: what was Streep thinking? “I better cover my arms,” and “maybe it’s a good idea to look like an Oscar statuette.” George Clooney’s girlfriend pulled off the latter stunt better, but then again she’s probably half Streep’s age and weighs about as much as the statuette.

    I agree that Streep looked matronly and dreadful, for no reason; she’s still is in pretty good shape. But then again she’s never been a good dresser.

  26. M of Hollywood Says:

    Definately an arm-covering dress.
    Streep’s never been a good sex object either IMHO. To me, she acts well in the very mental parts. if you read Sophie’s Choice and how he describes Sophie climbing the stairway in the first chapter, you never would cast Streep. Not sure she was the right choice for French Lt. Woman either for the same reason: sex sex sex. But the heady parts she plays well: Kramer v Kramer, Devil Wears Prada, etc. Maybe it’s just me. I’m sure she was good in Iron Lady, but not sure I wish to see it. She seems very comfortable in her skin and it seemed the other night she even could appreciate Huckabee, which seemed to surprise her. I think she’s sexier now than she was when she was in the sexy age.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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