Dirty Laundry

The Oscars (aka The Academy Awards)

Okay, so, apparently it’s Oscar season. Go figure. I’ve been so swept up in all the Olympic excitement that the fact that the nominations for the Oscars were announced (a few weeks ago) totally slipped by me.

All right, maybe not TOTALLY. I did glance at them when they were first announced but haven’t paid much attention since then. I don’t know if it’s because I simply don’t care that much for the films this year or if it’s because I’ve been so completely consumed by Olympic Fever that there’s no room left in my fevered brain for much of anything else.

Don’t get me wrong. I do still love movies. And I’ve seen quite a few of the nominated films this year. It used to be that I’d see ALL of the nominated movies before the big show so that I could be thoroughly outraged when my particular favorite film was overlooked. But those days are long gone. Which is why it’s a good thing I’m not a member of the Academy. And while I do get to vote in the WGA awards (that’s the Writer’s Guild awards), I don’t do it anymore unless I’ve seen all of what are considered the best films of the year. It doesn’t seem fair to me that I should have a vote when I am not thoroughly versed in all the well written (or poorly written) movies that have come out over the previous years.

To be honest, I doubt that anyone sees ALL the movies that were released (at least seeing all the nominated films is doable, but ALL of the movies released? Forget it). Because there are hundreds of them every year. We are sent a booklet that lists the titles of all the ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY films and all of the BASED ON PREVIOUS MATERIAL films. And I’m here to tell you that a huge hunk of them are headscratchers. It’s like, “what the hell was THAT movie? Never heard of it.” Or, “Really, there was a movie called “I Sell The Dead?” And another one entitled, “Donkey Punch?” (Yes, this was really a movie released last year and please do not look up the definition of Donkey Punch on Urban Dictionary. I just did… and gasped in horror!)

So, seriously, should we be allowed to nominate anything until we’ve seen EVERYTHING? I don’t know. What if we’re overlooking a gem like “My Bloody Valentine 3D” or “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.” (All right, I’m going to officially call for the ban of movie titles that use a colon. Or movies that involve the colon…. ‘nuff said!)

Yes, yes, I know. The critics are there to weed out the stinkers from the really good films. But still, I think it’s unfair for any film to be nominated to anything unless every single film has been viewed. They should invite every Academy member to a month-long retreat where they are forced to sit in a theater and watch every film - from “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” to “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” - and only then can they cast a vote as to what is truly the best of everything.

Of course, this will never happen. And so, what we have with The Academy Awards is more of a “This Is Kind Of The Best Movies Of The Year, Sort Of, I Guess, At Least Of The Ones That We’ve Seen.”

With that in mind, I offer you “Don’s Academy Awards” aka “The Best Of What I Had A Chance To See.”

Best Film: “Adventureland” (Yeah, “Avatar” was pretty to look at and “The Hurt Locker” was intense, but I really enjoyed “Adventureland” because it wasn’t trying too hard and because these are my damn awards, so tough!)

No, wait. I changed my mind.

Best Film: “The Hangover” (because I haven’t laughed that hard since… well, a long time ago. And comedies don’t get enough awards love. So, here I am, lovin’ up some “Hangover”).

Best Original Screenplay: “The Hangover” (see above), also “Adventurland” (because, hell, these are my awards, I can give out two if I want).

Best Adapted Screenplay: “District 9” (mostly because I can’t bring myself to look up all of the adapted screenplays written this year. I’m terrible, I know. And lazy, yes. Sorry.)

Best Actress: Kristen Stewart in “Adventureland” (Forget “Twilight,” well you can’t really “forget” it can you, but Kristen Stewart is awesome in this film. Rent it. View it. Know it).

Best Actor: Jackie Earle Haley (as Rorshach) in “The Watchmen” (I think I liked this movie more than most people - except the ending, which was just plain silly. But the best part of the movie was Jackie Earle Haley. I also have to give a shout out to Colin Firth who was excellent in “A Single Man” and to Jeremy Renner who was great in “The Hurt Locker” but again, my awards, so…)

Best Director: Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds” (mostly because I’m glad he’s back from hiatus, and by hiatus I mean films like “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill 1 & 2” and “Deathproof”)

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” (because, again, I’m too lazy to sort through all the supporting performance AND he was damn good!)

Best Supporting Actress: Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air” (see above, but also, she was probably the best part of the movie as Clooney’s semi-age-appropriate love interest/fling)

As far as the other awards go (animation, score, set design, documentary)... I’m just going to give one to all of them. Because, why not. These virtual awards come cheap.

All right, enough of this movie stuff. Back to the Olympics!!!

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