It's Oscar time this weekend, and once again my good friend Rob has somehow avoided being nominated again for the 46th year in a row. He keeps running afoul of those pesky AMPAS requirements that stipulate that a nominee must act, direct, produce, write, do sound, costumes, or design a film production. Rob unfortunately did not get a chance to do any of that this past year. So we send our personal consolations to him with the reminder that Spielberg may win a statuette, but he certainly won't win anything in the cactus and succulent division at the Philadelphia Flower Show! In that division, Rob will probably clean up!
Anyway, I do have some thoughts on this year’s best picture nominees. I have not seen any of these films for one reason or another, but I feel I can furnish a knee-jerk reaction to these films and their attendant award hype. Besides, if I had seen them I would be obligated to critique the films on such boring things as artistic merit and so forth. Who wants to read something like that?The first best picture nominee: "Brokeback Mountain"
Many people are under the assumption that, if this wins best picture, a huge earthquake will swallow whole the Sodom and Gomorrah known as Hollywood, their children will be made sterile, and their wives will turn into pillars of salt. Many people are narrow-minded morons. Still, we should note that the title itself does not really describe the storyline, but rather a soaring, majestic location far above the everyday prejudices and foibles of society. Or it could also suggest that the filmmakers settled on this title once they found out "Bronco Billy's Hot Monkey Love" had already been taken.
All kidding aside, we should remind ourselves that this film is a love story, no more, no less. It's a major chick film! What's the big deal?The next nominee: "Capote"
I know Capote for three things: "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "In Cold Blood," and as a guest shot on the Sonny and Cher show in 1974. My, how the mighty had fallen! This film details his relationship with one of the killers he profiled in "In Cold Blood". This will probably be recognized as a tour de force for its lead actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman.The next nominee: “Crash”
Okay, so now we’ve reduced the American melting pot experience down to a sound effect. Allow me to add, “Boom, bam, tinkle, biff, and pow.”The next nominee: "Good Night and Good Luck"
It is so nice to see a hard-driven, chain-smoking crusading journalist like Edward R Murrow take time out from exposing conservatives (who are themselves exposing Communists without due process) to wish us a restful night and a wonderful time tomorrow. Thanks, Mr. Murrow, wherever you are! The final nominee: "Munich"
Another dramatic chapter in the story about anti-Semitism in our lifetime. This one uses a massacre at the 1972 Olympics in Germany as its launching point. As a third generation German-American, I should probably say: "All right! Enough already! We get it! We were bad people! We elected a raging hate monger nutjob as our leader in 1933, but it's over! Germany didn't create hatred, and it didn't magically go away when the Third Reich self-destructed. Let Germany alone! Heck, we've got so many Nazis, neo- Nazis and bigots on our own American soil that we make Hitler’s Luftwaffe and Gestapo look like the Keystone Kops! Come on, Mr. Spielberg, focus your cameras on our own American-bred hatred for a change!"