The allure of the Academy Awards ceremony (and the premise of the awards putts me off) escapes me. Having watched a fair number of these ceremonies dating back to a time when there were actually legitimate stars of the silver screen (Cary Grant or Ingrid Bergman anyone?)I have long since given up surrendering a Sunday evening to what has become a trite annual event.
This year the Oscars outdid themselves on the mediocrity scale (no small accomplishment) though none of the show’s failures have anything to do with the array of fine films in contention for various honors. Additionally, there are now a gaggle of award shows leading up to the penultimate film academy accolades which pretty much chew up and regurgitate the same material and banalities and red carpet piffle.
Just about the only saving grace notes accompanying the awards season are some smart commentaries by the likes of film historians like David Thomson
wherein he concludes his discussion of the Best Picture contest with this gem:
Little distresses the rest of the world more about Americans than their hysterical triumph and self-congratulation in success. It’s a dismay creeping into more and more smart Americans, too. That is why The King’s Speech will win Best Picture. Is it a good film? It doesn’t matter.
Of course the post show conversations include weighing in on various elements of the show such as the performance of the host(s). In this year’s edition the Academy’s producers offered author James Franco (Palo Alto: Stories) and anorexic android Ann Hathaway who’s grating faux laugh at the decidedly unfunny James Franco in Marilyn drag bit pretty much epitomized her tinny brittleness.
In fact, lets forget about the Oscars and watch Franco’s cameo in his writing mentor Gary Steyngart’s book trailer. Here’s three minutes of entertainment that delivers more of everything than the three hours of the Oscar Show.
And, as long as I am at it, Alan Arkin, no stranger to the writer’s craft has written a memoir The Improvised Life (Da Capo) newly published. The accompanying book trailer is a comedic gem.
Did I mention that the latest Academy Awards show was forgettable? And hopefully Ann Hathaway won’t be writing a memoir anytime soon.