How Insular is Our World?

Commenter John writes:

You know, I thought it was a fantastic Oscar telecast. Great hosting, great presenters, everyone looked great (well almost). DESERVING winners. Interesting Lifetime Achievement winner. Nice musical performances. The show ended before midnight. Great montages/clips of the past 80 yrs. I could go on …….

THEN, you watch ‘The View’ this morning, and most of them are going on and on about how boring the whole thing was, and that they didn’t know any of the winners (who they were), and the audience all groaned in agreement.

It’s like: Well then go out and watch the nominated movies you fools, or stop complaining about who’s deservedly winning these awards!

History will look more kindly on these winners, though, than the years where the general crowdpleasers were honored. Having said that, I suspect the tide will soon turn with the Oscars leaning more towards the big studio movies and/or the awards-worthy crowdpleasers. The trouble is, the critics murder the Big Oscar Movies and thus, they haven’t a chance in the Oscar race these days and the awards appear to be going to the most worthy rather than the most popular.

On the other hand, for some 75 or 80 years prior, the Oscar winners were also films the public loved – even Chariots of Fire or Ordinary People or Kramer vs. Kramer. You name it, it was a shared experience, a harmonious marriage between “good enough” for the critics and GREAT for “the people.”

According to a friend, though, the big studios don’t much care for winning Oscars and that it’s the mini-studios who deal with that – thus, the movies have been smaller, more Indie Spirit than People’s Choice. The fallout from all of this remains to be seen, but we do know that the Oscar race continues to evolve as tastes evolve. Perhaps the ladies of The View and their ilk will make more of an effort to see the films that are creating all of the buzz. Then again, of the nominated five, only one was really a palatable film for the general public. It’s a conundrum.

19 Comments on this Post

  1. I think it’s also because the studios aren’t all that interested in making the quality crowdpleasers (Juno being an exception), since the proven success formula in the 00’s has been loud, complicated threequels. The first Spiderman was great populist entertainment, and maybe should have stood shot at awards, but the law of diminishing returns has made the rest of this decade’s big-budget offerings a mess. Maybe the Juno and Little Miss Sunshine successes will encourage some accessible but also quality work. After all, It Happened One Night is a light comedy, but also one of the biggest Oscar winners ever (and best movies to boot).

  2. Um, fuck The View. None of them knows anything about the Oscars, and they would think it’s boring because Brad Pitt or George Clooney didn’t win anything.

  3. Tulse Luper

    Well what do you expect from those airheads on The View? I love this idea that having surprise winners is more important than honoring the deserving films. Anyway I thought this year’s ceremony was a hell of a lot more entertainer than last year’s, which was about as exciting as watching paint dry. I mean they ended before midnight! That’s a milestone people.

    The thing is, Sasha, that you’re referring to the days of New Hollywood. Even Chariots of Fire was just at the end of it. People actually cared about making quality films that made you feel and think. Now Hollywood is run by corporations and it’s all about sequels and merchandise. I don’t even blame Spielberg or Lucas because at least they had original visions.

    I hope last night’s ceremony means that there’s more hope for aspiring filmmakers like me who don’t care about kissing the asses of the establishment. That’s why the Coen Brothers winning was my favorite moment.

  4. Ryan Adams

    How strangely insular is Babawa Wawa’s world that she thinks she’s scored a great “get” for America’s movielovers by delivering the cinematic artistry of Mylie Cyrus to our living rooms, on our big night.

    But we know it’s the ABC/Disney machine behind that choice, don’t we? And if all the Oscar power Disney can muster is 3 tacky Variety-show production numbers for Enchanted (during which most of the country takes a pee-break, and microwaves another platter of nachos), then maybe the Academy can maintain tenuous hold on the integrity it’s struggling to establish.

    Because remember a few months ago, there were those rumblings from some that this was Amy Adams’ year to slip into the “populist slot” — and we were almost ready to buy into that Disney propaganda bilge — until we saw the movie. (So, yeah, I’ll say it: thank god for Juno! — for kicking Giselle’s ass back to fantasyland.)

    Two years in row of near-perfect Oscars seems almost too good to be true, but personally I’m gonna hold out hope that we’re seeing the tastes of the Academy membership shift toward quality.

    “Make art! Make art!”

    Please don’t stop now, Hollywood. The Academy is becoming more sophisticated. Now it’s time for the rest of the country to catch up. But they can’t learn to appreciate what they never get to see.

    As for The View: ack! One of the most jarring jolts of the night was to be reminded in the Best Supporting Actress montage that Whoopie Goldberg has an Oscar! C’mon, Whoopie, you’re supposed to be the cool member of that henhouse. Speak up for integrity, grrrrrlfriend!

  5. Those people on the View are idiots…excepting Whoopi.
    Barbara Walters used to mean something, now she’s interviewing Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Williams on Oscar night?! Ellen Page was regretting that appearance!

    Also, maybe the producers ought to think about who they put on the show as presenters. They certainly dumbed it down with choices like Seth Rogen, and Jonah HIll. Get Smart at the Oscars? Who gives a damn. Jessica Alba? Even Katherine Heigl? It’s the Oscars people!

  6. i agree with everything about what you guys are saying about The View. They’re moronic and uneducated, so their opinion really doesn’t warrant merit. I do, however, friendly disagree with Ryan over Amy Adams. I thought she got snubbed this year, she was excellent.

  7. Well, I agree that the people on The View are idiotic–though I would give credit to Whoopi to probably knowing more than the other–but a lot of the film admired by those who post on AD and in the forums are barely seen by the general public.

    So we are in an insular world.

    I mean, does the general public care that Lust, Caution was ignored by the Oscars?

    There were passionate fans of Cotillard and Christie at AD but most people aren’t even going to rent La Vie en Rose and Away from Her at their local blockbuster.

    How can one get excited over the movie that won best foreign film when you can’t even see it your local theater?

    There’s so much attention paid to the Oscars in the media yet you have to agree a little with A.O. Scott’s article that the Oscars are kind of trivial in the scheme of things.

  8. Not the biggest fan of THE VIEW myself, but nobody should be surprised that this Oscars was the least watched ceremony ever.

    There was ONE surprise (Swinton). There was no “race” this year. This years Oscars was nothing but a coronation, and quite frankly boring.

    There will be a reckoning for this years Oscar flop. Buyers remorse is already setting in.

  9. isn’t oscar supposed to be awarded to the artistically worthy movies/actors? y suddden stress on popular and big budget movies and stars being nominated or awarded. a ‘new york times’ article today was also very strange. it said that oscars should nominate more known actors and commerically viable films if it wants to attract viewers and wants to remain culturally relevant. what the hell?

  10. I, too found the Oscar telecast fairly entertaining. Jon Stewart did better than he did last time.

    As for the opinions on The View, I don’t care. Many people in cyberspace commented that this was a lackluster telecast. That doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is this notion floating around that the Academy should nominate more “popular” movies just so more people watch the telecast. That is complete bullox. This ceremony is about honoring arguably the best work done in a given year, regardless of whether the winners appeal to the great unwashed.

    However, at the same time I think appeal and box office success should be two of many factors considered in determining the best work, especially Best Picture (See Titanic). If a movie is good but no one sees it, is it truly the “Best” picture?

    In the end, this is all subjective and open to debate. Roger Ebert called NCFOM a “perfect movie.” Some of my friends, i.e. people who pay money to see movies, said it was horse poo, mainly due to the ending. A commenter in another thread considered all five movies BAD. To each his or her own. Til the debate opens up again next year!

  11. You know what? The people on the View are fine. They’re not my cup of tea, but apparently millions of people like the show. No reason to be snobs about it.

    They are who they are. We are who we are. And because there are more of them than more of us, that’s why we’re looking at the worst-rated show ever.

    I’d rather we celebrate excellent movies that strive for excellence and end up with lower numbers than go the other way.

  12. Pierre de Plume

    Agreed, jms67. And I’m gonna add my own shoutout for Enchanted. It’s a genre film, for sure, that may not appeal to some. For what it is, though, it’s very well done, and it has a universal message and some excellent craft going for it.

    On AMC recently, Ordinary People and Raging Bull were shown back to back. It struck me that they’re sort of polar opposites. The former has relevant, deeply moving and humanistic themes, but the technical artistry wasn’t much to write home about. On the other hand, the excellence of Raging Bull has much to do with its style and craft while its themes seem less inspiring or hopeful. I don’t mean to bash either film, so I hope nobody gets mad at me.

  13. I don’t want to be bitter and hate on The View. But you can’t really give much credit to a group of people when they can’t even claim to unanimously believe the world is round.

    …just sayin’

  14. Hah!

    Honestly, I believe the the Academy should embrace the widening gap between blockbusters and art house fare. Instead of offending the diehard fans of the ceremony by devoting the entire pre-Oscar telecast to Miley Cyrus and inviting people like Jessica Alba and Katherine Heigl, I firmly believe they should concentrate on the films and spotlight people like Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and Paul Thomas Anderson and such. The best moment of the night came when Falling Slowly was performed and Marketa got to give her speech, so why not go for moments like that?

    Jeff Wells’s so-called “leave us aloners” aren’t going to see these films regardless of the awards attention or how many big names we get to hand them out, so stop trying to alienate the people that devote so much time to this.

    That said: this was one of my favorite ceremony’s ever (I’m a young’n, not much basis for comparison). The combo of the Coen brothers taking the stage for the third time and constant reaction cuts to Frances McDormand losing her mind in the audience was a perfect conclusion to a nearly perfect season.

  15. Don’t those chicks on “The View” have Krispy Kreme doughnuts they should be stuffing their faces with? When have they ever said anything relevant?

  16. Pierre de Plume

    jms67, you’re right about The View. Obviously, plenty of people like the show. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. And the ladies aren’t total goofballs, at least most of them.

    And Jamie, those are interesting thoughts. If the Oscarcast was a political campaign, the Academy might get accused of neglecting its base.

    Low ratings or not, winning a major Academy Award is known to boost a film’s grosses. Otherwise the studios wouldn’t spend money on campaigns. If it turns out down the road that winning an Oscar doesn’t make as much money for a film as in the past — that’s when things will start to change, one way or the other.

    It used to be that people placed more faith in their institutions and leaders. These days not as much. As with our political leaders, not as much trust is being invested in bodies like the Academy — or at least not as much interest in the process. There are too many other distractions keeping people occupied. That’s my take, anyway.

  17. Michael Vögtlin

    Watching the Oscars for 16 years now – I must admit, this year’s show was the ultimate bore! Way too many lukewarm oneliners, no rythm, no snap. If you try to go for subtle, be so kind and show some finesse. The montages had absolutely no drama, … and how about an entertaining host?! Especially one who knows to work WITH his/her voice and telling a joke – not belting out every of his lines.
    Some very emotional and actually comic acceptance speeches (The Swinton, Day-Lewis, Bardem).

    All in all, the show gave the impression: let’s hurry the winners of the stage, because they could start and go on blabbering. Instead of that, the telecast gave us: disappearing micros, swelling music of a mediocre supermarket quality, and no chance for any howlers :-( “Get into the light – get out of the light – next one please, H-U-R-R-Y!”

    And please, what’s with the war presenters? America should start noticing: we are not living in the 50s anymore, … and even then it would have been inapropriate. Don’t slaughter any ethic to get an emotional reaction from your audience – which in my case was dicomfort, if not disgust.

  18. I don’t know where to post this but I have to get these feelings out.

    I have read the Everything Oscar site for years but I am so SICK and TIRED of them rubbishing Cate Blanchett that I will NEVER ever go there again.

    This woman is brilliant and intelligent, down to earth and a damn great actress and a good mother to boot.

    What is wrong with those people???

    and by the way I am an Aussie and very proud of her.

  19. I think there’s nothing wrong with people, who say whatever they want. It’s just there way of communication, I think

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