It’s Christmastime in the film industry – that fleeting moment spread over several tedious months when groups of card-carrying academy, union and guild members set aside their petty jealousies and secret hatreds to give each other a collective pat on the back for a mediocre job indifferently done. Yes, it’s awards season, represented most readily by the Oscars.
Today the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominations of the films deemed most broadly appealing, least debated in terms of overall merit, and best indicative of a style and substance that hits a comfortable level of acceptable quality without being too innovative or intellectually challenging. The same people who brought you best-picture wins forDriving Miss Daisy, the audacious epic that dared show a black person and a white person actually being friends, Chicago, the murder-positive song-and-dance spectacle that provided the multi-untalented Richard Gere an opportunity to both sing poorly and dance ever more poorly, and A Beautiful Mind, which proved once and for all that insipid disease-of-the-week TV movies can no longer be claimed as sole property of the three-and-a-half major television networks, once again take it upon themselves to enlighten us simpletons as to which Hollywood movies were the good ones this year.
No one looks forward to this more than I do, because for me it can only mean one thing. Well, two actually. First, it means the garish train wreck that is the Oscar ceremonies is only a month away from horrifying and delighting me in ways that make me both fiercely proud and deathly embarrassed to be a film buff. I shudder with an almost orgasmic fervor, imagining what surreal nightmare of bad taste may be in store for me, disguised as a celebration of the cinematic crafts. Will it be able to equal my stunned amazement at the Lord of the Dance tribute to the art of film editing? Will it make me twitch and giggle as hard as when Rob Lowe and Snow White sang a firebrand duet of Proud Mary? Or will it make my vomit as copiously as when Whoopie Goldberg, in the single greatest moment of self-congratulatory bullshit in the middle of the ceremony that epitomizes self-congratulatory bullshit, couldn’t contain herself any longer and told the assembled audience of overpaid overhyped celebrities, “We’re so great”?
The second thing it means for me is free movies. As a member of Canada’s own Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, I get to spend the next few weeks hopping from theatre to theatre, explaining to every dim bulb ticket machine jockey that yes indeed, my academy card entitles me to see all the Oscar-nominated movies for no cash down. Finally, I can sit through all those reputedly good movies I couldn’t be the least bit bothered to turn out for in the months leading up to this moment. Great movies, instant classics, modern masterpieces. Like the one…you know the one. It stars that guy, who was in the thing. And he, like, struggles against adversity and stuff. And guess what? He like, totally triumphs in the end. You know the one I’m talking about.
I can’t wait.
While you’re nosing around the site, check out the latest Longshot Comics Movie that adapts another one of 2003’s Hollywood releases. Suspiciously, this one didn’t get the Oscar nod. I can’t imagine why not. Oh wait, yes I can. Because it really really sucks.
Future updates of Movies in Longshot will be coming at the rate of one per week, so check in regularly.