As I've said before, the hammering that Kathryn
Bigelow has been getting for "Zero Dark Thirty" might have as much to do with male chauvinism as with political correctness.
True, the Academy gave her an Oscar in 2009 for "The Hurt Locker,"
moved no doubt by its gut-wrenching depiction of macho men doing heroic deeds
to save people.
What with all the turmoil worth looking into in the world today, the Senate Intelligence Committee decided that they had better things to do than probe into the collusion between the CIA and the makers of "Zero Dark Thirty." They announced the end of the investigation on Monday. Say, wasn't that the day after the Academy Awards, in which "ZDT" ended up only getting a measly tie with "Skyfall" for Best Sound Editing after months of bogus persecution from politicos and pinheaded pundits? So I guess it was mission accompished for this crack group of legislators.
Some experiences need to be shared to be endured. The
Academy Awards is one of them. Every year the Brattle Theatre complies by
throwing a pre-program bash. Okay, it's $75, but it goes to a good cause, the
Brattle Foundation, and it gives you a chance to put a buzz
on before Oscar-show host Seth MacFarlane starts reprising his Family Guy voices and so that even if Les Misérables wins Best Picture, you'll
be having such a good time you won't care.
I'll comment on my dismal Oscar nominee predictions on another occasion, and also on the dismal nominations themselves (snubs for Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, P.T. Anderson, John Hawkes, and what's with all this hoopla for "Beasts of the Southern Wild?" (I have a theory)). For now, though, since I am in Palm Springs on a jury that will be choosing the best of the three dozen or so films nominated by the countries for Best Foreign Language Oscar, I'll limit my comments to suggesting five alternatives to the actual nominees.
Once again, the Chlotrudis Society's annual awards ceremony at the Brattle Theatre on Sunday made up for the numbing, disappointing spectacle of the Oscars, though there might have been a few too many (four)Trudies going to "Winter's Bone" for my taste. But any bunch with the astuteness to honor "Dogtooth," "Marwencol," "Animal Kingdom," and "Mother" in the same evening is okay in my book.
With any luck, five of the acting Oscar nominations will go
to actors playing characters with Boston accents. Maybe they should have a
separate category for this, because the roles are becoming almost a cinema stereotype.
Here are seven criteria for an Oscar-worthy Boston accented performance:
1. Borderline psychotic
according to a recent "Newsweek" cover story,
has turned inward.The article points to Americans' disinterest in foreign
policy (only 3% in a poll think Afghanistan might be worth worrying about) to make its argument, but had
the story come out after the election, it might also have noted the voter
apathy, Tea Partiers notwithstanding, that resulted in 45 million fewer ballots
being cast in the 2010 Congressional races than in 2008.