Film: Post-Oscar judging
March 2nd, 2012
Omaha, NE – Was this yearâ€™s Oscar ceremony one for the ages or one weâ€™ll struggle to remember? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at this yearâ€™s notes from 84th Annual Academy Awards.
Ryan: I know we have stunningly different views on the value of the Academy Awards.
Matt: Yes. You think that it has some.
Ryan: As much as you may dismiss the whole thing as back-patting pageantry, the ceremony does get people talking about what makes a movie exemplary, and I think thatâ€™s a good thing.
Matt: I think itâ€™s a good thing to actually award exemplary movies at a movie award ceremony, but thatâ€™s just crazy talk.
Ryan: While I detest the fact that the demographics of the voters is staggeringly non-diverse, as itâ€™s hugely skewed towards old white men, I enjoy arguing about what should and shouldnâ€™t have won, so letâ€™s do that.
Matt: Well, you have to start with the fact that Omaha got name-dropped during the awards, as our native son Alexander Payne scored his second trophy, this time for writing The Descendants. That was a good thing, as was the win for the animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, as I believe I predicted that during this very segment a few weeks ago.
Ryan: And weâ€™re all so proud of your ability to be short-sighted. It was nice to see Meryl Streep win again, as her continued nominations without actually winning was getting depressing. And as far as The Artist winning for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actor, I was largely unmoved. For me, itâ€™s somewhat better than last yearâ€™s win by The Kingâ€™s Speech, but somewhere below the classic films that the Academy has honored.
Matt: And as for the ceremony itself, Billy Crystal was hilarious if you like your comedy stale and repetitive. There were too many montages, and they didnâ€™t even let the best song nominees sing, and there were only two of them. And one of them was by the Muppets! Travesty, muppet denial be thy name!
Ryan: Moving forward, if the ceremony wants to stay relevant, it will use the expanded nominations for Best Picture to honor movies that are commercial successes or at least more compelling. It could also stand to add a new category or two, like some involving comedy for instance.
Matt: I agree. This yearâ€™s ceremony was no different than all the others to me, bland and mostly irrelevant.
Ryan: And for me it was yet another opportunity to celebrate a passion for movies, even if they didnâ€™t exactly rivet me with their choices or even award the yearâ€™s best movie, which was Tree of Life.
Matt: You mean Drive.
Ryan: I mean Tree of Life.
Matt: I think you keep pronouncing Drive wrong, because it sounds like Tree of Life when you say it.
Ryan: See, the Oscars get us arguing about movies, and thatâ€™s always a good thing.
Editorial note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at thereader.com.