Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar Dribs & Drabs

Well, last night was the 78th Annual Oscar ceremony... Hollywood's biggest party. You'd think a pastor of a smaller church in the rural outskirts of Fresno, CA, wouldn't have much to say about such a "Left Coast" kind of event.

But you'd be wrong. :-)
  • Initial reports put viewership down by 10%... which is hardly surprising, considering that the majority of the nominated films didn't connect with the public at large. I'm not saying that these films didn't earn money or recognition, just that they didn't capture a wide swath of viewer loyalty & interest.
  • Jon Stewart is very funny on The Daily Show. He was not particularly funny last night. I particularly didn't like the "Jimmy Kimmel Live"-ish bits (the campaign commercials, the gay cowboy montage) which fit nicely on a late night talk show but seem woefully out of place in an evening set aside to honor excellence in filmmaking. (It's one of the major problems of cyncism & irony - when our humor is based entirely on shredding things, what do you do when you want to give something honor? You're forced to undercut your admiration & praise with a sly wink... sigh.)
  • I will give Jon Stewart credit for the best line of the night, however - following a montage of "message" films, he commented: "And none of those issues were ever a problem again." (Smirk) A well-placed pin jab in the self-inflated importance of the Hollywood elite.
  • Look, I don't hate Hollywood. I love movies. I think they are the "sitting around the fire storyteller" of our media-heavy generation. But it's important to remember that media doesn't lead cultural change as much as it reflects it.
  • Rachel Murray (aka Rachel Jones) beat me by ONE STINKIN' POINT in my annual Oscar Pool. (For those of you who are mid-gasp that I'm running a mini-gambling ring out of the church office, please note that there is no financial reward here. All you get is bragging rights for next year.) Congrats, Rachel.
  • Movie I need to see: Crash (and not just because it won Best Picture... the whole issue of racism in America is important stuff for those of us who claim to follow Jesus)
  • Nominated Movies I'd Actually Seen Before the Awards: Pride & Prejudice (which should have garnered some awards - what a delightful film), Batman Begins, Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars Episode III, King Kong, and Wallace & Gromit. Yep, 6 films.
  • Last but not least... Ben Stiller is the King of Uncomfortable Comedy. (See the picture above.)

1 comment:

Joe Huber said...

Mark, if it makes you feel better, I've only seen two - Wallace & Gromit and Cinderella Man. And I only saw the second of those because I'm on planes frequently...