For the past 15 years, like many in Time Zones ahead of LA, I woke up around 6 in the morning to watch the Oscars, no matter when went to sleep last night. This was the first year, I chose to sleep and woke up to watch Sean Penn give one of his intermittent sermons, which I believe intimidate the normally out-of-touch hollywood types. I chose to ignore the Oscars as there was no quality in it. There was no quality of "no Country for Old men" or "There will be blood" last year.
1. Few of the performances and films will be remembered few years from now. "Slumdog Millionaire" will be remembered more for establishing Danny Boyle in Hollywood than anything else. Movies on the poor have long been made in India. Damn it, we especiallize in poverty out here. In fact, in fact I liked Danny Boyle's previous gems, the under-appreciated but illuminating "Sunshine", "millions" , also a fantasy involving kids, "28 days later", which rebooted the Zombie flick genre, "the Beach" an update of Heartof Darkness and of course "Trainspotting."
2. Sean Penn yet again gets an award for basically playing himself. I have never seen the guy ever cheerful in any movie. Even Marlon Brando used to have a good time now and then. Did the Academy members punish Mickey Rourke just because they heard he was going into professional wrestling? It is a shame if that is the case. Last year (or, was it before that?) they punished Eddie Murphy for having done "Norbit" and denied him an Oscar for "Dreamgirls".
3. Isn't it time the Academy members looked at themes other than gay issues and the Holocaust? It is so cliched.
4. Slumdog Millionaire is a nice film but it won mainly because the films it stood against were films that few people saw and liked. What would its chances would have been if:
A: The Dark Knight, an equally well-crafted populist fantasy film got more nominations?
B. If the characters in "Slumdog Millionaire" spoke in Hindi? The "City of God", on which the Slumdog is obviously modeled was in Brazilian and it only got a Best Foreign film nomination. The producers did well to copy "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon" and got everyone to talk in English, just so to have a go at all the major prizes the West can offer.
5. Isn't it time the Acedemy stopped giving awards to people to make up for lost chances earlier? Kate Winslet never looked so boring and pretentious than in "The Reader" and "Revolution Road". Expect to see the so-called Oscar curse take its effect on Kate, a fine actress, who will be deluded into taking more pretentious fare. This was repeat of Scorcese winning for "The Departed", easliy one of his worse films - "Good Fellas", "Taxi Driver" and 'Casino" were his best Oscar bets. Watch "Internal Affiars", on which 'The Departed" was made and you will know what I mean.
6. And what's up with Hugh Jackman? Why no Chris Rock or any other comedian?As the Joker might have said, "Why so serious?"