Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Back-slapping Festival of Self-love

The thing about getting an issue of Entertainment Weekly a month late, is that it shows how pop culture has the life span of a gnat. Why, way back in December, the big news was Rosie O’Donnell feuding with the Chinese, when we all know she has since moved on to Donald Trump and American Idol.

Which puts today’s announcement of Oscar nominees into perspective. Can anyone remember last year’s winner for say, Best Original Screenplay, other than the winner and his mother?
I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to paying an inordinate amount of attention to Hollywood’s annual back-slapping festival of self love. When you think about it, what are the Academy Awards besides the most glittering Employee of the Year ceremony ever.

But apart from giving those of us who are obsessed with pretty, shiny dresses a reason to live, the Oscars provide a fair number of families with a safe topic of conversation, unlike say, the war in Iraq or Hillary for President. So let me get the ball rolling. Do I have an opinion on the nominees? You betchya.

Best Picture: I can safely say that the two films I’ve actually seen in this category, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Queen” will NOT win. One is too funny—and popular, and unlike high school, popularity does not count with the Academy—and the other is there just to stick it to “Dreamgirls.”

Best Actor: Please, please, please do NOT give this to Peter O’Toole just because he’s old. I bet only 12 people of the alleged billions who supposedly watch the Oscar telecast will have actually seen O’Toole’s performance, so who am I to say he doesn’t deserve it. But if he doesn’t, he’s already got one statuette for lifetime achievement. He doesn’t need another.

Best Actress: I appreciate that Meryl Streep is the greatest living American actress. But I’ve seen “The Devil Wears Prada” and I consider this role supporting at best. Helen Mirren, who was amazing in “The Queen,” should and will win. Here’s what I love about Mirren—she’s 60 years old and still has her original face, which has to be a singular achievement in Hollywood.

As for the rest, filler between those hideously entertaining Best Song performances. Feb. 25, mark your calendars. And if, on Feb. 27, you're still complaining that Jackie Earle Hailey got robbed, you need to get a life.

Update: It seems I spoke too soon in discounting the level of attention we would receive from Rep. Rahm Emmanuel’s office regarding our woeful mail service. Apparently congressmen have staffs who deal with these sorts of matters and Rahm’s peeps are working up an official complaint on our behalf. Now that’s government for the people.


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