I am not anti-movies.? I love many of the old ones.? Bogart is my favorite actor.? I even love some movies made after 1968, like Bladerunner, Lion in Winter and The Man Who Would Be King.? Movies like Silverado, Enchanted April and Free Range are great watches for the sheer fun of them.? I’m also a big Batman fan and have enjoyed that series of movies.? So why am I anti-Academy Awards?? Let me count the ways (or reasons).
Movies are just not as good.? I’m not talking about production values, sound and lighting, special effects or even talent of acting. I’m talking about the plot, choice of subject matter and that je ne sais quoi attribute, quality.? While Lincoln was well acted and worth watching (considering the competition, I think it should sweep all the awards), a piece of tripe entitled Django Unchained is in the running!? That the latter movie is even nominated for anything other than “the most nauseating work of the year” tells me much about Hollywood and the whole nominating process.? It is not that we do not have acting talents anymore (although I do feel they are getting older and fewer each year), but the subject matter and the scripts are sinking to the lowest level.? What used to be X-rated is now the new R.? Like The Sessions, with full frontal nudity.? And that’s the way it’s going to be. But I don’t have to like it, nor do I have to celebrate it with a party.
Then there are the actors, both male and female (I guess actress is becoming a sexist term).? Sometimes they seem to be more into politics than into acting.? Why does acting make you an expert in that field?? No matter what your political persuasion, I think you will agree that being on the silver screen does not make you politically wise or insightful.? Bogart never did interviews about his politics, nor did Hepburn, Bacall or Cagney.? I listen to men and women who have spent their lifetimes studying? the world and its many problems far more than someone whose life is playing a role.? And we fall down and fawn all over them.? Just my uptake.
Then they come prancing along the red carpet on Awards night.? The women seem to try to wear what will reveal as much as possible or look as strange as possible.? The men look like they are fighting the formal dress code.? What happened to class?? Yes, I know many of the old actors had less-than-admirable lives.? Yet they kept up the facade.? Why is that better?? The facade implies that there is an ideal, that the gutter is not the place to be.? Now the gutter is the ideal.
I do not condemn those who enjoy the Academy Awards, who have a party with food and fancy dress.? My wife Kelly is one.? She does not condone what has happened to the movie industry.? She, like many others, remember those “thrilling days of yesteryear” when there was glamor in Hollywood, when stars at least tried to seem memorable for something other than decadence.? It is a love of tradition rather than what is happening now.
Until something changes, however, I will stick to an anti-Academy Awards party.