Okay, so I'm gonna preface this bad boy with a bit of a warning--this post is going to be somewhat insane, and, ultimately, pretty useless. But, I need to write about something for today, and maybe this post will make someone chuckle. In any case, here's another warning about today's insane rant:
I don't like the Oscars; I never did, and I never will. You see, I view the Oscars as nothing more than a room full of crazy rich people congratulating themselves for playing dress up. Cynical? Sure. True? You can't deny it.
That said, I tried to watch the Oscars last night. I really did. But, alas, I only made it to about three minutes into Wolverine's song and dance number. And, yes, fine, I understand that Hugh Jackman is an entertaining performer and that his opening act was good and funny and whatever, but...it's Wolverine.
And singing, while dancing.
So, beyond early channel flipping, I didn't watch last night's ceremony, and while this would normally preclude me from writing about something...well, this time it won't.
And here's why.
The Dark Knight made a billion dollars. In a recession. In the recession to end all recessions. Which means, ostensibly, that there were more than a few people who chose going to see Batman vs. the Joker over buying groceries.
And it wasn't up for Best Picture. Why? Because it was a comic book movie? Because Titanic made similar money and it got a Best Picture award back in 1997? Because too many things blew up during its running-time? Because Christian Bale sounded like he was constipated the whole movie?
Well, perhaps any or all of those reasons played into the flick not being nominated for a major award, other than Heath Ledger's Supporting Actor nod and win (and I'll get to that in a minute). Now, like I said, I think the Oscars are stupid, mostly because they are voted on in a very subjective way.
And, believe me, I get that film is art, and that the performances themselves are art, but my problems with Oscar are the same as my problems with the comics' industry "Oscars," namely the Eisner Awards.
I mean, who can say that one piece of art is "better" than another? Does that just mean a voter liked one film over another, or a particular comic art style over another? Face it, there's just no scientific formula, no college basketball bracket system, nothing beyond someone's (subjective) opinion.
And that doesn't sit well with me.
But I guess that's a whole 'nother argument. So, lemme stick to my Dark Knight rant. Clearly, I don't have the answer for why this movie wasn't up for Best Picture, but I will say that it was a good movie, and clearly one of the most important, and most-watched, movies of 2008. Heck, even its DVD sales are record-setting!
And, for those reasons alone, I think it should have been up for an award. If it doesn't win, fine, at least it was recognized as a crowning achievement in adapting a comic to the screen.
Anyway, rant over, but before I wrap things up, I wanted to say something about Heath Ledger's win last night. I'm stealing this thought from a Kevin Smith podcast, but I think it really puts Ledger's performance in perspective.
Ledger took a character who had already appeared, quite memorably, in a previous movie and made you completely forget about Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the character in 1989's Batman. Now, taking anything away from Nicholson is pretty much impossible...taking the Joker away...well, that's just incredible. So kudos to The Academy for recognizing that.
Oh, and Spicoli won another Oscar. So that's something.