Laurelin's Light

Random Thoughts from a Confessed Film Snob

06 March 2006

Impressions of the Oscars

I was fairly pleased with the overall results of this year's Academy Awards up until the last ten minutes of the program.

And then Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco won the Best Original Screenplay Award for "Crash." As a writer, that made me very unhappy. Haggis mentioned in his acceptance speech that art is not a mirror but a hammer which shapes the world and that mindset shows in his writing. Instead of holding a mirror to the reality of racism that lies within each one of us, "Crash" bangs the audience over the head with a racial guilt trip. Effective propaganda? Maybe. Great Writing? Hardly.

I was already perturbed that Haggis had won out over such worthy writers as Noah Baumbach and Stephen Gaghen, so you can imagine how upset I was when Jack Nicholson announced "Crash" as the Best Picture of the year. I didn't even think the film deserved a nomination, and for such a mediocre piece of cinema to actually win is an insult to the many great filmmakers who went home empty-handed this year. This year the Academy chose its "Best Picture" for political rather than artistic reasons, which is unfortunate but not unpredictable.

As for the rest of the awards, I correctly predicted that Hoffman, Witherspoon and "Wallace and Gromit" would win in their respective categories and I am pleased with that outcome. I'm hoping that as a result of the Oscar win, we will see Witherspoon in more films like "Walk the Line" and less films like "Sweet Home Alabama."

Although I have yet to see "Brokeback Mountain," I was very pleased that Ang Lee won in the Best Director Category since he is the best director out of the five men who were nominated.

I’m still baffled at how they were able to drop the number of song performances down from 5 to 3, as well as reduce the “Technical Awards” recap to about a minute and still clock in at three and a half hours! (I have a sneaking suspicion that the numerous montages might have had something to do with it.)


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