try not to rant… try note to rant….

Last night I went to Jenny’s Oscar Party. (hold it together Matt, don’t rant) The food was great! Jenny’s hamster devolved a taste for Andy’s blood. We had a great time laughing at the speeches.

speeches, speeches umm… ahhh…. Ah screw it, FLAME ON!…

There were so many things last night that were rant worthy. I don’t know where to start. I’ll keep it to four things that really stuck with me and spare you the rest of my venom. (I’ve got to be channeling Joel today!)

  1. Akiva Goldsman winning the best adapted screen play Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. To quote David Ives it’s “The triumph of the utterly mediocre.” I’m not even going to comment on the man, other than to say Batman and Robin… his record for writing crap stands for itself. However, One would think that an award for “Best Adapted Screenplay” would take into consideration how well the script adapted the source material. A Beautiful Mind is a good movie, but a white washed version of the book it is based on. The script left out some of the more offensive traits of John Nash that are detailed in the book (beyond the oft talked about Anti-Semitism, the book documents Nash’s infidelity [which kinda wrecks the love story angle], and possible homosexual tendencies [which also throws a wrench in the love story]). It’s sad that Hollywood needs to “smooth” out the rough edges of people because we, as a culture, can’t seem to accept fallible heroes (more on that thought in a future blog). If you consider the task of adapting an existing work into a new medium, In The Bedroom, Ghost World, and Fellowship of the Rings were all far more deserving.
  2. The tribute film for Sidney Poitier – I love Poitier’s work, To Sir With Love is a favorite movie of mine. He’s a fine actor, a class individual and deserves to be honored. But, the more that I think about the tribute film to Poitier, the more frustrated I get. It’s great to hear other actors and actresses talk about how he inspired them. But why no white actors or other minority actors? Poitier should be honored not only because of the color of his skin, but the quality of his talent and drive. And those are things that are inspiration to people of all creed and color. But this year’s ceremony seemed to be the Academy’s apology for years of minority exclusion in the awards. The issue of race dwarfed everything incluing the tribute, both obviously and subtly (did you notice that was the only film of the night where the interviews were conducted on a black background? Also, if Hollywood has gotten so progressive, why was Halle Berry the only actress interview for the film? If she wasn’t nominated I doubt she would have been included). I guess that just shows that for as far as we think we’ve come, we still have miles to go.
  3. That BS tribute to the movies they started the show with – Saluting the movies as a form of escapism and the great quote that “I’d rather see a mediocre movie than a good play” are wonderful examples of the overall dumbing down of our culture. Sometimes I wonder why I’m spending all my spare time working on a play when theatre is dying a sad, pathetic death here in the states. Must control fist of death… (this isn’t to say all movies need to be deep or that they are a less artistic medium than theatre. But do we really need to celebrate Ernest goes to Jail?)
  4. Last one, and it’s short: Britney Spears talking about Pretty Woman as a pinnacle of film and how her cintematic role model is a prositute says more about her than I can ever hope to. But everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Or maybe not… A favorite professor of mine in college once proclaimed that before you could have an opinion in his class you first had to prove that you were capable of forming an informed opinion. I at first I thought that was rather elitist… at first….

Ok, after all that ranting, I do have to admit that I won the “guess the Oscars” contest at Jenny’s party (this is the second year in a row for me). It only makes me feel more cynical that the way that the academy votes is so predictable. No wait, it makes me even more cynical that I can think just like they do. Sigh… next year I’m voting the way I think it should end up; that should guarantee that I’ll finish last.

As for the past weekend, I’m trying an experiment. Here are the two handwritten journal pages about it. Hopefully they’ll be legible. If not I’ll rekey ‘em. I’m just too lazy to do it now: