Oscar Sends A Message
And the message is ‘When times are bad, run a warm bath and fall asleep in it.’
It’s a message they regularly send out, but it was particularly pointed last night. How else to explain the flatly directed ‘The King’s Speech’ winning Best Director? The Oscars are never a very interesting or accurate barometer of the endurance of classic films – you only have to look at their overlooked list to see that. So ‘True Grit’ followed ‘The Color Purple’ route of being most-nom’d and least awarded film.
But the real upsets were the failure of Bafta winner ‘The Social Network’ to make a dent, and the ignoring of ‘Winter’s Bone’. ‘The Social Network’ commits three sins – it has low female appeal, is about young people and it makes the script king. It was also described on Sky last night by a punchable haircut in a shiny suit as ‘a film about people sitting in rooms talking’. Oh. Yeah. Those would have been the words, then.
Colin Firth is obviously a lovely, nice man who makes good choices. But ‘The King’s Speech’ is a nice film, and I mean that in the very worst possible way. Nice as in royal wedding nice, Forrest Gump nice, Downton Abbey nice. Perhaps it goes deeper – perhaps Hollywood wishes they’d never got independence.
I can see Natalie Portman’s one-note whinefest being a popular vote for Best Actress, but I wonder if some voters actually understand some of the categories – ‘Inception’ for Best Cinematography? Most of the film comprised tweaked CGI imagery. So, no innovation, no bravery, no experimentation, just a clear Conservative message; Don’t Do Anything Too Alarming Or Unusual.