Monday, March 2, 2015

Dropping Out of the Academy

The Academy Awards ceremonies broadcast last Sunday saw a significant drop in viewership from 2014, and some wags have suggested that many viewers boycotted the telecast because of the absence of black nominees.  The real reason may have been the fact that so many movies that earned nominations were artsy films that didn't draw large box-office receipts.  Hollywood honoring art over commerce?  Wow, what a concept! 
Of course, some people who tuned in might have switched to the H2 channel after seeing Neil Patrick Harris as the host, which drew, shall we say, underwhelming reaction.
As always, I saw none of it.  I stopped watching the Oscars long ago because the ceremony was too interminable, something Johnny Carson always made light of when he hosted.  ("Today is the 164th day of the Academy Awards!  President Carter is still working on your release!")  Once Carson stopped hosting, though, there was no one to make light of the endlessness of the show, and though it's been shortened since, it's still too long and drawn out for me (like other awards shows are). 
Oh yeah, the winners.  Well, I actually did see Birdman, and I'm glad it won Best Picture; it's a great picture about proving oneself as a serious person, and the fact that Mexican-born Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director for Birdman shows that Hollywood isn't as dismissive of racial and ethnic minorities as some might think.  Meanwhile, Hollywood remains obsessed with Anglophilia and with sympathy for people overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.  That's why Eddie Redmayne won the Best Actor award for playing Dr. Stephen Hawking, the English physicist suffering from motor neurone disease, in The Theory of Everything.  That said, I want to see it, because I, quite frankly, am an Anglophile who's also a sucker for stories about beating the odds.
But they couldn't find room for anything for Selma, which was also about beating the odds?  Maybe if the Selma march had taken place in England . . .      

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