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January 25, 2005

Oscar Nominations

Damn it, I forget when I started my hiatus here that today was Oscar Nomination Day. My early Oscar predictions are over at By the Way. Feel free to comment there if you've got an AOL account or an AIM account, or here if you don't.

Hiatus is now back on.

Posted by john at January 25, 2005 10:27 AM

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Burns! | January 25, 2005 01:20 PM

I've seen all of the films nominated, and agree with most of what you wrote over at "By the way..." I won't go into it all here, or I'd end up with comments as long as your original entry. Two points, though...

First, I saw "Sideways" in it's first week of limited release here in L.A., and boy was I excited. I wasn't disappointed. It was very entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. That being said, the movie was in *no way* an Oscar winner. I never understood why so many people got so excited about this flick. Sure the actors gave fine performances in a well written, well directed movie. The bottom line is that there wasn't really anything to make this film stand out, other than the fact that it was a little smarter than the usual lowest-common-denominator pablum that H'wood puts out. Have we gotten to the point now where we're handing out awards (and nominations) for doing an adequate job; simply for not being shitty? I thought the Oscars were supposed to be the best of the best.

Secondly, throughout your piece you wrote about a director getting a career award "because he's due," or an actress not getting it this time because she'll get one later, etc. This is the thing that pisses me off about the Oscars every year. In each catagory, there are five movies or performances nominated. In theory, the voters are to choose which of those five performances is best, as compared to the other four. Instead, it becomes about who's been around the longest, who the other actors like, who should've won for the film they had three years ago but didn't...it's all bullshit. Last year, Sean Penn won even though (I thought) Bill Murray gave the better performance between the two films nominated. Penn won because he's a great actor who should've won for some of his earlier movies, but what does that say about the performance Murray gave *in the film that was nominated*???

Why doesn't the Academy just do away with the catagories, the screenings, the voting, etc.? Instead they can have a show every year where they call actors, directors and others to the stage and say, "We like you. It's your turn to get a statue. We're not really recognizing you for anything in particular. It's just your turn."

Holy crap, that did get long, didn't it? Sorry. Thanks for listening to me rant.

KenL | January 25, 2005 02:09 PM

Burns! -- hehe, that's not what the Oscars are. Murray got the Golden Globe, which imho is the one that better reflects what you want the Oscars to be...

John, great rundown as always. Although I've always thought that year after year, the Best Supporting Female Actor category is the least predictable of the lot.

Scott | January 25, 2005 08:41 PM

I just want to take a moment to thank you for restricting your use of the "nod" word to once in your whole piece.

I loathe that construction the way Orwell loathed "iron will". Say it with me... "nomination" you prose regurgitating hacks! (Not directed to you Scalzi... as far as I can tell you used it because you were running out of terms... not because you have no other ways to express yourself... the latter group are the people that annoy me.)

Oscar Nod. *bristle* It was a clever construction originally. Evoking the whole idea of a wise old man looking concernedly over a panel of participants and nodding at a couple of them... acknowledging their work. Now, for me, it mostly creates a disproportionately angry response. (As you can well see).

Jeremy | January 27, 2005 04:10 AM

Oh the Oscars. How terrible art thou? I'm not even as interested in them as I was as a child.

Chris Byrne | January 27, 2005 04:59 AM

Ok, I just saw sideways tonight and all I can say is, who hates Paul Giamatti so much that he didnt get a nomination, but Thomas Haden Church, and Virgina Madsen did?

Is he still paying pennance for being in Private Parts?

KenL | January 27, 2005 01:13 PM

Hehe. Pig vomit. Hehe.

Tripp | January 27, 2005 03:07 PM

Every year I submit your Oscar picks under my name to the local paper's contest.

Am I going to win this year?

John Scalzi | January 27, 2005 03:41 PM

If you win, I get 10%.

Simon | January 28, 2005 08:04 AM

One reason Oscar winners are often stranger and less well-judged then nominations is that they're not done on a preferential ballot. Five nominees, usually all of them pretty worthy, each voter has to pick one only, and the plurality wins. If they split 21-20-20-20-19, the one that gets 21% wins. That's no way to pick a consensus "best"

Sue | January 28, 2005 09:02 AM

I gotta say that I love the Oscars. They're much more fun with TiVo now, because I can actually pause the TV long enough for my husband to get into the living room from the bedroom where he's hiding out because I'm watching the Oscars and see the hideous dresses.

That said, the whole idea of giving an Oscar to somebody who "deserves it" for previous work is, last I checked, one of the reasons they have that Lifetime Achievement Award. And the perk about waiting for that is you get more than 30 seconds for your speech.

Tripp | January 28, 2005 03:20 PM

If you win, I get 10%.

Deal. You'll have to take my word on it that we haven't won so far.

I don't see enough pre-dvd movies to have a good opinion on who will win.

elizabeth bear | January 29, 2005 02:00 PM

offtopic:

If you haven't already seen the Entertainment Weekly review of OMW, drop me an email at the above.

/offtopic

Sue | January 29, 2005 03:09 PM

Congrats on the nice (though abbreviated) mention in the new Entertainment Weekly. It's so rare they review a book I've actually read or intend to read.

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