I Thought I Tuned In For The Oscars, Not The Tonys

king-oscarIf you count 5 years as a long time, then last night I broke a longstanding tradition- I watched the Academy Awards. On February 29, 2004, as The Return of the King was named Best Picture, I realized that this whole ceremony really didn’t do anything to enrich my life or even keep me distracted from general perils of my life. Not only that, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the conclusion of The Lord of the Rings, it was overwrought and way too full of little Tolkien tidbits that only served to lengthen the run time. The award was only given to recognize the three movies, of which The Fellowship of the Ring was clearly the best.

So like John LaRoche in Adaptation., I renounced fish, well, in my case movies. I didn’t completely sever the bond, but I went from being in a state of constantly watching movies to watching maybe a one or two a week. I do realize that choosing to allow the politics of the Academy to taint the allure of all movies is somewhat stupid, but taint it did.

As the days turned into months, the months to years, the years to decades, decades to centuries, and centuries to millennia, I felt no remorse for my rash decision. And when the Oscars rolled around each year, I ignored it. I read, sat in quiet reflection, picked at scabs- all those other things I never used to have time for. Believe you me, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. When people asked if I was watching the Oscars and I said no, well in my family, it was quite a scandal.

Even though I ignored the 2007 Academy Awards with the ease in which a teenager ignores a sign that reads DANGER, that ceremony would have a profound impact on my life.

For whatever reason, Mrs. Furious decided to add Babel to the Netflix queue. I had little interest in seeing it, but it was the movie Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett hit after they bailed on The Fountain. And it was nominated for Best Picture, so I gave it a chance.

That was a big mistake. I was confounded and flabbergasted after seeing that this thing was put forth as one of the five best movies of the year. Even though I managed to overlook the strident xenophobia and way in which most non-Americans are presented as either barbaric or possessing diminished mental capacities, I could not, will not, never will get past the irrelevant, unrelated storyline about the deaf-mute Japanese girl.

It served to bump up the artistic quotient of the movie. It didn’t do shit for either the narrative or thematic elements. You can’t even call it’s connection to the rest of the movie tenuous, it’s basically nonexistent. Unless you accept that having just one more amongst the already numerous examples of the idea that people who speak different languages have difficulty communicating validates it. The kids in Mexico paralleling the parents plight, that fits. A girl in Japan struggling to participate in society, that’s a different movie.

I was so consumed by anger and rage, that eventually I turned to the Internet to express it. Involuntary Fury was born.

Seeing as how I’ve made a hobby out of complaining about movies, I thought it was time to break my vow and watch the Oscars. There was a promise made by the Academy that this year would be different. It would be better. But in Hollywood, a reimagining is just the same old thing with a slicker production.

I did sorely miss the clips of the actors. Having past winners lavish praise upon them is not a good substitute for giving an example of the work that earned them a nomination. Like I give a steamy blart about what Halle Berry says. Ever. Even if someone else wrote it. Even if I wrote it.

This Academy Awards will be remembered for making Wolverine sing and dance, twice. Don’t be surprised when he’s cast in X-Men the musical. I imagine a lot of comic book junkies had nightmares after that.

Oh, and it will be remembered for Mickey Rourke getting jobbed.

The stupidest thing uttered came from Robert De Niro, commending Sean Penn for the way he “respectfully advises world leaders.” Hollywood elitist entitlement at it’s best.

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