Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oscar Watch: Early Days

OK, for those of you who don't already know this, I am a big-time pop-culture slut. I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, I watch far too much VH1 (well, far too much TV overall, to be honest), and one of the highlights of my year is Oscar season. Yeah, I know it's shallow, and we shouldn't really have awards for the arts because it's, like, creative and shouldn't be tainted by economic concerns, blah, blah, blah. But fuck it! Artists have always been judged against other artists, and most successful performers are far more clever at marketing themselves than your average businessperson or politician. Plus, it's just immensely satisfying to watch, in a really junk-food bad-for-you kind of way. The outfits! The lame speeches! The long-shot wins! The crazy dance sequences!

Anyway, I'm a sucker for it, and the whole thing starts with the announcement of the Golden Globe nominees, which in recent years has become the major predictor of who will get attention from the Academy come January 25th. So I'm looking at the Golden Globes nominations page, and my major reaction is: Jigga-Who? Seriously - Million Dollar Baby got five freaking nominations? I didn't even remember what the hell that movie WAS until I saw some of the names associated with it (Clint Eastwood; Hilary Swank; boxing movie). And they've nominated Nicole Kidman for best actress for Birth?!?! Surely they could've found someone in a decent film to nominate. And multiple nominations for Phantom of the Opera and De-lovely? Honestly, people: we can do better than this. The weirdest thing is that so many of the noms are for films that have just come out, many of which haven't even been released except in LA and NYC. This either means that the Hollywood Foreign Press association knows something we don't know, or that this year's Globes aren't going to be a great predictor for the Oscars. I'm putting my money on the latter.

Update: My friend Lisa says she's heard that Million Dollar Baby is getting raves as one of the best pictures of the year, so maybe I'm wrong. On the other hand, it's a Clint Eastwood picture, and I hated Mystic River, so, you know. Screw it.