Sunday, February 22, 2009

On The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards are over, and it was great, as usual. Some movies I liked during the year were totally ignored, and others I didn't have any desire to see won prizes. But the movie stars look so perfect and their clothes are so beautiful, and their speeches are so effusive. It's all a wonderful diversion.

Sean Penn

The prizes are probably more political than popular, if today's award for Best Actor is any indication. From what I can see, "Milk" broke even, if its costs were U.S.$20mil, and it made $28mil in the U.S. and $30mil. worldwide according to this data. While the camera focused on gay flick lead actor Sean Penn, the teenage heart-throb Robert Pattinson,

Robert Pattinson

known as Edward in "Twilight" was sitting behind him, with his usual smoldering good looks. Pattinson didn't win any prizes or get any recognition or attention. But that movie is a ginormous, runaway success boasting U.S.$187mil. in U.S. and Canadian sales and U.S.$356mil. worldwide box office totals. Can't wait for more, with others expected in the series.

The side shows today were entertaining, with host Hugh Jackman dancing with Beyonce and so on. My only problem with the Academy Awards is that so many deserving, financially successful and popular movies get so little attention. I think that spreading out the awards helps more individuals.

"Slumdog Millionaire" got a huge boost, with lots of the prizes for sound-mixing, original song, original score, film editing, cinematography, adapted screenplay, best director and best picture. An interesting triumph of the passionate visions of producer and director, perhaps it's got just enough English to count as mainstream.

Academy Awards are originally American prizes, and there are "foreign language movie" Academy prizes. One of my favorite movies "The Duchess" won for costume design, and perhaps it could have won for "most emotion-heavy" movie of the year, if that had been prized. The so-called chick-flick movies, like the teenage movies, don't get big prizes at the Academy.

Aren't most Americans looking at the awards feeling uninspired and a let-down of pride? Do you think the Academy Awards properly awards prizes for movies? Do you think criteria for winning should be clearly differentiated and stated?

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