PRE-OSCAR SHOW: I have a hard time caring about the Oscars, but they're as good an opportunity as any to spout off about last year's movies. If The Perpetual Three-Dot Column were handing out the statuettes, here's the prizes we'd award:Best Picture: TarnationBest Fiction Picture: Bad EducationBest Older Picture That Didn't Get an American Release Until 2004: The Saddest Music in the WorldBest Science Fiction Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindBest Superhero Movie: The IncrediblesBest Animation: In the Realms of the UnrealBest Sex Scene: Team AmericaGood Teen Movies: Mean Girls; Napoleon DynamiteReally, Really Shitty Teen Movies: The Perfect Score; Saved!Best Movie I Saw on an Airplane: Barbershop 2Most Underrated Movie: Seed of ChuckyBest Underrated Movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve ZissouMost Welcome Sequel: Kill Bill Vol. 2Most Pointless Sequel: Tanner on TannerInspired the Silliest Positive Hyperbole: The Passion of the ChristInspired the Silliest Negative Hyperbole: The Passion of the ChristI trust the difference between "most underrated" and "best underrated" is clear. Seed of Chucky wouldn't make it onto my top ten list, but it didn't deserve the drubbing it got from most of the critics.Music notes: Ray gets a special Saved By The Soundtrack award. Yes yes, Jamie Foxx was good, but it was the music, not the performances, that made that terrible script bearable. The year's best original song, of course, was Team America's "America, Fuck Yeah!"A special booby prize goes to Saved! for reminding us that blue-state liberals really can be the condescending bigots of Michael Medved's nightmares. A second booby prize goes to Medved, whose assault on Million Dollar Baby showed more contempt for audiences' intelligence than anything concocted by any actual filmmaker.And the real Oscars? They're a joke, of course, but they can be fun as long as you remember the rules of the game. The Academy rarely honors genre movies because it thinks they're lowbrow; and it doesn't honor genuinely challenging art films because they usually don't do well at the box office. The prototypical Best Picture winner is a financial success that also bears what Hollywood takes to be the marks of "quality" -- period costumes, liberal politics, handicapped characters, "epic" scope, English accents, the Holocaust, etc. Sometimes, of course, these happen to be genuinely good movies. But they're almost never the best.I'll be pulling for Sideways, but I don't expect it to win.
posted by Jesse 9:54 PM
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