AndyO Blog

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thoughts on the 80th Academy Awards

80th Annual Academy Awards Anniversary 2008This year, I told my wife that I wasn't going to watch the Academy Awards. I said that I didn't have time, that I didn't really care who won, etc.

Around 7:00 p.m., Brenda turned on the show. I was working on the computer in the same room, and after a while I left the computer and sat down on the couch to watch. And then I pretty much watched the rest of the show.

Watching the show in high-definition for the first time, I found myself studying the audience and picking out, say, Harrison Ford or Jack Nicholson. It was almost as if I was standing there onstage with Jon Stewart. I was hypnotized.

Many people say that this was a banner year for movies. Some say that we haven't seen this level of creativity and quality since the 1970s. While I haven't seen all the films that topped the critics' list, I did see Juno and There Will Be Blood, and liked them both. I guess it tells you something that Hollywood outsiders, the Coen Brothers, won multiple Oscars this year for their movie No Country for Old Men.  

The morning after the Oscars, I read an e-mail story that my dad sent me about how many of the movies that have withstood the test of time didn't get the Oscar in their day. For example, Citizen Kane, recognized by most to be the best film ever made, only got one Oscar (for screenwriting). I wrote back:

Yes, I've heard that many of the greatest films were snubbed. I remember the first time I was aware of this was when Star Wars lost to Annie Hall for Best Picture. I think Annie Hall is a brilliant film (now, anyway), but Star Wars has had a much greater impact on film -- and is considered one of the greatest films now (like Citizen Kane).

So, it goes to show you that the Academy's taste doesn't always stand the test of time -- that the awards don't really matter as far as art is concerned. But for those of us who love movies -- the Academy Awards are a yearly party that we can attend to honor the craft of filmmaking (at least virtually). Which is why even when I say I'm not going to attend that party anymore, I somehow always find myself sitting in front of the TV.  

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