And The Award For “Movie People Have Actually Seen” Goes To…
As I write this, our air conditioning unit has failed, and I am sitting in the dark, in the only room in out house that has a ceiling fan (which is also, happily, the only room that has a black-out curtain to keep the sun from getting me and cooking me out). It is, at best, barely tolerable, and I may be testier than usual.
Actually, fun fact before we start here: when the wife and I were house-shopping, she had a list of demands for what our prospective home needed to have. I only had one: central air. I was willing to live in a half-million dollar closet if it was the only home on the market with central air. Before we lived here, we had an apartment together with no central air; all we had was a window unit in the bedroom and a giant box unit thing in the living room. The floorplan was very open, and we would hang a blanket up to create some kind of barricade between the living room and the kitchen to keep the air “trapped”. It was mighty fancy, let me tell you! Also, the box unit weighed approximately 2 tons and could not be moved by anyone weaker than Luke Cage, and when it cried, it made the sound of a small airport’s tarmac.
It was like death in that apartment ALL THE TIME come summer. And all I wanted was central air. And now I have it, and it has failed me! My newly non-functioning air conditioning unit has turned this lovely home into a den of confusion and terror. I was napping, and my wife woke me up to say the A/C was not going. I, who am usually so adverse to calling our home warranty to fix things because I am lazy and $100 is $100 they don’t need, INSTANTLY got up and emailed the warranty company. They referred me to the same company through which I have a claim to fix our shower this upcoming week, and I called them to say “I don’t care about the shower. That is unimportant. Come fix my A/C. Hurry! I may not last long enough for you to get this message! Tell my wife I kind of liked her”.
HA! So I thought I would insert a stupid little cartoon or stock photo image here of a man sweltering under a hot sun for effect. I searched “hot”, and… well…
Fair play, Google. That probably IS what most folks mean. Big ups to the Supergirl cosplay, keeping things thematic!
Jesus H. Smith, what am I even doing here? Oh, right! I wanted to talk about the new Academy Awards category! It seems that the Oscars are introducing an award for “Outstanding Achievement In Movies People Actually Care About Or Whatever” to their lineup to nominate and reward movies such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and the like when it is a virtual certainty that they would not merit a nomination for one of the Big Five awards.
I wish I could be hipster enough on my COMIC BOOK PODCAST WEBSITE WHEREIN WE CONSTANTLY TALK ABOUT COMIC BOOKS AND COMIC BOOK MOVIES to tell you I think this is a bad idea, but I very clearly don’t. I am, in fact, all for it.
In my lifetime, I have watched as the Academy Awards has gone from an annual event of great import, over which folks would gather around at school or work and discuss the winners and snubs and what have you, to a self-congratulatory mess of an event that all but shuts out the common viewer entirely as it focuses almost solely on cinema that was released in a few months’ timeframe leading up to the program and was made explicitly for the awards show and its judges. Much of my youth, the Oscars was an event worthy of buzz and fanfare, and I was always curious to see what would win and who would get snazzy trophies. But sometime in the mid-2000’s, that all slowly faded out, in favor of the Academy wringing its hands of any films in which the public has much of a vested interest. For reference, here are the 2018 nominees for Best Picture:
Before the Oscars last year, I had seen exactly ONE of those movies, and that was because I saw Get Out on the day of the awards show. I have since seen The Shape of Water, and… that’s it. As I look at this list, I will swear to a man I have never heard of Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Post, or Call Me By Your Name before in my life. Four of the nominees for Best Movie The Universe Created And Bestowed Upon Humanity In The Year of Our Lord, 2018, and I have never heard of them. Come on. And of the remaining ones, until the night of the Academy Awards itself, I thought Ladybird was a biopic of Lyndon Johnson’s wife. That’s… actually not a joke. I really did. A new phenomena of my life is that I couldn’t even start to tell you what the last, say, five Best Picture winners were. If you asked me to do that at any point in the 1990’s or 2000’s, I could have done it effortlessly. Now? I remember Michael Keaton won for Birdman. And there was The King’s Speech? When the hell was that? Was that recent?
For contrast, here are the Best Picture nominees from 20 years ago:
I know of every single one of those movies, and have seen all but The Full Monty.
So I’m not concerned that this new category is going to stop possibly-qualified movies from getting a shot at the Best Picture award by pigeonholing them into a new category… because the Academy already doesn’t give them that shot to begin with anymore. I have also seen some criticism that, oh no, this one singular award and idea will turn the Academy Awards into the MTV Movie Awards! And that’s ridiculous, and the people who feel that way are probably the same people who still insist on listening to records. Look, it’s one award. There are BUNCHES of awards at the Oscars I don’t care about and thereby ignore; if you think the idea of this award is offensive, just disregard it. I’m sure there will be three biopics about Woodrow Wilson’s dentist and at least one movie in black and white with backwards dialogue or something up for Best Picture.
See? Testy. It’s HOT.
Anyway, let me know what YOU think of this new category in the comments. I’ll give a Best Comment award to whoever I think is best, but it will probably be an unnecessarily avant grade comment and definitely not the one folks like the best.
Until next time… take care!