Another year, another Academy Awards ceremony endured among a culture whose attitude, in general, seems to be “They don’t matter at all but there’s going to be hell to pay at every little injustice.” This year I found myself caring far less than the past few considering the films up for consideration…well, we didn’t exactly have the best offering. At least among the high-brow, respectful fare the Academy deems worthy of recognition, there wasn’t a lot to get excited about. The fact that not only War Horse but Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (of which I’ve never heard a single positive opinion from anyone I know) were nominated for Best Picture while Drive and Dragon Tattoo were overlooked made it clearer than ever before that I really don’t have much in common with the people voting for these films.
I haven’t seen The Artist, so I can’t speak to its victory either way (in fact I had very little desire to see most of this year’s so-called best) but at least I’m not indignant. I was glad to see Rango and A Separation take home the gold in their categories, and was baffled by Hugo getting the effects award over Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but beyond that I just didn’t care.
The ceremony was unrelentingly bland, an apparent reaction to the failing of last year’s strategy to go for the youth demographic; this year they just did the same old thing, and it sure was an awards show because of it. Highlights were: Chris Rock actually making me laugh out loud, acceptance speeches from the best lead actor and actress (Meryl Streep is insanely likable; who knew?), and the director of A Separation injecting the proceedings with about as much humanity as they’re allotted to possess.
The 2012 theme was more or less “Movies sure are something, huh?” I agree, but when they make it that perfunctory it’s hard to get excited about the magic of cinema.
In conclusion- The 84th Annual Academy Awards: I sat through them.