Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Are you kidding me?

I don’t have anything intelligible to say right now.  

I’ve spent about 75 of the last 90 hours reading and re-reading and re-reading my 250-ish-page dissertation and I’m not sure I could string together a coherent paragraph if I tried.
To quote Mr. Peter Finch of the 1976 film Network, though, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  
Anyone who knows me (or has been reading this blog long enough) knows that I’m a bit of a cinephile, a self-proclaimed film geek who can spend far too long discussing the intricacies of a scene or a character.  I probably averaged about one movie a week in the theater in 2009, down from previous years for a variety of reasons including a weaker selection and a hectic schedule.  Brent and I even made a failed attempt at a film blog last year, and though it never amounted to much, I’m still pretty happy with what’s on there.  Maybe I’ll return to it again at some point…
But I digress… 
As I sat on my couch tonight watching the Golden Globes, I couldn’t help but cringe at some of the selections.  
Robert Downey Junior for actor?  Seriously?  I liked Sherlock Holmes as much as the next guy, maybe even more if the next guy is Brent or my dad, but the performance was nothing to write home about. 
Sandra Bullock for actress?  I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.  I have a soft spot in my heart for cheesy-sports-dramas-laced-with-social-commentary and will see almost any movie in the genre, but I’m at a total loss for why people think she did something out of the ordinary in that role.  
But what really got me was best picture.  Avatar?  Really?  Really?
Brent said he hasn’t seen me that worked up since we walked out of Revolutionary Road nearly a year ago.
I’ll admit this was a rather crappy year for Hollywood.  There weren’t many great movies to speak of.  But Avatar?  Give it the technical nods.  Maybe even cinematography.  But Best Picture?  It had to be some sort of joke…
Brent (who made sure to tell me he’s going on the record that he, too, doesn’t think the film should have won, let alone been nominated) makes a fair point that sometimes a movie comes along that people know is going to change the trajectory of filmmaking, and it makes sense to recognize it in some way.
But there’s gotta be a better way than awarding it the honor of the best picture of 2009.  To me, selecting that over all other movies this year challenges the integrity of the entire system – in my humble opinion. 
What about the brilliant Inglorious Basterds?  What about the haunting film The Road, which wasn’t even nominated?  I had to take a break in the middle of The Hurt Locker because it was so intense, but it was a damn powerful film.
If Avatar wins the Oscar, I’m boycotting movies in 2010.
But enough of my incoherent ramblings… what are your thoughts?  Please, share.  Discuss.
**I know that awards shows are pure fluff.  I know that there are far more important things going on in the world right now.  But we’ve all gotta have a guilty pleasure, right?  Thank you for indulging me in my rant…**

8 responses to “Are you kidding me?

  1. Denise January 18, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I went to 2 movies this year: the Bee Movie (with my nephews) and Paranormal activity. As you can see, I'm not a movie goer. I can't stand paying that kind of money so we wait for things to come out on dvd. Since we got netflix I'm watching more movies, but I just can't get into them. Andy really enjoys them tho and would go all the time if I would go with him. I mentioned to him the 2 you listed at the end so we can check them out. I would love to see your other blog, he's always looking for good movie selections.

  2. Benjamin Brandenburg January 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    On why I'm ok that Avatar won. 1. Weak alternatives. Basterds was brilliant, but the last act is infantile. (maybe that's the point). The Road is Oscar worthy, but how much Cormac can Hollywood digest in one decade? 2. Serious theological debate. The Catholic Church has a position paper on Avatar. What other film so takes on the virtues of pantheism so brazenly?3. Serious political debate. Conservative dunces like Rush decry the obvious hit on imperialism, but others wonder about the politics of place, locality, and community.4. Technorgrasm aside, I can't think of the last film that developed such an intricate world for the imagination to digest.This year, I suppose I might be able to accept those positives even though the pic has flat characters, horrible dialogue, and cliche plotting.

  3. Abby January 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Fair points, Ben, and well said as always. Still, I can't help but cringe when I think about it. It was a beautiful movie, and obviously technologically impressive, but I stand firm in my belief that a Best Picture should offer more than that. Maybe with the Oscars offering more technical awards, the movie will be put back in its rightful place.And I definitely think that was the point of the last act of Basterds 🙂

  4. Angela and David Kidd January 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Sadly the only movie I saw even mentioned at the Golden Globes was Julie & Julia. So Glad Meryll Streep won! Love her. I haven't seen a movie in a theatre since Juno but I love reading movie reviews. Sad.

  5. Amanda January 19, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I'm a pretty frequent movie go-er but I must admit I have cheap tastes in movies most of the time. I tend to pick easy to watch, light movies as a distraction. Rich loved Inglorious Basterds, although I slept through it.

  6. I Run for Fun January 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I don't have very strong tastes in movies, but I always felt awards were too politicized to really count for anything much. There have been a number of great selections of course, but there have also been a great number of ridiculous ones.

  7. Dan B January 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Best film I saw in 2009: Goodbye Solo. It's available on rental DVD. But don't rent it if you're expecting something along the lines of Avatar.

  8. X-Country2 January 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Ha. I get totally fired up about Hollywood too.

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