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Cinematically Nutritious
by AwesomeZara

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Sorry Ellen, an ugly little girl dancing to Rick James beats you out!

Sorry Ellen, an ugly little girl dancing to Rick James beats you out!
The Oscars are right around the corner and I haven't watched most of the films that have been nominated. It's like this every year, me scrambling to try and get my viewings in before the day they hand out the golden statues. Almost like those people who wait until a month before their high school reunion to try and drop 50 pounds.

It doesn't occur to me to watch many of the films that the Academy deems worthy of recognition. I've always been more of a Krispy Kreme girl than a Shredded Wheat fan. You see, the Academy never seems to feel as if comedy is worth noting. They don't find the brilliance in a performance by a 18 year old actress as she embodies a 14 year old girl hell bent on exacting revenge on a child molester. The Academy has a formula. They do not deviate. Well, not more than one nomination so that they can have an annual "dark horse." But even that is formula.

There is always a nomination for a good looking actress who dirties up. There's always a nod for an American who adopts an above average British accent or vice versa. There's always the nod for the outstanding newcomer that you would be stupid to overlook. But most of all, there's always the nutritious self-righteous selections.

Is there a movie out about war? Human injustice? Some historical figure that most people have already forgotten about or never really cared about in the first place? Does it have a monumental speech given by a top star where they need to stretch their tear ducts and make you really CARE? Is it really a rather boring, depressing film that you wouldn't be watching unless the powers that be convinced you that you should be watching because it's good for you?

There's a rule of thumb in my
Just play ugly and the Academy might love you again, Marisa!

Just play "ugly" and the Academy might love you again, Marisa!
house. Technically, it's not my house. I've had to reside with my parents again (hold thy judgment for those who have tried to survive in high priced California) and so the house in question really belongs to my health-nut mother. If she had her way, the only food consumed would be cous cous, broccoli and turkey. Therefore, whenever I bring into the home a loaf of white bread, I not only get reamed by my mother about its lack of nutritional properties, I also get a house full of people who eat up my bread before I get a chance to make a slice of toast.

I have to scream the rule of thumb out loud when I hear explanations of "I didn't know that was yours!" See, the rule is that if it tastes good or if it's bad for you, mom didn't buy it. The same can be said about the Academy and its choices for what is supposedly the best in film.

There was a point in time when Marisa Tomei won the Best Supporting Oscar for her role in MY COUSIN VINNIE. Everyone laughed that they must have gotten it wrong, that the envelopes were mixed up and her winning was really just a joke. Because as everyone knows, someone who's funny in a movie where the humour isn't subversive humour just couldn't be an Oscar contender. It's not like that movie would be at all watchable if it weren't for her explanation of why the car couldn't have been the car... you get the picture.

There are rare times when a movie that is meant to be good for you not only pulls off nourishing your mind but also tells its tale in an entertaining manner. Not to make light of the Holocaust but SCHINDLER'S LIST did just that. A movie designed to educate you as to the atrocities that went on at the hand of Hitler, the movie is deeply moving on a personal
Got anything in there to stun the voters with, Data?

Got anything in there to stun the voters with, Data?
level as well. It took a director who had been previously shunned by the Academy for making popular films to tell such a well-rounded story.

Although it saddens me that Steven Spielberg would never have had a chance at getting his golden statue had he not gone the serious route. THE GOONIES is one of those movies that everyone remembers. You know how old you were when it came out, you can quote lines from it, hell... it's that movie you just can't resist when it's playing on late night cable.

Now tell me... who can say that about ORDINARY PEOPLE? Or OUT OF AFRICA? What about CHARIOTS OF FIRE?

Not that the winners of the Best Picture award haven't been crowd favorites. Many of the winners of the coveted top award have been big money makers. However, that doesn't instantly qualify them as being good movies. It just means that they were the most recognizable among the nominees that year. Much like the head of the cheerleaders gets crowned the prom queen because she's the most notable face in the crowd. There are plenty of other beautiful girls out there, their beauty is just lurking to be found.

I'm planning on watching LITTLE CHILDREN soon, as I would like to see Jackie Earle Haley in the performance that finally won him a foothold out of the pits of obscurity. I know little about the film other than it details a man who is trying to reform himself after being in prison for child molestation.

Which makes me beg the question: If one child molester is OK to nominate... then why not HARD CANDY?

Oh, that's right. Because if you're going to be an "indie," you have to have well known actors cast in the roles, acting quirky and making fools of themselves. At least, that's the way the formula goes.

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Neglected Foster Child of Hollywood
Every other Wednesday

Not-so-gentle musings from the girl who is saving room in her uterus for Tarantino's spawn.

Other Columns
Other columns by AwesomeZara:

Expecting Great Things with Robert Gordon Spencer

Adolescent Chatter With Actor Samuel Child

Top 10 Best Mother, Daughter and Death Threesomes

So Irresistible: Rolling with Actor Jason Seitz

Getting Down with Actress Cricket Leigh

All Columns

She's awesome, who would have guessed that?

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to AwesomeZara by clicking here.

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