*Note, I wrote this in secret when I should have been working, so I had no time to proofread, all typos and grammatical errors will be corrected at a later date.
We have recently had the pleasure of the Golden Globes. Next month we have the Baftas and then the granddaddy of them all, the Oscars. I consider myself a cinephile, which feels like a dirty way of saying ‘I like movies.’ I have been known to get a bit too passionate about films, especially if they’re really bad. Bad films make me so mad. I can’t stand the idea of people getting lots of money to be bad at their jobs. When I’m bad at my job, I get told to find another one.
I didn’t watch the Golden Globes, I never do. I imagine Gervais turned up, insulted everyone, some people got statues and that was that. It’s sad to see Gervais these days. I used to find him amusing. Now he doesn’t bother writing any jokes and just turns up. I liked Extras to a point. I tried to watch Afterlife, a series about a man with depression made by people who seemingly know nothing about depression and watched by people who seemingly know nothing about depression. It was dull. Dull and self-indulgent.
I shan’t be watching the Baftas. Nor shall I be watching the Oscars. Nor will I even bother to find out who won. I hope those in charge of such events know this and are saddened by it.
I would like to say this is down to the lack of diversity in these awards ceremonies, like the virtue-signalling snowflake that I am. Some say this lack of diversity is down to racism inherent in the system, whereas racists suggest that ‘maybe, y’know, there just weren’t any films with black people in it that were good enough.’ Which seems unlikely, not to mention misinterprets the word ‘diversity’ to mean ‘has some black people in it’. I would like to single-handedly solve the race issue in Hollywood through my blog read by 5 people, one of whom is this guy (who has about as much influence on society as a stale baguette), but I think it’s more important we solve the awards problem first.
The Oscars (Baftas, Emmys, Golden Globes etc. included) is the most overblown, pretentious, snobbish and self-congratulatory thing ever. It’s a night devoted to rich people getting together with other rich people to say, ‘well done on your films,’ ‘no, well done on your films.’ ‘I hope you win.’ ‘I hope you win.’ ‘Whatever the case, I think cinema wins!’
No it doesn’t, no one wins, everyone’s a loser, especially cinema. You can tell the films that will get Oscar nods as far back as the release of the first trailer. As soon as I saw the trailer for Joker with Smile being played over melodramatic scenes featuring an incredibly skinny Phoenix, I thought, ‘Ah, Oscar bait.’
Then I saw the whole film. Phoenix’s Joker was suitably ‘mentally ill’ or at least Hollywood’s version of it. After many lengthy shots of dreary cityscapes and manic cackles, Joker kills some rich bullies and then proceeds to do an ‘I’m going to win an Oscar dance.’ Just in case weight loss and unexplained dancing wasn’t enough, the movie suddenly delved into the topical case of the rich vs the poor with Joker accidentally kicking off a protest against the 1%. Some would call the film ‘a comic-book film for smart people’, I’d call it a shit boring film for twats.
But each to their own.
Scorsese’s The Irishman is up for a chance. Scorsese took a bold stance against Marvel for daring to make films lots of people like, claiming that they are the just the same thing over and over and contain too much CGI. He then released a film about organised crime starring three actors best known for their organised crime films and de-aged with CGI. I’ve not seen it, but I can guarantee it ends with all involved dying and/or going to prison. Because crime doesn’t pay, but films about it certainly do.
Saving Private Ryan WWI edition (1917) has a chance too. Because every Oscars has to feature a war film featuring the message ‘war is bad’, just in case we all forget and start to think that, actually, war is alright. I mean we’ve invested all this money into the latest military tech and munitions and we’re not using any of it. What’s the point in paying over £1 billion a year on Trident if we hope to never have to use it? Nuke Canada I say. What the hell are they going to do about it?
I was even in an Oscar winning film once. The Theory of Everything. I remember asking a member of the crew, ‘have you read the script?’ his reply was ‘hmm… yeah,’ ‘Any good?’ asked I ‘Erm… it’s based on the book by Jane Hawking.’
My eyes narrowed, sensing he was hiding something I said, ‘that’s not what I asked.’
‘It’s okay,’ he relented.
‘It’ll get Oscar noms though,’ I sighed.
‘Oh yeah, definitely.’
You see, it was a biopic which was one point in its favour. The fact that poor Hawking had motor neurone disease meant Redmayne was all but guaranteed the award. The only way he was ever going to be edged out was if a similar film was released, only that one dealt with racism too. I don’t know, maybe it does. I’ve never seen it.
The point is. A film’s worth is measured in how many people go and see it and, of those people, what percentage leaves thinking, ‘that was a good film.’ The reward for making a good film is the fact you got to help make a good film. You got paid to do something fun that others enjoyed. Getting given a golden man in front of loads of other film making people is just gratuitous.
No doubt all winners will thank many people, talk about the importance of cinema as an art form. They’ll mention the Australian wildfires. They’ll lament climate change and divisive politics and conclude that cinema has the awesome power to bring people together. And then they’ll get drunk with their famous friends and fly home the next day and repeat the endless cycle.
The last thing is true though.
Embrace cinema. Scrap the award ceremony.