Monday, February 25, 2008

A Little Rant About The 2008 Academy Awards

Okay I just finished watching the Oscars and there are a couple of things I need to get off my chest. These are my biggest gripes and the things that literally got me angry as I watched the ceremony.

1. Diablo Cody ("Juno") won for Best Original Screenplay. This infuriates me to no end. Although "Juno" was funny and quirky and kooky and yadda yadda yadda, it was just NOT award-caliber writing. Although it had flashes of brilliance here and there (particularly with Juno's parents and Jennifer Garner's character) and contained the occasional clever idea, it just seemed like it was more of a platform for Diablo Cody to show off how "hip" and "cool" she could be. She took these characters which could have been great, and completely betrayed them by turning them into pseudo-clever, annoyingly phony slang talking, pop-culture spewing cartoons. The dialogue was not only unrealistic, tiresome and groan-inducing, but flat-out distracting, and it's a sad day for the motion picture industry when their top award goes to a screenplay who's typical lines include things like: "Your eggo is preggo", and which contains such devastatingly irritating repartee such as this:

Leah: Yo Yo Yiggady Yo.
Juno: I'm at suicide risk.
Leah: Juno?
Juno: No, it's Morgan Freeman. Do you have any bones that need collecting?
Leah: Only the one in my pants.
Juno: I'm pregnant.
Leah: What? Honest to blog?
Juno: Yeah. Yeah, it's Bleeker's.
Leah: It's probably just a food baby. Did you have a big lunch?
Juno: No, this is not a food baby all right? I've taken like three pregnancy tests, and I'm forshizz up the spout.

Give me a fucking break. Thank Christ it didn't win Best Picture or else I REALLY would have shit a brick.

Part of constructing a great script is knowing how to balance things like jokes and drama, dialogue and action, quirkiness and reality... And in these departments, Cody is completely inept. I'll admit, "Juno" was not a BAD film. It had it's charms, it was occasionally funny, and it was even somewhat touching. But do these things make it more deserving of an Oscar than "Michael Clayton" or even "The Savages" - two smart, expertly crafted scripts with a MILLION times more substance?? Not by a long shot.

2. Paul Thomas Anderson (director of "There Will Be Blood") didn't win a SINGLE FUCKING AWARD. This is a crime, plain and simple. While I love and adore Joel and Ethan Coen, and I'm happy that they won their awards tonight, I think it was unfair to snub Paul Thomas Anderson and send him home completely empty-handed. "There Will Be Blood" was AS OUTSTANDING as "No Country For Old Men" and PTA deserved SOME kind of award for it. While I feel that "NCFOM" deserved the best adapted screenplay award and possibly even best picture award, PTA did some of the most amazing work I've seen all year and I am very saddened that he lost in all categories.

Anyway, this concludes my grumpy little rant for now.