Jonathan Dodd‘s latest column. Guest opinion articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publication. Ed
So here I am, back from my Oscars weekend. I’d love to be able to say that I was in Los Angeles for the ceremony itself, rather than in a barn annexe in Winchelsea, but I can’t. I guess I have to get that award-winning film script written first.
It’s like the Lottery ladder. Dreaming about winning is a spectacular waste of time if you haven’t even bought a ticket. I don’t even write film scripts, so the Oscar for original script wouldn’t be available to me. If some kind of miracle happened, and I wrote a novel that was turned into a script, that would only get an Oscar for the writer who adapted it, unless I was asked to contribute. Life can be unfair sometimes.
My wall of DVDs
I am a fan of films, and anyone who has seen my wall of DVDs will agree with me there, so the Oscars are always a thrill. They are first and foremost an occasion where good work is rewarded. Although the best don’t always win and there’s a lot of positioning by studios and promoters, every Oscar is voted for by the Academy, which is mostly made up of those who have won or been nominated in the past.
I’m not so much a fan of the celebs attending, or the fashions. It’s the films that concern me, and the extraordinary work the nominees have produced. I’m genuinely in awe of anyone who has managed to make a film, considering the cost and sheer logistical difficulty of getting everything and everybody required for each scene all together in the right place at the right time.
Justice mostly done
I also am a fan of live TV. I like the idea that nobody actually knows what’s going to happen or who’s going to win. The huge and complex ceremony itself must be as difficult to put together as making any film. This year nothing terrible went wrong and the whole thing was very satisfying. Justice was mostly done, and the new presenter, Seth MacFarlane, was a revelation. We’re going to see a lot more of him.
How is it possible for someone to be an immensely successful animator (Family Guy), writer for animated films and TV shows and films, voice artist for multiple characters, actor, comedian, song-writer (he was up for an Oscar himself for Best Song), Director (last year’s excellent Ted), and very good-looking too? Then to present the Oscars while singing and dancing? How many talents is enough? So I’m a fan of Seth MacFarlane now too.
My Oscar highlights
Captain Kirk intervening on-screen from the future to stop Seth MacFarlane ruining the show with his tacky routines – he showed a short film of him singing a wonderfully tasteless song aimed at the actresses sitting in the audience, complete with a dance routine and choir. It was very funny. Kirk showed a series of headlines rewriting themselves like in Back to the Future lamenting Seth’s disastrous choices, each headline improving as Seth followed Kirk’s advice. Excellent.
Mark Wahlberg doing a dialogue with Ted on-stage. I really don’t know how they did that, since Ted is an animated teddy bear on-screen, but there he was on-stage, standing on a stool, having a conversation.
Ben Affleck getting Best Film for Argo, even though he wasn’t nominated for Best Director. How is it possible for a film to be so tense, even though we know how it all ends?
Michelle Obama opening the envelope and announcing the Best Film winner on-screen in Washington. That was good.
Michael Haneke won Best Foreign Film for Amour, which satisfied me, although I wanted Emmanuelle Riva to win too.
There were lots of beards this year.
It’s all quite obvious – with hindsight
Part of the fun for me is trying to spot potential winners through the year. By the time the nominees are announced it’s all quite obvious, but who would have thought that Silver Linings Playbook would do so well? And Argo had little fuss made about it when it came out, then it won practically everything. I made a fool of myself, watching the Master instead of Life of Pi, and missing some films out altogether.
Thank goodness for DVD, so I can catch up. And I’m already wondering what’s going to be nominated next year.
If you have been, thank you for reading this.
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Image: Disney ABC TV Group under CC BY 2.0
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