Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cintra Wilson in Salon, on the Oscars:

Hollywood executives were firmly convinced for the past several months that writers were worthless. So, all in all, the evening was sort of like "Romeo and Juliet," but without a script: a frictionless battle between the Montage-Yous and the Crapulets. They both lost. Actually, we all did.

Even though the event was way more lame than lamé, it feels wrong
even taking potshots at the Oscars now. It's like picking on Britney Spears, at this point -- it's so easy, it's not even sporting. Oscar is elderly, and in dire need of hipness-replacement surgery. In his dotage he is tiresome, dull and earnest, and employs a lot of doddering repetition about how movies "touch the soul" and "inspire others to dream."


After shaving its head and driving drunk around the globe with no
panties, calling itself the Antichrist, and finally abandoning its children, totaling its SUV and getting its ass kicked in the parking lot of the Persian Gulf, America is realizing that it is internationally loathed, broke, soulless, tasteless, fat, drunk, malicious, greedy and stupid, and has been generally behaving like a lousy excuse for a world superpower for long enough to lose all its friends and position.

So, since America hates itself this year, Oscar gave the biggest
trophies to foreigners...

I didn't really watch the Oscars, so I can't comment too much. But Wilson did have a sum-up of Michael Clayton which really, for me, touched the appeal of the film:

Glitz is meaningless. Greed is deadly. Vanity is overrated. But you can humbly, slowly accrue some virtue, some small but real heroism, by navigating the sometimes-invisible line between doing your job well and doing the right thing.

Despite having one of the best social diatribe screenplays
since "Network," what was interesting about "Michael Clayton" was the way it dialed your focus way down to the quiet private battles of the imperfect everyperson -- the unwitnessed, unrewarded slog of trying to amass good decisions and do some small immediate good day to day -- and failing sometimes, despite fighting the good fight, and winning sometimes in a way that goes largely unrecognized.

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