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January 08, 2009


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Once you realize that the whole Oscar season is really only distantly related to the idea of quality film, it's easier to enjoy Oscar-watching as the strange, oddball little sport that it is. But yeah, Goldstein is a douche.

Account Deleted

What will happen when 'The Dark Knight' fails to win Best Picture? I fear society may collapse.


Hey Glenn,

This is really off-topic, but did you see that Nat Hentoff was laid off by the Voice?

Glenn Kenny

@Nathan: Yes, I did see that. A seriously boneheaded move—New Times should have SYNDICATED him, rather than laid him off—but really, no more or less boneheaded than a lot of the moves they've made recently. (Although hiring Roy Edroso was a surprisingly SMART move.) Before the paper moved to near Cooper Union, Hentoff's office was the most seriously messy that I'd ever seen—newspapers literally stacked to the ceiling. They shoulda preserved that room and shipped it to the Smithsonian.


It's just all so...boring. I'm not going to pretend that I don't watch the show, and that I don't, to a degree, root for some movies and actors over others (although, unless I get on the ball, I will have seen next to none of the films in contention this year), but I do at least have perspective on it. It just makes me sleepy.

Stephen Bowie

You know, everybody I know who writes about movies talks about how they don't care about the awards, and then they go on to complain endlessly about and/or handicap them, while my eyes glaze over because I. Genuinely. Do. Not. Care. These days I even express my lack of caring by seeing most of the new movies on DVD, which means that all the Oscar bait have already won or lost their stupid awards by the time I might even begin to have an opinion. So there.

Mike Doc

I'm a producer's assistant in my early-late twenties who spent precious office time this week nominating people for BAFTA awards on behalf of my boss. I fully expect the same duties come Oscar ballot time. When will the publicists market to MEEEEE?

I don't think all my 'Flight of the Red Balloon' nominations made a dent, though.

Kit Sung

Maybe you should also write a piece on why so many blogs use awful colors that make the sites incredibly hard to read. Somewhere I think I've seen red letters on black ground, green on blue and your black on light grey n front of darker grey is also quite an eyesore. What happenend to the good old black on white?

Ti Alan Chase

Glenn, I appreciate your critical analysis of this topic, but . . .
did you ever actually expect this article to see print?


The Oscars were always a politically and ratings driven farce, just look at the history of the Best Picture winners against about 80% to 90% of other much finer films that could have won. Their poor record speaks for itself. The farce downgraded itself to a disgrace when they broke every precedent in their 77 year history to avoid giving Best Picture to Brokeback Mountain for fear of right-wing reprecussions (such conceit, as though 99% of people even remember or care what won the yeear before anyway). After that, I became one of the people who truly doesn't watch, but I can't help but care, because so many continue to take it seriously. They influence what people watch. I remember a friend saying, "gee, I had no desire to see Crash, it got such mixed and even bad reviews, but then it won, so I had to see it...how did that win, it really sucked, I should have watched Brokeback instead". Its the latter part that peeves me. The friend is a working mother of three, she sees very few movies per year, most her selected by her kids, the others by the Academy. Bad thinking, since with that logic, she'd be missing the likes of City Lights, Citizen Kane, Notorious, Singin' in the Rain, Night of the Hunter, The Searchers, Vertigo, Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, The Graduate, 2001, Network, Apocalpyse Now, Raging Bull, Blade Runner, Do the Right Thing, Goodfellas, Breaking the Waves, Fellowship of the Ring, The Pianist, Eternal Sunshine, and so many others, in favor of often far inferior films. And they don't even seriously consider foreign-language films, save Crouching Tiger thanks solely to its huge box office, but of course that lost to Gladiator, another joke. To me, however, the joke ain't funny, the Academy wields far too much influence. Of course its not worth getting upset about in the more serious in the scheme of things, but in the movie talk world, its gospel.


The Voice laid off Nat Hentoff?

Jesus. Is their business model the baptism scene from The Godfather? At any rate, I somehow doubt a Michael is waiting in the wings to take over from all the legends they've axed. Hoberman must see the writing on the wall.

Ginger Garver

Mr. Kenny, I admired your analysis/skewering of hysterical oscar blogs. one thing that has become surprisingly commonplace in awards season commentary is the participation of respected critics( Ebert, Corliss) in predicting nominations or lamenting the Academy's omissions. Do you have any thoughts on the history of this merging of popular criticism and Oscar handicapping? Did the great crtics of decades past (Agee, Crowther) comment on the Oscar races of long ago?

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