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January 28, 2012


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Wow Glenn, great piece. You've drawn quite a line in the sand for those who spew BS about the Oscars every year around this time. Why can't people just take a breath and relax and sharpen their fangs for something else? Perhaps you've set in motion a great backlash of the backlash...errr...of the backl...anyways, thanks again for putting pen on paper, or pixels on screen, to a topic that truly needs the mold scraped off. And you're the man with the knife!


I'm starting to think that your underlying problem with Kois is really his attitude toward Phineas and Ferb, not Solaris. This is a cause I can get behind. Perhaps Phineas and Ferb, along with their platypus friend, could host next year's Oscars.

Jim Gabriel

Heh. Heh. Hehhhhh.


Bravo. I feel like should go listen to Pink Floyd's "Dogs" right now.

I certainly hope Kois's kid rebels and grows up to be a Tarkovsky scholar.

Dan Coyle

I gotta tell ya, when I'm looking for incisive cultural criticism of the age, Mr. Polone, the man who signs the checks on something as awful as Jane by Design is not at the top of my list.


I approve of this post.


Trying not to repeat myself too much from your earlier Recommended Reading thread, but -- I really don't get why some of these folks are so invested in "improving" the Oscar telecast (or why this dominates Oscar coverage every year). Seems like the truly above-it-all would simply never watch it, while those of us who care (for whatever reason and to whatever degree) will tune in as always and tolerate the pretty much unavoidable dead spots, bad production decisions and lame presenter banter. If you only care about the winners, there are any number of ways to get the results without suffering through the show.

I guess many of the naysayers are more or less required to watch for professional reasons, and therefore would naturally prefer an exciting, memorable telecast. But that's a mythical creature that has never existed and never will. Tip: Set the DVR, tune in an hour or so after the show has begun, and forward through the stuff that bores you (dance numbers, presenter entrances, winners' walks to the stage, montage packages, etc. -- and commercials, of course). You can probably get through the whole thing in less than an hour.

David Ehrenstein

My suggestion to Kois was that the oscar ceremony should be put in the ultra-capable hands of Neil Patrick Harris.

Of course that's my solution to everthing.


Sal C

People who purport to take film seriously and then complain about the Oscars (whether it's the nominations, winners, or the ceremony itself) remind me of rock music 'aficionados' who complain about how lame the Superbowl halftime show is. If you really do care, why would expect anything other than lameness? In other breaking news, standing in the rain will get you wet.


Agree, Sal. I try to let a smile be my umbrella. The show still sucks, but I'm less likely to have an aneurysm.

I developed an interest in the Oscars early on, and now it's kind of like a habit - it gives me a nostalgic kick. I started really getting into movies when I was about 13, and I soon wanted to suss out which films were "the best." The Oscars seemed like a solid, officially sanctioned place to start; who would know better than the people who made them? It didn't take too long to find the flaw in that logic, but I kept enjoying the hoopla. It is what it is, as every reality competition contestant says these days. You learn pretty quickly not to be shocked when, say, CERTIFIED COPY fails to land a Best Picture nomination.


It has been years since I last watched the show - does Billy Crystal while standing on the stage still exchange witticisms with a sunglasses wearing Jack Nicholson sitting in the front row? That was always fun.


There's a new LA Times article by Owen Gleiberman bemoaning the Academy's "trend" of honoring low-grossing "art house" films instead of popular hits (this is assuming that THE ARTIST wins, and that two of the last three years can be considered a trend). The extensive comments section is one-stop shopping for all received wisdom on the topic of "improving" the Oscars.

Chris O.

On a not too unrelated note, I keep envisioning a Venn diagram where set A = Joe Popcorn; set B = Film Dweeb and I guess the intersection is pretty much just Fincher?

Dan Coyle

Owen Glieberman once declared Natural Born Killers one of the best films of 1994, didn't he?


Had Stone possessed the satiric cojones to stick with his original ending, in which Mickey and Mallory are themselves slaughtered by another serial killer, I might almost agree.


Actually, I could be wrong, but I believe he declared Natural Born Killers the best film of the '90s.


No more egregious than declaring 'Carlito's Way'.

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