Well folks, it’s almost that time of year again. When we, as a society, award pretty people for playing dress-up. That sounds cynical, especially for someone who loves movies and the stars that populate them. But the Oscars are a bit ridiculous, right?
Art is subjective and the fact that an “Academy” decides some art is better than others is absurd. However, Hollywood is the most congratulatory industry and unfortunately I spent a lot of my time congratulating it too. BUT, I draw the line at the Oscars. Specifically, the speeches made at the Oscars.
Let me clarify, my distaste for speeches is referring particularly to those made by actors. As a cinephile, I appreciate auterurship and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Screenwriters, cinematographers, and directors are the trust artists of the film, so they deserve to speak. But actors are the paintbrushes. They’re people who have won the genetic lottery. I’m not denying their talent, I couldn’t deliver lines with the bravado of Leonardo DiCaprio and look as good doing it. But should they be speaking to us?
My answer is no, actors get enough attention. Their speeches are typically pompous and only create disdain, which in turn ruins whatever character they’re playing because now whenever I watch “Les Miserablés” all I can think of is Anne Hathaway starting her Best Supporting Actress speech with, “It came true!”
However, there have been some gems. Matthew Mcconaughey talking in his speech about “chasing his hero,” and then later revealing his hero was himself in ten years. Hilarious. Or what about Melissa Leo winning for “The Fighter,” then proceeding to flirt with 94 year old Kirk Douglas and drop an f-bomb on live television. Iconic. And who could forget Sean Penn delivering one of the best performances of all time in Mystic River, then immediately ruining it by starting his acceptance speech with a joke about Iran WMD’s. That’s my favorite.
Ok, so maybe Best Actor and Actress speeches are fun. Sometimes. But people need to remember that at the end of the day, these are still the theater kids from your high school. They’re not rocket scientists or philosophers or astrophysicist. If they give advice, don’t take it! Or at least look into it before you do. Because I’m sorry Joaquin but you won an Oscar for playing an incel clown, I don’t need to hear your thoughts on global warming.