The Curious Case of the Academy Screwing the Pooch

Many things in life make no sense. Wonderful guys like Jeff and myself being single, for instance. Or the Cardinals winning the 2006 World Series. Sarah Palin becoming a de facto leader of the Republican party. The world is a crazy place. However, nothing reminds me of this fact quite so much as when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the Oscar nominations around this time every year.

golden boy.jpg

Another mixed-up Oscar

Seriously, are you guys smoking crack? 13 nominations for Benjamin Button? This movie already won an Academy Award a decade and a half ago when it starred Tom Hanks and they called it Forrest Gump. Making the same movie in reverse shouldn’t qualify it to win another Oscar. Speaking of which, here’s an idea for the studio that will save them several million dollars. Why not just buy some old VHS copies of Gump and play them on rewind. There, you’ve seen Benjamin Button and you’ve helped save the environment by reducing demand for new movies and packaging. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute movie. But it’s three hours of Brad Pitt being Brad Pitt and it leaves us with the oh-so-original thought that we leave this world much like we came into it. Really? I paid twelve dollars for that?

And from the inane, we move to the insane. This category breaks down into two major subcategories, “How did that make it in?” and  “How did that get left out?” In the first subcategory, we have the multiple nominations for The Reader. Yep, I’m sure it’s a good movie. Yep, Kate Winslet is an amazing actress. But this fixation the Academy has with anything Holocaust skews their judgment in a major way. Without a doubt, Ben Button also falls into this first subcategory but I think I’ve already made my point there.

However, the second subcategory is where we find the real problems. For instance, how does Gran Torino get completely shut out? For all the amazing films Clint Eastwood has been part of over the years, this one has to rank up near the top. He makes Jack Palance look like a pansy. He’s as clutch when it comes to film making as A-Rod is choke when it comes to post-season baseball. Similarly, there is no possible way you can say that Mr. Button deserved a best picture nod over both The Wrestler and The Dark Knight. Arguably, those are the best two films of the year and neither one of them is even up for the award. That’s more than a shame, that’s a crime. And neither the Boss or Clint being nominated for Best Original Song is beyond embarrassing.

Anyway, I’m done. The anger is gone. I have nothing left and I’m lying in a puddle on the floor, soaking in my own impotent, rage-filled tears. And yes, I realize that this is probably the third post in a row with only the most tenuous connection to baseball but don’t worry. Pitchers and catchers report soon and I’ll once again be on the floor, sobbing as the Tigers’ pitching staff takes the field.



  1. juliasrants

    Allen – it’s not right – but you had to know that even with all the hype that the Dark Knight was NOT going to get a nod from the Academy! Look how they shut out the Lord of the Rings Trilogy until the “Return of the King” came out.


  2. flairforthedramatic

    I agree with all of the above. I’ve always hated the Oscars, and now it seems my suspicions that the nominees are picked out of a hat may very well be true. The Dark Knight earned 2nd all time and didn’t even get nominated for best picture. How does that happen?
    – V [ ]

  3. xcicix

    The thing about The Reader that everyone else is so furious about was because they hated Hanna and they thought she got off easy. I didn’t see the movie, just read the book, and I didn’t like it but I could sympathize with Hanna. Sure she was a crazy Nazi lady, but what about all those other movies about the good germans who didnt do anything? The book wasnt that much about the holocaust…it was about illiteracy. I don’t know…if the holocaust is such a big thing why wasn’t Valkyrie nominated for anything?
    And hey, the Tigers have Brandon Lyon now…though that’s not necissarily all good.
    Nice blog, btw. Good writing.

  4. Jane Heller

    Allen, if you had only read my post about “Benjamin Forest Gump Button,” you could have saved yourself the $12. I said it was a derivative snooze-a-thon, and it was! The snubbing of Clint and Springsteen were also egregious, but I’m not as passionate as others about “Dark Knight.” It made a lot of money and Heath was great, but it went on FOREVER. I love the Oscars and will be rooting for “Slumdog.”

  5. allenk

    So, my whole rant about Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump? Apparently I could have saved myself (and all of you) a lot of time by just posting this:
    Thanks for humoring me anyway.
    xcicix, thanks for the comment. I should probably actually read the book or see the movie before talking about it. Thanks for going easy on me, though.
    Russell, it is true. However, Angelina doesn’t get him until after he awkwardly dumps Rachel in front of the whole gang at Central Perk.

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