I didn’t file last night about the SAG winners because (a) I genuinely love and worship great filmmaking and revel in the celebration of same, and therefore (b) I don’t care at all whether Pleasing But Overpraised Movie #1 (i.e., The Artist) now has a slight chance of losing the Best Picture Oscar to Pleasing but Overpraised Movie #2 (i.e., The Help).
The Spirit of 2011 (as represented by the final Oscar favorites) is virulently opposed to the Spirit of 1999 — I know that much. The two-headed Artist/Help shrek gollum isn’t fit to shine the boots of Election, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, The Insider, American Beauty, The Matrix, etc.
The final indignity came when SAG gave its Best Actor prize to The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin over The Descendants‘ George Clooney. Lord knows it’s not easy to smile and grin and tapdance like Dujardin did in The Artist, and then turn on a dime and exude anguish and depression and grow a seven-day beard as his character’s movie career goes downhill. What are Clooney’s expressions of 21st Century grief, uncertainty, vulnerability and fear in the face of death compared to that?
None of my faves are in play here, and we are in the last throes of one of the weakest, shallowest and most profoundly embarassing Oscar years in motion picture history. Did last night’s SAG wins by Cecil B. DeMille‘s The Greatest Show on Earth indicate a real possibility of it beating Mike Todd‘s Around The World in Eighty Days for the Big Prize, or is this just a fool’s dream? Either way you can bet your boots that Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil is keeping track of every last shift in intuition and sentiment among key prognosticators.
I just want to find a nice bucket at a nearby hardware store and keep it with me just in case.
This morning Movieline‘s Stu Van Airsdale posted the following: “I don’t have much outrage left about this year’s Oscar class, but just watching another goddamn tired Albert Nobbs clip and seeing Tilda Swinton‘s gracious recognition of her own SAG nomination and thinking about Swinton and Charlize Theron and Kirsten Dunst and Elizabeth Olsen and at least three or four other actresses more worthy of Close’s Oscar nomination and what could have been had me so irretrievably embittered all over again. What a bunch of bozos we’ve built this beat around. Or maybe we’re the bozos. Either way, it’s a waste.”