Academi(y)c Blunder!

The 78th Academy Awards were given out on the 6th of March, evening at the Kodak theatre in Hollywood. The highlights of the award ceremony were obviously the regal selection of movies – some of which were never a hit in the box office list. This went to assure us movie fans that Oscar Awards did not after all get ruled by the numbers and fame! Or did I speak too soon? Well, there were a couple of surprises in stack, after all habits are hard to get over. Isn’t it?
When the nominations were announced, the fact that Brokeback Mountain was selected under 8 categories (the highest in the list this time) came as a welcome breeze! Hollywood seemed to have finally stepped out of the oblivion in encompassing issues of Social concern, which even drove the political campaign in the United States. Not just this movie, but the others selected under the best movie category too showcased the same! But hardly a few were as hard hitting as the former. I’d say that Crash would follow Brokeback Mountain. The theme dealt in the movie Crash, was equally sensitive, and very novel. The 2 days that seemed to bring different people (from different cultures) and different issues altogether, leaving a lasting impression on the minds of the characters (and also the viewers) and changing them forever, is a theme that very few films can do justice to! And in this venture, CRASH wasn’t a debacle at all. No sireee.. on the contrary, it nailed the issue to the point, right on the head, and drove it straight where it had to be driven! Yet, at the end of the day, the story that showcases the hypocritic attitude of the society towards the ‘queer’ community is one, that makes us stand still. Typically the academy had been following the tradition of awarding the best director, and the best movie to the same Film (except the past couple of years). When Ang Lee won the award, I was all set to watch Brokeback walk away with the best movie award too. Am I disappointed that Crash got it? I woudn’t say so. But yeah, Brokeback Mountain deserved it.
The awards in the category of best animations, was yet another surprise! Tim Burton’s “The Corpse Bride” was several times enjoyable than “Wallace and Gromit…”. The former was, if I may say, more sassy, classy, witty, and definitely pleasant! I did have high expectations on the “Howl’s Moving Castle” till I watched the movie. For those of us who expected another “Spirited Away” or something better, this movie was indeed a let down of the size of King Kong. The best make-up award being given to the team of “Chronicles of Narnia” was yeddanoder surprise, what with the contender being “Star Wars-III Revenge of the Sith“. And forgive me for sounding archaic, “In the deep”(Crash) was a much better score than “Its hard out here for a Pimp”(Hustle & Flow). The couple of movies that I felt richly deserved the awards they won, were ofcourse “King Kong” and “Memoirs of a Geisha“.
Finally, yet another annual event of great expectation is over, and another series of movies shall be screened in hope of winning the big ‘O’. Hopefully if the last year was any hint of what is coming forth, we may see Hollywood churning out movies that are more meaningful and bearing more impact. If it may seem like the Academy Awards is making up for the negligence is showed earlier, then better late than never!
As a passing thought, whatever made India send the repulsive “Paheli” to the Oscars while there was the mesmerizing “Black“?!! Guess some things are just universal!

8 comments

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    • Chandan on March 9, 2006 at 6:57 AM

    Yup, somethings are just universal. I heard, Black is a remake of an old french/English movie (Hellen Kellers biography), If it were a remake it had very less chance of winning an Oscar in best foreign film catagory. I assume that might be the reason for
    why it was not selected.

    • jayashree on March 9, 2006 at 7:09 PM

    After reading Chandan’s remark on Black even I don’t think there was any room for the oscar but yeah,Paheli was not the right choice.
    Brokeback Mountain had all favorable conditions to win but Crash was no less extraordinary. One should watch this movie to realize why is it different.

    • Manjesh on March 11, 2006 at 7:16 PM

    *Brokeback Mountain*.ge best film award sigbEkittu ansutte 😛

    “Hustle and Flow – It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” song.ge best song award kottru…sakkat maja ittu 😉

    • Kishan on March 12, 2006 at 5:06 AM

    Praveena,
    Just Small test; let’s give the same story to the Three best directors in the world. The task is to make a movie out of it. Same story, different Directors…Dont you think there’s going to be a huge difference in the end product.
    I dont think the movies should be rejected if there are just a remake of an other movie.
    Personally a movie is not just story. Its the way you tell a story. and those of us who grew up listening to stories from Grandparents/parents/elders will surely apppreiate “the way a story is told”

    What say?

    • Sri on March 13, 2006 at 6:25 AM

    Dude, Kodak theater is in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, CA and NOT in New york, city.

    You were there very much in the theater, 3 months back !!

    What’s the hype with brokeback, no comments not seen it, not inclined to see it either, these days oscar losing its importance,
    but worth catching up for the glamour and the red carpet

    Keira Knightley was a treat to watch 🙂

    • Praveen on March 13, 2006 at 3:43 PM

    @Chandan:- Well I did hear that Black was inspired by an English movie. But if Oscars can go to Adapted Screenplays.. then surely it can also qualify to be in Oscar! For that matter wasn’t Paheli a rip off of “nAgamaMDala”?

    @Jayashree:- I do concur and as I said Crash did deserve it.. but Brokeback deserved it even more!!

    @Manji:- hehehe the song is maja dude.. aadare Oscar awards innU swalpa level irOdakke koDbahudittu anta aShTe!

    @kishan:- I feel the same too! So no qualms personally for “Black” being a remake.. and ofcourse neither did anyone have!

    @Sri :- *absolutely shocked and embarassed* I guess that was an Academic blunder on my part too! Infact last nite while drivin’ back from houston I suddenly remembered for some reason that Kodak theater is in Hollywood and cudn’t figure out what exactly had made me think it was in NYC..especially after I had myself visited it with u all guyz!! Gosh.. rectified the mistake. as for the BM issue dude.. watch the movie its worth it! Ofcourse it ain’t no QT!

    • December Stud on March 17, 2006 at 12:46 AM

    For one, “Black” is a miserable remake of the “Miracle Worker”. “Black” : “Miracle Worker” is exactly same as “Deewangi” : “Primal Fear”, at least the latter is better done.

    The sad part is Mr. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s claim on the originality and research to do “Black”. It is absolute pity that he thinks people who watch “Black” are dumb enough not figure out the original. He has ripped it to such an extent that everything from W-A-T-E-R being the first word taught to the joyous jumping around the fountain is a copy.

    Of course, the second half is Mr. Bhansali’s original – how can Hindi movies survive without such inept emotional mega saga ?

    As for “Paheli”, I have ehar it’s a Rajasthani folklore, quite similar to “Nagamandala”. That’s different – when Sri. AK Ramanujam narrated the story to Karnad and Kambar, we got a “Nagamandala” and a “Siri Sampige”, each independent and unique in it’s own style. So, I am guessing “Paheli” is a third flavor…unlike “Black” and “Miracle Worker”.

    And, your argument on “Adapted Screenplay” doesn’t hold good here. “Black” is not even a translation…it’s awarding someone who copied somethign and never even acknowledged it.

    As for “Brokeback Mountain”, sure there was so much hype. But, it’s the same Hollywood which has been so liberal. Didn’t “Midnight Cowboy” win Oscars so long ago ? So, did the black lady in “Gone With Teh Wind”. they were all barrier breakers. So, no, Hollywood did not choose to play it safe. There is no reason for “Brokeback” to win an oscar just because of the story line.

    At a philosophical level,

    “OlegAranigEke bareda suddiya chiMte……

    sAlagaLo shUlagaLo nOvugaLo nalivugaLo
    kAlOTa avanUTa maMkutimma” 🙂

    I guess we are all still too young, but I am sure Sri. DVG would haev had a heart laugh at “Brokeback” not winning the awards !!!

    • Praveen on March 17, 2006 at 2:07 AM

    @Dec Stud: Wow! I didn’t know that it was such a sincere rip off of the “Miracle Worker”. Haven’t watched that movie, but yeah, I sure will do it now. In that case, “Adapted Screenplay” doesn’t gel with “Black” and I do take back my support for it. On “Paheli” I really still don’t feel it qualified.
    Oscar Awards have indeed been given to the movie “Midnite Cowboy” but still it wasn’t the gay theme that was main in the movie. The main character does run into a couple of gay instances, but this movie was in particular out and out sympathetic to the same sex relationships. And it is not just about the story line! Acting, cinematography, screenplay, direction, were all equally good!

    Well once one dwelves into the philosophical aspects, ofcourse there is nothing one has to bother or holler about! But then, why rid the flavor and drain off anything that one feels like writing about?! There is nothing wrong in bemusing and wondering! I enjoyed both the movies and feel that both of ’em deserved it! One got, the other didn’t! In the end, I still feel satisfied with the thought that BM deserved the award!
    BTW: I sure do hope that U’d keep visitin’ around! I have thoroughly relished your response! adU maMkutimmana kagga na haage saraagavaagi quote maaDOru innU idaare andre, sakkat KuShi aagutte. Thanx and keep visitng!

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