Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oscar's Short-Term Memory

The Oscar nominations came out yesterday, and as usual, practically all of the nominations are for movies that came out in the last couple months of the year. What's up with that? Anymore the Oscars aren't really the "best of 2005", they're the "best of 4th quarter 2005". I guess it's all part of the shrinking American attention span. Just as CEOs are practically trained by the market to shrink their horizons to last quarter and next quarter, so filmmakers are trained to bring out their films at the end of the year if they care about getting an Oscar nod. The result is that we have some seasons when there's a drought of good films, and then in December, too many films are tripping over each other to be released at the same time.

Just to refresh Oscar's memory: I'm sure Judi Densch is great in "Mrs Henderson Presents" (I haven't seen it yet), but what about her performance in "Ladies in Lavender"? Or Maggie Smith in the same? And "Heights" touched on some of the same themes as "Sideways", but did a much better job in my opinion. How about Elizabeth Banks for best actress, or Glenn Close for best supporting, or Chris Terrio for direction, or Amy Fox for adapted screenplay? Oh yeah, it came out in the summer, that’s like so six months ago. . . How about Liev Schreiber for his direction or adaptation of "Everything Is Illuminated"? Or the performances of Elijah Wood and Eugene Husk? I guess even September is too long ago to be remembered. (I won't even mention the films like "Mysterious Skin" that technically were released in 2004, perhaps at a film festival or two, but didn't see general release until 2005, so get disqualified on a technicality.)

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