2002 Academy Awards
06 Apr 2002
If you're like most, and I don't mean to be insulting by suggesting that, but
if you are, then you've probably already forgotten who was nominated for what,
who was rooked, and who was justly rewarded for their excellence in whatever
from last year. It's nothing to be ashamed of -- that's just the way celebrity
works. Here today, what's-her-name tomorrow. So read these comments fast, they
won't make sense by next week.
I don't understand why so many women dress like whores for the Academy
Awards. Take the woman on the left, for example. Bad eye makeup, unflattering
sheer top. What is that thing around her neck? What happened to her hair?
Where is the beautiful woman we first saw in "Seven" and
Now consider the lovely Sissy Spacek on the right, radiant in the knowledge
that she turned in an outstanding performance in "In The Bedroom",
confident in her skill.
Gwyneth Paltrow on Oscar night.
Sissy Spacek (right).
Photo: BBC web site
A bit of understatement goes so far sometimes.
|I think I first saw Jim Broadbent in Terry
Gilliam's 1985 film, "Brazil." He plays Dr. Jaffe, a cosmetic
surgeon. Perhaps you remember him as the bartender from "The Crying
Game", or as the father in Mike Leigh's film "Life Is
Sweet." How about Buckingham in "Richard III"? Or as Mr.
Boo, the oily impresario in "Little Voice"? Or Gilbert in
"Topsy-Turvy"? Year after year, Broadbent has been turning in
one good performance after another, and it's about time he was recognized,
this time for his portrayal of John Bayley in "Iris".
Howard Shore won the award for best score for his work on "Lord Of The
Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings", or LOTRTFOTR for short, though not
by much. Shore has also scored almost every film David Cronenberg has made. He
used to work on Saturday Night Live in the early years. And yet, I don't like
his work. Never have. I don't think his music complements the films he works
for, and to my ear is more of a distraction than silence. However, this award
is given in recognition of extraordinary work, and since I believe in saluting
hard work, I say congratulations. Congratulations for working very hard to
produce a score I didn't care for.
I am tempted to let Berry speak for herself. Let's give an abridged listen:
"Oh my God. I'm sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me.
This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for
the women that stand beside me - Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett and it's for
every nameless, faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this
door tonight has been opened.
Thank you. I'm so honoured. I am so honoured and thank the academy for
choosing me to be the vessel from which this blessing might flow. Thank you.
I want to thank my agents CAA, Josh Lieberman especially. I have to thank my
agents, Kevin Huvane - thank you, thank you for never kicking me out and
sending me somewhere else - thank you.
I - who else - I have so many people that I know I need to thank um...
my lawyers Neil Meyer. Thank you - OK wait a minute - I gotta take this - 74
years here - OK I've gotta take this time."
When the normally lucid Juliette Binoche won the best supporting actress
award in 1997, she closed her acceptance speech saying, "It's like a
dream. A French dream." Later, she admitted that it made no sense
whatsoever, so I really can't fault someone for babbling a bit. But I draw the
line at describing yourself as a "vessel" from which blessings flow.
Steady on, old girl.
But the main thought in my mind as I listened to her speech was the
emphasis on the colour of her skin. Was it really more significant than the
details of her work? Pick up a paper, and you see articles about how black
actors won this year, and how progressive everyone the Academy is. If the
Academy was so progressive, then why is this being talked about at all? I
still cling to the hope that someone, somewhere believes that it's the quality
of the performance that's the thing.
Like Christmas, the Oscars are something I look forward to for weeks on end,
at once affecting an nonchalant air, but also harboring a deep seated sense of
self-righteous conviction about who the winners should be. And then, in a blink
of a sleepy eye, it's over for another year. Laughter, tears, curtain.
Annual Academy Awards
Iris (Official site)