THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE: An Oscar for best ground game.
In America, every child may dream of becoming president. That’s regardless of race, sex, and social standing. Yesss, folks, but not without big money and a good GROUND GAME, as Glenn Whipp explains (LA Times, 25 Feb). He wasn’t talking about Obama, mind you. He was talking about LINCOLN, and why it didn’t make Best Picture.A GOOD GROUND GAME?? You mean QUALITY isn’t the only factor that sways Academy Awards judges? Hey, sorry to destroy your innocence and break your heart, but here’s what the judges are looking for:
HOLLYWOOD. It helps if a picture is about The Industry. Those movie people playing movie people in ARGO -- can it get any better? And it’s gotta be
FEEL GOOD STUFF. Like the great American narrative, LINCOLN? No, no. That was like a high school lesson: bo-ring. How about ZERO DARK THIRTY then? Pu-leeze! It sure didn’t make senators McCain, Feinstein, and Levin feel good. It was false! they said. Grossly misleading! Inaccurate! -- Excuse me, senators. Since when do historical movies have to be accurate? It’s all about
ACTION. That’s what counts. Don’t let the movie drag on, just to make it factually accurate. Look at ARGO, which dealt with a rescue involving the Canadian embassy. Well, you know those Canadians. So low-key. So boring. So the screen writers came up with that bit about the problems at the airport, and WHAMMO: high drama. Those LINCOLN people don’t know sugar from shit. A quiet assassination doesn’t sell. Why didn’t they end the film with a shoot-out between Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth?
SEX. You know why Oscar host Seth MacFarlane got bad press? Because he wasn’t funny enough? Because his jokes were tasteless? Nah. Because he gave away the secret of Hollywood success with his totally uncalled-for song WE’VE SEEN YOUR BOOBS. The rat!
But here is what make a movie a sure winner --THE GROUND GAME, the arduous job of manipulating opinion: maneuvering behind the scenes, glad-handing here, snubbing there, mass tweeting, huge ads, ear-shattering trailers, posh screening parties, extravagant promises, sweat, lies, and tears. The Academy Awards would be nothing without the men and women who have dedicated their lives to hype.
So, I’m asking you: why is there no OSCAR FOR BEST GROUND GAME?