Of flowing gowns and tear-jerking speeches

Like all years, I only got to watch the re-run of the Oscars late on Monday Night – India Time – after all the results were out and after having read about 6 different versions of the commentary about what transpired inside Kodak Theatre. But Oscar’s never let you down irrespective of what your political affiliations are and what ever you think of the big corporate lobbyists. They are the biggest awards and they give you a thrill come what may.

Letterman was who I guess called Oscars the night where you see new and beautiful faces. Same people mind you, but new faces. Felicity Hoffman would definitely have no problem accepting that statement. Have been seeing her for quite a while now and she never ceases to stop amazing me at how different she looks every year. Transamerica notwithstanding.

Over the years the efforts of the Academy to find a perfect host have all come to a naught and this year’s choice was no exception either. Jon Stewart, apparently a big host in America, but for people like me here who have no access to his daily political shows have no way to judge him, but his work y’day night was nothing but mediocre. The over used Dick Cheney joke, George Clooney references and the ever pertinent but repetitive Martin Scorsese misfortune has all been told. At some point I was actually laughing at his efforts to sound politically right while controlling against the political charade that he let’s out time and again – Apparently.

George Clooney’s speech was first and I felt it more or less describes the way most Hollywood personalities are: Look very polished and stylish while self aggrandizing. Perfect Actor this guy. He literally carried Syriana with his powerful performance and y’day night set the tone for the upsets about to come. This guy deserves an Oscar no doubt, but I felt he wanted it more for his directing than acting.

The high point I thought was the performance by Three 6 Mafia. The Academy must be congratulated for its courage to allow them to perform a song like “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” and then give them an Oscar. And I loved that speech. Damm the Reese’s and Hoffman’s. That’s what you call an acceptance speech.

“Crash” is a personal favorite for me so I was rooting for it all the way. I agree that there were other films too. A lot was spoken about Woody Allen’s podcast for lobbying for the award for “Match Point” and George Clooney’s reluctance to promote his film as much as it deserves but all said and done “Crash” was real. Everyday real. Haven’t watched Broke Back mountain yet, Limewire is not being generous to me these days because of my lecher ways, but of what I have heard and read, it’s nice but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell still rules the roost in America.

Biggest disappointment for me personally – Joaquin Phoenix not taking the best actor. I thought he was brilliant considering the storyline of “Walk the Line”. It’s very plausible to go overboard while performing as someone else and if it’s “Johnny Cash” then you have to be doubly careful. “Walk the line” was Phoenix’s film all the way and also that Reese won the best actress was a big let down too. I was also surprised by the vote going not in favor of Terrence Howard. I haven’t watched Hustle & Flow but “Crash” is a proof enough for me to vouch for him. And this is a guy who will knock on the Academy doors again and again and will surely make his way in.

Tsotsi – Take a bow. Paradise Now is also said to be brilliant. Also heard rumors about the Jewish lobby and the pressure they were exerting on the Academy to ignore the film. I haven’t watched the films anyway but they sure seem exciting. No Man’s Land and Life is Beautiful did not disappoint, waiting to see the present bunch.

I know it’s a sacrilege to even compare Oscar’s with any awards functions in India but you can’t help but feel disappointed at times for the total sham that they are here. This yr Karan Johar hosted an event. I am quite sure he must have rattled on about the virtues of his extended family and how “they” are doing a great service to the Indian audience by keeping them in tune with our culture and traditions. What Culture? What Traditions? What is depicted in their movies probably used to take place a century ago.

It was also good to catch a glimpse of Ashutosh Gowariker sitting behind the ensemble cast of “Crash” along with his wife. At least we are represented in some form.

Finally, can India ever win one. Paheli was sent for the nominations this year. Why? I mean what’s the point in sending movies that the Oscar committee’s don’t understand. An academy member said he was confused as to why the main characters break into song and dance routines when the plot is moving along perfectly. Well, as patriotic as we may seem, that’s one valid question. Also, who chooses the movies to be sent for nominations. Is there a film body or something that decides? Who heads them and what are their credentials? Why not Iqbal. Why not Hazaron Khawhisein Aisi? Morning Raga? Why big banner, big budget movies? Why not real movies?

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8 thoughts on “Of flowing gowns and tear-jerking speeches”

  1. Ravi!
    Why shud we make a movie for the oscar sake or US sake..oscar is for them, the americans..no point trying to prove a point..if so only movies like paheli,etc will represent India..
    I have no qualms about our dancing and singing..after all our recreation is complete..song is a part of many things for us – like prayer,relaxing, folklore, conveying history, tradition..so why not have them in movies meant for us?
    btw our style of movie making has its own effect..more than one half of the globe follows it. No! am not talking of the Indian diaspora viewing it across..in malay, gulf, africa, east europe and nowadays in the west europe too! to have full impact of bollywood (or Amitabh esp) one has to plan a trip to Egypt..its mind boggling..we have actually colonised them mentally with our movies..
    so who needs to impress Oscar?

  2. Ravi!
    Why shud we make a movie for the oscar sake or US sake..oscar is for them, the americans..no point trying to prove a point..if so only movies like paheli,etc will represent India..
    I have no qualms about our dancing and singing..after all our recreation is complete..song is a part of many things for us – like prayer,relaxing, folklore, conveying history, tradition..so why not have them in movies meant for us?
    btw our style of movie making has its own effect..more than one half of the globe follows it. No! am not talking of the Indian diaspora viewing it across..in malay, gulf, africa, east europe and nowadays in the west europe too! to have full impact of bollywood (or Amitabh esp) one has to plan a trip to Egypt..its mind boggling..we have actually colonised them mentally with our movies..
    so who needs to impress Oscar?

  3. I did not see the AA. But I guess they were fun.

    They generate this rather credulous excitement like say, the Filmfare awards (of yesteryears when they were sponsored by Manikchand, and before every second channel in the sub continent started their own version with a opening price of Rs. 7 per statuette). We used to love them in our household. Fulll.. beta, who won the best film? type conversations at dinner table.

    I still remember SRK after winning each of his.. umm.. I donno.. 2913 awards, give out a speech as earnest as any. I think he is undoubtedly the best “acceptance-speech-giver” ever. George Clooney/ Robin Williams withstanding.

    Ah! Someday.. Inshalla.. we too shall make a movie like say.. hmm.. “Who the hell is Juliete??” and walk up to the podium and say something like.. “They say every dog has its day.. And Chaitu.. Dog!! Today is our day!”

    I just realized that I went off.. to borrow your words.. on a tangent.

    Btw.. I just read that Crash also won the Oscar(s) for Editing -and- Screenplay.

    Well.. I got two words for you..

    Munich.
    The Squid and the Whale.

    (actually six but..)

    I rest my case.

  4. I did not see the AA. But I guess they were fun.

    They generate this rather credulous excitement like say, the Filmfare awards (of yesteryears when they were sponsored by Manikchand, and before every second channel in the sub continent started their own version with a opening price of Rs. 7 per statuette). We used to love them in our household. Fulll.. beta, who won the best film? type conversations at dinner table.

    I still remember SRK after winning each of his.. umm.. I donno.. 2913 awards, give out a speech as earnest as any. I think he is undoubtedly the best “acceptance-speech-giver” ever. George Clooney/ Robin Williams withstanding.

    Ah! Someday.. Inshalla.. we too shall make a movie like say.. hmm.. “Who the hell is Juliete??” and walk up to the podium and say something like.. “They say every dog has its day.. And Chaitu.. Dog!! Today is our day!”

    I just realized that I went off.. to borrow your words.. on a tangent.

    Btw.. I just read that Crash also won the Oscar(s) for Editing -and- Screenplay.

    Well.. I got two words for you..

    Munich.
    The Squid and the Whale.

    (actually six but..)

    I rest my case.

  5. Hmm u r right about good Indian cinema not being sent to such awards. So the world never knows that we hav a 15 park avenue or mixed doubles or as u said Iqbal or morning raaga.
    Shame on them.
    Even black wud hav done a gud job.
    But I disagree with u that reese was not nice enough .I mean that woman gets right under the skin of the character she is playing. If you don’t believe try seeing Just Like Heaven and you will realise why she must hav been voted. She is oscar material 😉
    And though i havent seen brokeback it seems to be superb ( as far as my frnds n oth reviews go). Why shudnt heath get the oscar for playing gay when in reality he is str8 ? tough act wasn’t it?
    hope u r enjoyin work. thnx for the comment posted long ago on my blog.
    Cheers !
    Ciao
    Joey
    http://www.ajaysurve.blogspot.com &
    http://www.cosmosmantra.blogspot.com

  6. Hmm u r right about good Indian cinema not being sent to such awards. So the world never knows that we hav a 15 park avenue or mixed doubles or as u said Iqbal or morning raaga.
    Shame on them.
    Even black wud hav done a gud job.
    But I disagree with u that reese was not nice enough .I mean that woman gets right under the skin of the character she is playing. If you don’t believe try seeing Just Like Heaven and you will realise why she must hav been voted. She is oscar material 😉
    And though i havent seen brokeback it seems to be superb ( as far as my frnds n oth reviews go). Why shudnt heath get the oscar for playing gay when in reality he is str8 ? tough act wasn’t it?
    hope u r enjoyin work. thnx for the comment posted long ago on my blog.
    Cheers !
    Ciao
    Joey
    http://www.ajaysurve.blogspot.com &
    http://www.cosmosmantra.blogspot.com

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