Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ratings crash.

Search my February archives for my thoughts on this year's Best Picture Oscar winner. Search my January archives for a list of 15 films that were more deserving of that award than "Crash" (and I can recite an additional 15 films upon request).

It seems the common explanation for this Oscar upset is that Hollywood is trying to set the American social agenda - telling people that "Crash" is good, they should see "Crash," they should soak in its strike-a-melodramatic-pose visuals and its muddled message that people hate, but also love, but also hate, ad infinitum. "Oooh, we're such numb and lost souls that we crash into each other - that's awesome stuff, man. That's what we'll call the film. And hey - let's include a car crash just to make our fists all the hammier." And when it comes to the movie's leave-no-questions-asked, squash-the-imagination-like-a-fucking-bug storytelling, don't get me started on the revelation that there were blanks in the gun.

I attribute this madness to the Academy's desperation for ratings. Indeed, this year's ratings appear to have slipped 8% from 2005. Next year the sloganeering for the show will be sure to include something to the effect of, "You never know what's gonna happen at the Oscars! We may just go completely loony and give the Best Picture award to 'Mission: Impossible 3!' Even though it's not nominated!"

If this tomfoolery does result in a ratings spike, it will come at the expense of a significant chunk of the Oscars' credibility. I'm sorry Academy, but the sky just isn't purple this time.

(photo courtesy of www.cbsnews.com)

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