Thursday, March 09, 2006

BOOKS: More Like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and DUMBASSES

Hey, guys, did you know the "Oscars" were a few days ago??? Some of you might not be familiar with this "insider" slang term for the event, so perhaps I should refer to it by its formal name: The Academy Awards®. Ring any bells? Yeah, me neither.

Apparently, the "Oscars" are kind of a big deal in the movie business. I, my very own self, am in the books business, and ever since 1994, when these "Oscar" people dissed Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump -- one of the laugh-out-loud funniest books I've ever read -- by not even mentioning his name, much less thanking him, during the movie's (a movie that was unadulterated pap. Pap, I tell you!) award sweep...

Well, let me just say I've found better things to do with these six hours of my life every year. Including this year.

Maybe these "Oscar" folks think they've won back my support by lauding the incandescent Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of my favourite contemporary actors, in his turn as Truman Capote, one of my favourite twentieth-century writers. Nice try, Academy, but unlike you, I'm not a whore!

Taking a quick look at this year's nominees and winners, a few things stuck out... like a big hairy wen:

Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride was a too-long, boring remake of a Jewish folk tale that's actually quite interesting and creepy. Yet nowhere in any of the marketing material around this animated feature have I found even a mention of the source material. Boo, Tim Burton! And did I mention that this film was boring? Double boo!

I haven't seen Pride and Prejudice yet (oops, exsqueeze me! Pride & Prejudice!), but I've heard it's fairly good. Kiera Bigteeth didn't win the award for her role as Elizabeth Bennett, so we'll never find out if she would have remembered to thank the little people -- such as oh, say, one of the most important female writers in the history of the English language -- in her acceptance speech. So no boo there. But half a boo for that title. Really, people, AN AMPERSAND? Was the print shop charging by the letter?

Memoirs of a Geisha? Man, that was a crap book. And I'm guessing a crap movie, too, judging by the fact that its only win was for art direction. But I just had this happy thought that maybe the publishing industry has this genius ploy of tossing out books like Memoirs specifically for Hollywood to latch on to and ruin, kind of like that second birthday cake Marge always makes for Homer... so thanks for coming out, Memoirs people! Keep up the good work!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Pie... er, I mean Fire. I've read all the Harry Potter books, but I'll be durned if I can remember what happens in this one. And I haven't seen this movie but I probably will some day, if only so that I can instantly forget it, too. So I'm taking my best guess at the plot. Um, Voldemort menaces? Hermione scowls? Harry does... stuff? Am I close?

Whose idea was it to tack that TERRIBLE, WRONG, TERRIBLY WRONG ENDING on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Trust me, if you haven't seen this movie yet, by all means go out and rent it. And then STOP THE TAPE five minutes before the so-called end of the movie. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Jeepers creepers. I'm emotionally exhausted right now. And all I did was read the list of nominees. You can see why it's been more than a decade since I've watched the actual awards, right?

(Apropos of less than nothing, if you want my opinion as to the best line on the America's Next Top Model season premiere last night, hand's down it was Dani's declamatory non sequitur: "I know all about gay people! I was a cheerleader!" Hey, like in that movie! Way to bring it back round, Doppelganger.)

10 comments:

Janice said...

Agree with u re ending of Charlie and the Choc Factory.I saw it and thought Noooooooooooooooooooooo!! Why??!!
I think the Original 1970's movie is waaaaaaaay better.

Em said...

I can't even face watching the 1970' Charlie. Somehow the thought of seeing Oompa-Loompas physically realized outside of my mind's eye terrifies me.

A. Estella Sassypants said...

Good points, all. But I must say, the Academy did me proud by honoring Brokeback, which did stay surprisingly close to the plot of Annie Proulx's short story. Thank GOD, or I would've revolted. REVOLTED I tell you.

... said...

Hey, it's not Dani's fault. Like she said she can't help where she was born!

And let me state for the record: I. Do. Not. Like. Furonda. That is all.

Logophile said...

I think you might have been happy to hear Larry McMurtry's acceptance speech this year. He thanked Annie Proulx, and he pointed her out in the crowd (not that the camera would cut to her, or anything). He also took a minute to thank booksellers for keeping the culture of the book alive. Bookslut had a link to the transcript of his acceptance speech the day after the ceremony. It was a very nice moment for books--even if everyone there tuned him out.

Wing Chun said...

I haven't read Memoirs Of A Geisha or seen the movie, but it won three Oscars across the four categories in which it was nominated: Art Direction, as you mentioned, and also Costume Design and Cinematography. (It lost Score to Brokeback.)

Also, these were the shortest Oscars I can remember: right around three and a half hours. Still too long -- when even your host is making fun of how many montages there have been, THERE HAVE BEEN TOO MANY -- but I can remember years when they dragged on past 1 AM, so I was impressed that they were so zippy this year. I was not pleased to have come in second last in the pool to my husband, who was NOT EVEN TRYING.

Antipodean said...

The alleged "ending" of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory still pains me to think about.

Don't see Memoirs of a Geisha. Worse than the book, Chinese actors, and so....slow.....

There were some beautiful shots, but as one reviewer said, it was like watching a still life.

krista said...

And I was so excited to see charlie and the chocolate factory... maybe I should reconsider. I love the original.

Anonymous said...

I watched Pride & Prejudice (seriously, what IS with that ampersand?) today, and I really enjoyed it -- it was gorgeous and the banter was witty, just as I like it. I also think it's safe to say Knightley would thank Austen -- she's said in many interviews that Lizzie Bennett is her favorite literary character of all time, she's been obsessed with the book since she was little and has read it many times, she's always wanted to play the role and was terrified of screwing it up, etc. -Amy

cheney said...

ah, another top model fan?
i thought the best line was about gina when she was doing her photo shoot. someone said:"she needs something..." to which ms. j replied: "She needs a thought in her head."
priceless.