Its Oscar time! At the risk of sounding partial to hollywood, I am super excited !!. Its even more aggravated by the fact that I’m now convinced that all Indian movie awards are fully rigged. ‘My Name is Khan’? Jesus, I forgot that such a movie was ever made. Kareena Kapoor for We are a Family? I think the next filmfare should be given to my bathroom door. (I think that has much more emotion than she did). Awards are special because not only do they cut across commercial success but are the benchmarks by which actors (not filmstars) actually judge themselves . Music rights, publicity, DVD deals or some brilliant scheme like doubling the movie ticket costs to make up for a phenomenal budget (read: Robot) all cover all the production costs of any movie these days.But awards go beyond that. Its that time when you realize that there were these movies that maybe you missed which had some superb performances in them. For me, it is a time to make and update that must-watch list. Though the Academy Awards projects itself as the ultimate epitome of cinematic excellence, judging them by their decisions last time ,all except Rahaman and Pookutty, were not really that deserving. I’ve read many theories to that, one being that the economic slump caused Indian companies to pump money into hollywood (Have you also read about Disney producing some weird Telugu movies,Reliance entering hollywood suddenly or seeing Columbia pictures presenting some hindi junk? Thats why) and even the academy could not shy away from the funds in return for an award that could do them no harm. In fact it could only increase their fan base in India and maybe help more corporate honchos pump funds into the parched hollywood in return for some half-hearted recognition. Wait, now I remember, wasn’t Denise Richards a part of some Akshay Kumar-Kareena Kapoor crap shot entirely in LA. It fits together beautifully.
So I’ve completely deviated from the topic, but this year’s nominees in all categories seem exceptional. Nearly all movies, except 127 hours and Black Swan I haven’t heard or seen before. I know the Fighter was awesome, since a couple of friends told me it was brilliant.I haven’t watched Rabbit Hole, Love and other drugs (I so definitely am going to when I get a chance),Blue Valentine, the Fighter and the King’s Speech, but they are all there on my must watch movies. This is the thing about the Academy, all the nominees genuinely are good movies, superb acting performances, have exceptional effects or some out-of-the-world brilliant script. (Slumdog Millionaire wasn’t a bad movie at all, in fact it was rather entertaining and had a novel concept). But Bollywood has let me down badly. How can ‘Munni Badnaam hui‘ be the best song with lyrics that go like “Shilpa sa figure,..Bebo si adaa…”? I’ve already given my opinion on Kareena Kapoor and her acting prowess. Case closed.
One more thing that caught my eye was the return of romantic movies to limelight. The last few years have been all about situations, historical occurences, sci-fi etc but no love stories. I like love stories. I like watching romantic movies. One of the movies this year, Blue Valentine looks splendid. Its a simple love story gone all wrong, but a couple of years ago, I’m sure it would have gone unnoticed. The kids are all right, rabbit hole are all family oriented movies. There is a paradigm shift of focus to movies universally liked minus the heavy-on-the-brain type stuff like Inception. I like the trend. Its a personal opinion of course. I know thousands of people are very sad that Inception didn’t get as many nominations as it was expected to bag. And dont even get me started on the actors and actresses nominated. Jesse Eisenberg? Michele Williams? Ryan Gosling? Wowiee.
I’m of course rooting for the Social Network. It is a fantastic movie, high on IQ,pace and inspiration. It is something we tech folks most relate to. College computer nerds, start ups and of course facebook. Add to that a very solid Jesse Eisenberg (I think he is far more nerdy behaving and looking than Zuckerberg himself) and a very very cute Andrew Garfield.
With the probability of actually watching the show live being low, I can only anticipate and wait for the winners. This is the thing about credible awards, they make you believe in them. That is the only thing that stands for real performers rather than star value and salutes talent and hard work. I like that. Very much. 🙂