Volume 93, Issue 77

Wednesday, February 16, 2000


Editorial Board 1999-2000

Jumping on the bandwagon

Editorial cartoon

Jumping on the bandwagon

With the recently announced Oscar nominees, you're likely to be bombarded over the next month with Oscar discussion, critic's picks and media hype leading up to the event. What's the old saying, "if you can't beat 'em..."

We figured we'd get in early on some of the fun with some observations on the annual schmooze-fest.

It'll probably be said a million times over the next month, but how could Jim Carrey not get nominated for his noteworthy turn as Andy Kaufman in Man On The Moon? Given that a small uproar ensued last year when he was overlooked for his title role in The Truman Show, one would think that he would've been a shoe-in for a nomination at best. Either the Academy doesn't want to honour a man who has literally talked out of his ass on tape, or they're a very stubborn bunch. After all, Carrey seized every opportunity to make even the slightest jab at the Academy after his snub last year.

Although he's not by any means a consistently great host, it's nice to see that Billy Crystal is coming back for another stint as the master of ceremonies this year. Past host Whoopi Goldberg was a notorious bomb and even though David Letterman gave a typically sardonic performance, it's pretty clear that he won't be asked back. In lieu of a brand new host, Crystal was the best option. However, for the future, may we suggest Norm McDonald? After all, how can anyone forget the number of egos he deflated at the last American Music Awards?

The sheer fact that movies such as Fight Club, Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut were widely nixed from the nominations speaks volumes about the high calibre of movies made in Hollywood over the past 18 months. More than ever, it seems as if emphasis and importance are being placed on a potently good story – which is nice to see from an industry which has typically prided itself more on visual histrionics. With any luck, this good fortune will continue into the new year.

It's important to remember that at the root of all this Oscar parading is a series of shrewd and covert studio marketing campaigns, designed to appeal to the Academy members. While the Oscars undoubtedly have more integrity than any other major award show, it is still virtually impossible to guarantee any reasonable degree of consistency in the selection process. Hell, these judges aren't even required to see all of the movies that they're going to be voting on.

Lastly, a plea to the networks to edit the night by cutting out the lame-ass awards from the main show and NOT by limiting the speech-time of anyone who wins an award. After all, does anyone, other than immediate family members, really care about the Best Sound Editing in a Short Documentary about Rhythmic Pineapple Carving?

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