Oscars spark movie punditry aplenty
Now that the 82nd Academy Awards nominations have been announced, the silly season of movie punditry is in full swing.
Everywhere – from blogs such as this, to slick magazine layouts, to TV talk shows, water-cooler conversations, coffeehouse bull sessions and barroom arguments – movie “experts,” film buffs and popcorn junkies alike will fill up the days until the March 7 awards broadcast with nitpicky analyses of all things Oscar.
Already, we’ve seen floated these bits of Oscar arcana:
– Meryl Streep’s nomination for best actress for “Julie & Julia” is her 16th, an all-time high. Following are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson with 12 each. Wow!
– Kathryn Bigelow, nominated as best director for “The Hurt Locker,” is only the fourth woman ever nominated for directing. And how can you miss the fact that she’s competing against her ex-husband James Cameron, who’s nominated for “Avatar?” Juicy!
– The field of 10 nominees for best picture is a first in decades for the staid old Academy and opens up a whole field of debate concerning the artistic merit of tasteful, low-budget art films and big-budget studio juggernauts. Hmm. Interesting.
– “Up” is only the second full-length animated feature nominated for best picture. The first was “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991. Zowie!
– And this really obscure bit of trivia: “The White Ribbon” (“Das Weisse Band”) from Germany is the ninth predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for cinematography since 1967, when a separate category for black-and-white was eliminated. Woo-hoo!
It’s all in good fun and helps generate some interest, excitement and heat through the dankest weeks of winter. But it’s always worth noting at this time of year that all our deepest insights and brainiest prognostications are just so much babble. All that really counts is the voting tally of 6,000 (give or take) elite members of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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