Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Incoherent Oscar: Wrapping Up (but not really)

Should I, or should I not do an Incoherent Oscar post to say goodbye to it all? Logically, it seems a bit silly because I don’t make Oscar predictions with any confidence in attaining a significant batting average and the Oscar ceremony is such a fast paced whiplash inducing thing that a day later it feels like old news sort of. Why run through what you felt good and what you felt was….not? After all, you can’t stop what’s coming and most of it seemed rather cut and dry, although I was especially stoked about the Hugo love, even the ones everyone else thought were undeserved. Generally neutral about the love for, say, Octavia and The Artist, but neither are particularly objectionable wins (although, yes, I groaned when The Artist took score, obvious a win as it may have been).
Still, I feel I need to give some sort of closure and say that I’m always so caught up in the machinations I can never notice things like the ceremony being “bad” (hell, I didn’t think last year’s ceremony was the train wreck it seemed to everyone else). I liked it all, the overuse of the montages, the focus group (Catherine O’Hara!), stars being silly (from J. Lo to RDJ). Levity is appreciated, even when it’s silly.
But, as I said, I’m not here to post-mortem the ceremony. In fact, I’m not sure it has to do with the ceremony specifically…not really. But, let me trace my steps, or try to. Meryl Streep own her third Oscar, which sort of made me collectively (I say collectively, because my body has many selves) shrug because, eh. What can I do? I don’t care for Streep, I know whole lot of my blogging buddies do, but I don’t. Whatever the outcome of the category, I anticipated a shit-storm…and right on target… amidst the expected AMPAS is racist diatribes there was the “people only wanted Viola to win because of sentiment” narrative, which sort of made me throw my hands up in the air because obviously some will feel Meryl (or Viola) gave the *best* performances of the year, and others will be wanting them to win for sentiment (second black Best Actress winner, Meryl being overdue). It’s a stalemate really…but that’s the tangent which precipitated the real issue I wanted to touch on. Meryl being overdue. Look, I don’t think Meryl is “due” anything, you know I don’t think so. We’ll move on.
People, this wasn’t “Viola’s” Oscar. Streep’s performance is my least favourite of the five (by wide margin) but this apologetic wave she’s been riding on since her Globe win has been irking me because, the category is not Meryl and Viola – it’s five women, one of them making Oscar history last night – Glenn Close. You know who’s overdue? Glenn Close. She’s now tied with Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr for the most losing Oscar nominations (she’s in good company) and I didn’t want her to win simply for sentiment – she’s not on my ballot, after all – I just felt she was the best of the lot. Regardless, though, each time the conversation boiled down to one of the two frontrunners my heart sank a bit, in a race of “due” vs “overdue” it’s as if Glenn wasn’t even the category and it’s why I’ll always feel just a bit more melancholy listening to Streep fans (Streepians, Streepites? Streepes?) opine about her “overdue” status. I couldn’t help but think of Glenn watching that “overdue” woman trudge up the steps.
But, you know, whatever.

I think this is the second time I’ve been to this lunch. The first time I’ve been was when I got my first nomination for The World According to Garp and I remember being astounded that I met some people who were really kind of hyperventilating as to whether they were going to win or not and I have never understood that. Because, if you just do the simple math. The amount of people who are in our two unions, the amount of people in our profession who are out of work at any given time, the amount of movies that are made every year. And, then, you’re one of five. How could you possibly think of yourself as a loser?
Glenn Close, Academy Awards Luncheon 2012
Maybe it sounds like a sour grapes adage, but Glenn’s no loser. And, it’s not as if I expected a win on Sunday, “overdue” ramblings just dismay me especially when my takeaway from this onslaught of awardage was Glenn and her husband smiling sweetly at each other after after she loses doesn't get the prize (picture from Golden Globes). Alternatively, though, I wish their wasn’t that collective wave of feeling pervading the air as if Meryl owes Viola an apology. For one, can’t the woman enjoy her moment? For two, there were more than two people in the category.
End rant. Onwards to next year* Helena Bonham Carter, Leonardo DiCaprio, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Those things. Anything you want to get off your chest, Oscar-wise, before 2011 sails off?
*(Well, not so fast – I’m still handing out my personal awards, but you get my meaning.)


Nick Prigge said...

Dude, THIS is why I love your site. I'm fairly positive you have the only movie site on the whole of the interwebs that has addressed Glenn Close in the midst of this whole post Meryl vs. Viola what-have-ya. It was a FIVE woman race, after all.

Squasher88 said...

I love me some Meryl, but I get your argument. What I'm worried about now is whether there will be a backlash in the future now that she has won her third. Great Hope Springs and Osage County sound like some great roles and I would hate for her to lose if she is truly deserving

Ryan T. said...

Nicely written. I have yet to see ALBERT NOBBS so I don't have any opinions of Close and her performance, but yes I bet it would be awfully grating to hear Streep fans' endless yell at her being overdue when Close is now six-time the bridesmaid.

It's just too bad everything was working against her. No one saw her film and when they did, they didn't like it to an almost ugly degree. And unlike Streep (or Williams), her performance wasn't singled out as The Best Thing About the Film and in fact was upstaged by a co-star. The "overdue" factor could've worked and probably why it netted her the nomination, but Streep and Weinstein beat that drum louder. All of those as well as Viola's "story" and The Help's success just made it all that more difficult for Close.

dinasztie said...

I LOVE Meryl and soooooooooo love her win! :)

BUT and here comes the big BUT! Thank you so much for mentioning Great Glenn! She's just so... overdue. :) I want her to win an Oscar so badly. I just wanted to ignore her in this field. Plain and simple. I didn't want this pain that I feel right now when I think about the fact that she's not yet an Oscar winner. Great Glenn is an incredible and she didn't have a chance. People are boohoing all the way for Viola, but the person who broke my heart was Great Glenn. She was so gracious, though. :) Viola's face seemed visibly disappointed (don't blame her, she was a frontrunner), but Great Glenn was so liberated and I truly felt she was happy for Meryl. This is why I love Great Glenn and after all, she's a Queen. She's the Queen of Oscar "losers".

Paolo said...


I totally have never heard of anything about Viola's campaign being sentimental and it makes me more angry at how people perceive it that way. And she has another long shot summer blockbuster/Oscar nod waiting in the wings playing a teacher/mother in an inner city school with Holly Hunter!

But because of how stupid bland these ceremonies and wins were, I want next year to be super Sundance-y. John Hawkes, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jessica Chastain and fine, give one to Leo.

Chip Lary said...

Well, Glenn Close was my pick for who I would have selected, so it the whole Viola Davis vs. Meryl Streep question was irrelevant to me (other than the fact I picked Davis to win and Streep getting it lowered my count by one).

Know who had it even worse than Close? Peter O'Toole. He was nominated 8 times, including for films like Lawrence of Arabia, and he never won.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

nick high praise, and thanks much. but, it got to be a slight annoyance with me, what of rooney, what of michelle? weren't they supposed to feel bad when they lost? was it just viola who was supposed to feel sadness because it was *hers*? of course, that's the result of heavy predicative discussion of winners, but it's unfortunate.

squasher the one reason i never thought meryl was overdue wasn't because i didn't care for her but because of her last dozen or so nomination i never felt she was the strongest in her feel, even when she lost to "undeserving" winners, she wasn't the strongest in the field, for me. it's a bugbear for me, but the reason i bring up glenn is because the two are in the same bracket and not that oscars are meant to be "payoffs" but meryl has been constantly met with overwhelming fawning for decades, even without this third oscar so i kept being clueless about this "overdue" thing. but...i'm closing the books, to talk no more of this. until the talk for her *fourth* turns up, yikes.

ryan that's the thing, though. glenn is my favourite of the five by default (none of them make my ballot) but it wasn't even about her winning, or being able to win. when meryl lost stuff people who confessed to not appreciating her work in this particular film were still up in arms about her being "due" so it was okay for her to coast along to wins, and i was just slightly miffed that glenn had none of that attention. bitter me.

daniel glenn does win for graciousness, but she always does look the slightest bit sad, to me - like "oh, well. not this time, i guess." i'm really neither here nor there on prizes in the long run, but i just want people to at least casting some other older gal in roles, which is not meryl's fault but still unfortunate.

paolo i didn't pay specific attention to the campaigns, what i meant is that on either side people thought streep and davis were awesome, but there were some i heard that were saying how it was *time* for a black woman, which is i think is just as bad as saying it's *time* for streep's third, and i kept wondering how whenever you'd bring glenn or michelle the same people would say "that performance is awful" when they've already confessed to not just backing a performance, the narrative behind it. but, ah well.

also, leo <3

chip well, yeah, o'toole had it worse. but, i'm sure when deniro, kingsley etc beat him no one kept saying how they were "overdue". as glenn says in her classy way, though, to be one of five is something outstanding.