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Jan/Feb/Mar 2002

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THIS ISSUE!:    Oscar Fever! The Lord of the Rings! Supercrap on the WB!
PLUS: Amelie destroys Western Civilization! And the Coming of the Coreys!
Oscar Fever

More prevalent that the Grammy Jitters, and slightly classier than the Golden Globe Cold and Flu season, it's time for everyone's favorite cliché, Oscar Fever. Personally, I prefer the MTV Movie Awards STD, but that's just me and my attention span talking. Oscar Fever is the time of year where everyone gets delirious and makes either ridiculous predictions based on outlandish voting theories or bitches endlessly about how such and such indie Sundance darling didn't get nominated in order to try and cover up the fact that Planet of the Apes was their favorite movie of the year. I am, however, going to maintain my dignity and focus, instead, on a little piece I like to call the "What Better Not Goddamn Win" list, so named because all the films, actors, and directors had better not goddamn win. While I hesitate to speculate on what the varied panel of Academy voters will choose, as their selection of Titanic as the recipient of 13 awards has shown them to be either mentally incompetent or really, really funny, I need to make clear that certain of their nominations have clearly been chosen to fill space on the ballot.

What Better Not Goddamn Win 2002

Best Picture
Moulin Rouge

While this schizophrenic fit of a movie may have delighted stoned teenagers and Ritalin addicts alike, those of us with attention spans that range into minutes instead of seconds like a little bit of substance with our style seizures. Speaking of substances, it has long been a question among myself and friends as to what exactly director Baz Luhrman was on when he decided that a franticly bad MTV music video of a movie would be better off if it had John Leguizamo as a midget in it. Current speculation has settled on a mix of LSD and meth amphetamines, but there is evidence to suggest he may have just done a bunch of coke while watching Terry Gilliam movies.

Best Actor
Sean Penn - I Am Sam

Although I agree that Sean Penn is a very good actor, I strongly disagree with glowing critical response to any film where somebody plays a retard convincingly. How hard can it be to act stupid? Kirsten Dunst does it all the time, and you don't see her carrying home an Oscar. But if you look at past history, the Academy loves retards, from Forrest Gump to Gilbert Grape to that inbred hulk from Sling Blade. I mean, tolerance is all well and good, but the more we encourage these actors to stretch their thespian muscles by behaving like Pauly Shore with a speech impediment, the more we're going to get movies like The Other Sister, which featured handicapped sex, possibly the most distressing thing since the Ryan Phillipe/Mike Myers kiss in 54. If that isn't an argument for reducing the mentally challenged to meat slurry for pig farms, I don't know what is.

Best Actress
Renee Zellwegger - Bridget Jones' Diary

Once again, the tried and true method of gaining weight to earn an Oscar nomination comes through with flying colors. Tom Hanks did it, Robert DeNiro did it, and now comes Zellwegger, who managed to gain something like 20 pounds for her role as a voluptuous British drunk. While we all appreciate the dedication to the acting craft it takes to stop being anorexic for two months, I'm not sure how hard it is for a chick to gain weight. Judging by the endless complaining of every girl I've ever met, all they have to do is walk past a Ben and Jerry's to gain at least five pounds of lard, and they all seem endlessly concerned with something called 'back fat'.

Best Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke - Training Day

Come on, this has to be a joke. Wispy beard and all, Hawke sleepwalks through every role he's ever played, taking lessons from the Charlie Sheen school of acting via scowls. Maybe they just felt sorry for him after he wrote that novel.

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Winslet - Iris

I haven't actually seen this movie, nor have I heard of it, but I know damn well that Kate Winslet better not goddamn win. Ever since Titanic, she's been making strides for 'big women' in Hollywood, despite the fact that she's no bigger than most people outside of an Ethiopian dirt farm. Nevertheless, her success encourages other, heftier women into the public eye, such as The Practice's Cameron Manhire and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. I don't know about you, but I go to the movies to escape, and distract myself from the fact that I have no social life, not to be menaced by a fleshy Godzilla of an actress struggling for acceptance in a profession that only accepts skinny people for the simple reason that they're less likely to drop dead at the craft-services wagon after eating an entire box of Lowry's Steak Spice.

Best Director
David Lynch - Mulholland Drive

It's not that I don't like Lynch, or that I didn't enjoy his most recent offering. In fact, it's quite the opposite, it's just that I fear his acceptance speech. Lynch lost his sense of linearity somewhere around his eightieth acid tab, and I have trouble dealing with people who can't construct a sentence, let alone a film, without taking a ten-minute break to just try and 'get a grip on things'.

So while I hesitate to predict any winners, you can see that I have a clear idea of the losers. And my money's on them.

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