Note: This piece was submitted to Subversify by The Late Mitchell Warren. However, Warren is still battling mental illness. In respect for our readers, all dog references have been removed. This story has been edited from its original form.
On the heels of the 2011 Oscar nominations (for the year 2010), the Academy proves something we suspected all along but weren’t ready to accept—that the Academy is not as whorish as everyone thinks they are. In the past, the distinguished academy has certainly been caught with their skirts down and their legs spread, having nominated District 9, Avatar and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire India.
It’s quite possible that in light of the disastrous Golden Globe Awards earlier in the month (in which a pudgy little British man told the truth about some of Hollywood’s top earning celebrity sluts and dope fiends), the Academy decided to move away from this year’s gaudier, hammier and flamingly gay movies and honor some classier competition–namely, British competition.
Leading the nominations this year is The King’s Speech, an uncompromisingly British film which stars British actors and promotes a decidedly British agenda. (It’s no secret this movie was made for British people by British people) The King’s Speech received 12 nominations, out-voting the British-directed but American-marketed film Inception, as well as the multi-million dollar Face Book commercial, The Social Network.
The King’s Speech did manage to top The Social Network in total nominations, which could signify a refreshing new outlook on life: that it’s not all always about the money, but about the prestige. The King of England will always have more prestige than a twenty-year old billionaire who repeatedly clicks “refresh” to see if his old crush added him as a friend.
In the 1980s and 1990s, of course, we old fogies remember when twenty-year old no names had to earn their respect in Hollywood and pay their dues before expecting any awards. It is nice to know that there’s a still a slight incline, if not an uphill battle, for the likes of Zuckerberg, Eisenberg and all the other “bergs” (cough, Jews) who are in (cough, run) Hollywood.
Don’t underestimate the power of emotionally manipulative films. Winter’s Bone should not be too much of a surprise (scoring award nominations for Supporting Actor, Lead Actress and Best Picture) considering it was one of the few films this year with a linear plot, human dialogue (no mention of code or bandwidth), people (not toys) interacting face-to-face, and of course, dead animals (in the tradition of Apocalypse Now).
Since the Academy now nominates 10 movies instead of 5, there really is no such thing as a true “snub.” True, Christopher Nolan wasn’t nominated for Best Director, but that could well be punishment for Nolan’s hyperactive approach to filmmaking. Inception, Shutter Island, The Prestige, The Dark Knight—these are all movies that are too hyped up on sugar to slow down to a pace where the Academy can follow. Perhaps if Nolan were to make a film with actual people doing actual things (not involving dreams, delusions or batarangs) he would win the industry’s respect. But the question is if Nolan is capable of slowing down. He tried that once, in a film called Insomnia, and everyone off camera and on camera seemed drowsy and sluggish by the third act.
The rest of the 2010 nominations were predictable, and included the Coen’s True Grit, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (also called Survivor: Utah) and Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which tugged at the heartstrings of cynical Gen X grown ups who trashed their toys for a Nintendo 20 years ago. The two best nominations of 2010 welcomed two new directors to the elite— Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) and David O’Russell (The Fighter)—two directors that share Nolan’s ADHD approach to film making, but who have also learned how to tack on emotionally tugging end scenes that make the all-important point super-clear for even the most wasted Academy member drunk.
The best snub of the day was overlooking Julianne Moore’s for The Kids Are All Right. Apparently Julianne Moore didn’t quite understand her role as a lesbian mom, and went against director Lisa Cholodenko’s advice and played her lesbian mom role as a man-crazy trollop. Moore can’t be blamed for this oversight, since this formula has worked for practically all of her other movie roles. However, it did compromise the climactic moment of the film in which she proclaimed “I’m gay!” to the man she just screwed. Academy members were slightly confused.
The worst nomination of the day went to Iron Man 2 for visual effects. What? No love for Edgar Wright, the ADHD director with the hand grenade balls, the one that could give even Christopher Nolan a run for his money in terms of dizzying effects? No, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was snubbed for Robert Downey Jr.’s WWE-sponsored concert film. The reason for this egregious oversight is obvious: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World showed us the affect commerce, video games and comic books have on an impressionable young mind. Iron Man 2 just gave us the commerce, video games and comic books without the afterthought.
In the end, the Oscar nominations for 2010 reinforced some general perceptions about Hollywood that Subversify has suspected for quite some time. Namely, that we Americans long for British people to insult us, transcend us and love us, despite our own rebellious backtalk. The King’s Speech’s success comes no less than a month after Brit Ricky Gervais trashed Hollywood’s finest and less than a year after Simon Cowell exited American Idol.
Now that Hollywood has chosen British elitism over American Internet entrepreneurship, on Oscar night, expect The King’s Speech to just barely triumph over The Social Network—a film so ordinary that even David Fincher wondered what all the hoopla was about.
Fincher Said: “Social Network is not earth-shattering…I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise…I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything.”
Please, everybody keep the secret going. Nobody tell this to Aaron Sorkin, who thinks he’s finally writing some deep stuff. Long live the British people (and please save us from our crumbling economy)!