A fella named Oscar came to town today, seeking out those who’ve been ‘good’–well, actually, those who’ve been really good–in the film world this year. And while I realize some may find the smugness of Hollywood types off-putting, I’d also like to offer a case for acknowledging the truly great performances of an art form created to reflect you, me, and humanity and stuff.
Okay, so the Average Joe isn’t off fighting aliens, dueling with ourselves in pointe shoes or dreaming up alternative universes (or whatever Inception was to you, though universally so good!), but folks, we are the inspiration for movies. In the truly fantastic, poetic films, the Everyman is celebrated. In fact, the more realistic the performance the better.
Films like The Social Network and The Kids Are All Right are all about making a time stamp of where we are and where we’re headed. Rabbit Hole is not a glamorized look at what a parent might face if he or she is faced with the unimaginable loss of a young child. Instead, it delves into the questions and raw emotions anyone might feel in that situation. True, The King’s Speech is about… a king, but it also puts an uncomfortable spotlight on a man with a stutter, who is forced to speak publicly–what a nightmare! And Blue Valentine–yikes! What could be scarier than watching the slow-as-molasses demise of a love that once made you want to move mountains.
This is the human condition we’re looking at, in all it’s glory and gloriously wretched. Where the everyday is elevated, celebrated, and lives to overcome and see another day.
As for the the other stuff out there, the action films, the Westerns, rom-coms, and the like, no, we’re not out fighting aliens or saving the world from a giant meteor (thank Heaven). But those films have just as much relevancy. They’re the movies that let us escape the job losses and heartaches that are all too real in our own lives. If even for 120 minutes.
The Hollywood elite does a relatively good job of representing us. Of course, we’re the award-worthy ones really living out the stories that inspire them to create. Bravo, US.
Then again, there was George Clooney’s incredibly smug Oscar acceptance speech a couple of years back when he won Best Supporting Actor for Syriana. But “South Park” took care of that, spoofing him in “The Perfect Smug Storm.” Let’s forgive him already for his smugness. He’s done all that work in Sudan. Unbelievably good work. Okay, the multiple bouts with Malaria ought to even the score.
I kid. Seriously, I KID!