We get it, Hollywood. You're a self-aggrandizing hermetically sealed biodome of mirrors. We get it, Oscars. You're a self-sucking hype machine of nonsense. But throw us a bone of reality -- please? Brad Pitt, Best Actor? You are aware that people other than Brad Pitt make movies, right? Like, essentially on the entire planet, you think Brad Pitt in Money Ball was one of the best artistic things that happened in 2011? Interesting.
Jonah Hill, Best Supporting Actor? We're talking about the same Jonah Hill here, right?
Best picture "The Tree of Life"? Here's a little clue Hollywood: when 10 out of 9 audience members want to eat their own eyeballs and poop in their own ears to muffle the films' sound - your picture can't be one of the best of the year. It's not possible.
Back to the Pitt of despair. Yes, Brad Pitt is a good looking man. A man with some charm, some swagger, the ability to convey the same two to three emotions he conveys when not on the screen, but what the f*ck does that have to do with acting? Isn't acting not playing yourself? Isn't the idea of excellence in performance being able to transcend oneself and incapisulte something else? To capture the core essence of a given man at a given time. Brad Pitt in Money Ball was... BRAD PITT in MoneyBall.
Goerge Clooney, fine, you're "the man". Our generation's answer to Grant, or Redford, but how 'bout showing us something other than... I don't know, you with greyer hair, you with shirts you wouldn't ordinarily wear. Push yourself, buddy. Enough with the handsome watery eye shtick. Dig Bitch, Dig!
It's like in High School, awarding the hot, cool guys Science Trophies for being able to carry a microscope without cracking its lense. All hail the Alexander Fleming of Bloomfield High, he just identified Oxygen on the Periodic Table of Elements. Meanwhile, the chubby acne case that cloned a hamster gets squat.
Like any insular and elite gang, occasionally the gang needs to replenish their members. Old Lions like Paul Newman, Lioness's like Elizabeth Taylor get deleted so new blood, is required. In Hollywood, the A-list herd thrives on the picking of new "talent." They are known as "breakouts," or "darlings": They're usually found in the Best Supporting Actor/Actress category. Often these newcomers only run with the gang for one to two years before being replaced and professionally quarantined (Mira Sorvina, Cuba, Abigal Breslin, Jackie Earle Haley, Haley Joel Osment, Mo'Nique).
Every once in awhile a young, true break out demands a seat at the house of mirrors -- Denzel Washington, Philip Seymour Hoffman, to name two.
But Jonah Hill? In Money Ball? I mean can the studio's inside politicking and industry glad-handing be a little less transparent? Cool, Jonah's not fat anymore. Cool, he didn't make vagina jokes or hump a couch for 120 minutes. But is an Oscar really the only way to reward that? Do you know how many fine actors right now --men and women who've just completed their postgraduate performances of Waiting for Godot -- are about to take jobs at Lowes Home Improvement?
And while I'm at it with newcomers - Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? I thought she was actually quite impressive in this movie; but was it Oscar worthy? She's hot. She's skinny. She pulled off an accent and sodomized a man under cool lighting. But is that the pinnacle of acting?
I know, you're reading this now saying, "Amit, what the hell does "great acting" or "Oscar Worthy" even mean? Relax, the whole movie industry is a pathetic money driven farce. It's not about Art (said in a French accent). Shut up, pay your $12, turn off your cell phone and get lost in the screen."
Fine. I'll do that. I can also boycott these big machine movies and spend all my time in art house theaters. But who wants to do that - have you seen the paltry concession stands at some of those places?
All I'm saying is every once in awhile (say.. Oscar nomination week) let's not forget to truly calibrate what these award shows are: A celebration of the unspeakably lucky with just just enough charm to stave off getting real jobs.
Now wouldn't that sound much nicer coming out of Meryl Streep's glorious face?
And the Oscar for the unspeakably lucky with just, just enough charm to stave off getting a real job, in the category of Actor in a Supporting Role goes to:
...Sir Jonah Hill!