Tag: Academy Awards

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Public Affairs

Long Academy Awards List A Failure to Communicate

I’m a movie fan. I’m also an Oscar fan. One of the compensations for cold winters was always waiting with anticipation for the Oscar nominations to come out, when I could compare the various nominees, agree or disagree with the picks, and try to guess which nominated movies were in serious contention. This year’s nominations came out last week, and I still can’t name all of the nominees for best film. There are simply too many of them. Trying to recognize the achievments of more films, the Academy has doubled the number of Best Film nominees, from five to 10 — thereby diminshing the attention paid to each of them.

Who can focus on 10 movies? Who can take seriously that long a list of “excellence” in one year? And who can look forward to an Academy Awards show that will be even longer than usual? The Academy’s decision to double the number of Best Film nominees is a classic mistake in messaging — a failure to recognize that less is more.

What we have here, as Strother Martin might have pointed out in Cool Hand Luke, is a failure to communicate.

Writing

Waltz’ Oscar win like a voyage to a new continent — in more ways than one

It’s a lot easier to think of bad Oscar acceptance speeches than good ones.  That is why the acceptance speech of best supporting actor Christoph Waltz at last night’s 2009 Oscars was such a delight. Waltz started off with a great scene-setter, an opening sentence that reminded us of his already-classic line from Inglorious Basterds, referring to the combination of the Oscar and presenter Penelope Cruz as an “uber bingo.”  He then wrapped the usual recognition of his colleagues into a metaphor about discovering a new continent — thanking Quentin Tarantino (“this fearless explorer”) for “putting together an expedition” and producers Harvey Weinstein et al for equipping it, and then again praising Tarantino for his “unorthodox methods of navigation.”   Waltz ended on a gracious note, saying to Academy members “there’s no way I can ever thank you enough, but I can start right now. Thank you.” Read