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Rants and Raves: Reflecting On The Oscars

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Above: Billy Crystal stepped in at the last moment to replace Eddie Murphy when Brett Ratner was forced to leave as producer because of politically incorrect comments... so this year's Oscar woes began early.

I've now had time to let this year's Oscar result settle in and the ceremony actually tells us a lot about what's wrong with Hollywood right now.

Wolfgang Puck's salmon Oscars.

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Above: Wolfgang Puck's salmon Oscars.

You know how people advise you to walk away from an angry letter or email you just wrote and let it sit for a day before sending it out? Well I took that advice -- and a few deep breaths -- before posting my reflections on the Oscars.

Yes even a nun was on the red carpet this year.

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Above: Yes even a nun was on the red carpet this year.

Let me get a disclaimer out of the way. Yes I know that it is a silly awards show and these are just movies that we are talking about. None of what went on Sunday night is really important and perhaps I am reading too much into it. However, I place a high value on pop culture because often and without seeming to, it reveals a lot about ourselves and the state of the society we live in. So with that in mind let me assess the 2012 Oscars.

Best Actor Winner Jean Dujardin having fun backstage after his win.

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Above: Best Actor Winner Jean Dujardin having fun backstage after his win.

Quick recap:

Most satisfying wins: Jean Dujardin for "The Artist" and thanking Douglas Fairbanks for inspiration; Christopher Plummer for "Beginners" and noting that Oscar is "only two years older than me, darling, where've you been all my life?"; and editors of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for some genuine acceptance speech surprise.

Best Actress winner Meryl Streep with Best Supporting Actor winner Christopher Plummer. Is that a look of disapproval on Mr. Plummer's face? Naw, he's British and too nice to be that honest.

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Above: Best Actress winner Meryl Streep with Best Supporting Actor winner Christopher Plummer. Is that a look of disapproval on Mr. Plummer's face? Naw, he's British and too nice to be that honest.

Most egregious mistake: Meryl Streep winning for "The Iron Lady." She is undisputedly a great actress but this was not even close to one of her best performances and the film was awful. Plus she has an embarrassment of accolades, let someone else win.

Most egregious acting omissions: Albert Brooks for "Drive," Andy Serkis for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (perhaps revealing Hollywood's fear about computer enhanced performances); and Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

Most overlooked Foreign Film: "Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In," it's one thing for Spain not to submit the film but come on Academy, you could have nominated it for screenplay or art direction or cinematography.

Most egregious technical oversights: the cinematographers and editors for "Tree of Life" and "Drive."

Most ridiculous moment: Angelina Jolie's right leg.

A well-deserved pair of winners: Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help").

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Above: A well-deserved pair of winners: Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help").

By now everyone now knows who the actual winners are and has had time to discuss (or possibly Tweet to) Angelina Jolie's right leg. But the woes for this year's Oscars actually began late last year with the whole Brett Ratner debacle.

In a Q&A session after a screening of his film, “Tower Heist,” Ratner stated, “rehearsal is for fags.” Well that was dumb on so many levels. It revealed his insensitivity to gays and it revealed he had little respect for the creative process. (Perhaps that's why his films are crap.) It also reveals how dumb the Academy was to hire someone like Ratner to produce their prestigious awards show. I mean what did they expect from the director of "Rush Hour"? And Rattner's attempt to apologize only dug a deeper hole.

So the whole 2012 Oscar show started off on the wrong foot. Ratner resigned, Eddie Murphy (the original choice for host) pulled out with Ratner, and Billy Crystal, the Bob Hope fill in for this generation, stepped in to play host.

God (a.k.a. Morgan Freeman) getting ready to kick off the 2012 Oscar show.

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Above: God (a.k.a. Morgan Freeman) getting ready to kick off the 2012 Oscar show.

The Oscar show began with Morgan Freeman -- the African American God from "Bruce Almighty -- coming out to welcome everyone. Hollywood wanted to make sure we knew how racially diverse and open minded it is. But wait... Crystal came out to deliver his usual montage spoofing the Oscar nominees and then a second go round of acknowledging the nominees in song, and along the way he also appeared in blackface as Sammy Davis. Jr. Excuse me? Yep, blackface.

Now Crystal has done blackface before (most notably on "Saturday Night Live") but perhaps the prime time venue of the Oscars isn't exactly the best place to do blackface again, especially when you have a film like "The Help" up for a bunch of awards. Here's a film that tries to showcase race relations but does so by turning it into a silly sitcom in which the African American maids are supporting characters in their own struggle for civil rights. It's a well-intentioned film with some remarkable performances (Viola Davis being the only hint of reality in the whole movie) but ultimately it's a bright and cheery comedy that whitewashes what were some truly horrendous conditions. Now, comedy can be used in unlikely places -- I will just note "Springtime for Hitler" in "The Producers" and making a laughing stock of stupid terrorists in "Four Lions" -- but in "The Help" the lightness of touch was only used to make the story more accessible, more entertaining, and less troubling. In "The Producers" and "Four Lions" the comedy was used to make a point.

Octavia Spencer accepts her award from Christian Bale.

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Above: Octavia Spencer accepts her award from Christian Bale.

So I see the nominations for "The Help" as a way for Hollywood to applaud itself for being, like the white character played by Emma Stone, so "sensitive" to racial issues. When the entire auditorium stood to give a standing ovation for Octavia Spencer's best supporting actress win in "The Help," they were applauding her fine work but also themselves. Showing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie rising to applaud this actress who played a black maid in the 60s who fed her obnoxious employer a shit pie, was the entertainment industry's way of pretending it's come a long way. But it still has a long way to go. Just look at how white the auditorium was, how white the presenters were, and how few African Americans actually have a say in what kind of pictures get made. "The Help" might have been a very different film in the hands of Spike Lee or Cheryl Dunye or Julie Dash or Charles Burnett or with Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the lead roles with the white characters in the smaller supporting ones.

With all this in mind, Billy Crystal's blackface just seems like a bad idea. I don't think it was intended as offensive or racist yet it smacked just a little of both.

Tina Fey, "So who are you wearing tonight?"

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Above: Tina Fey, "So who are you wearing tonight?"

So who are you wearing? Okay, my next gripe. All the women -- and only occasionally the men -- keep getting asked who are they wearing? Are we honoring their acting or doing ads for Hollywood designers? Even smart, funny women like Tina Fey have to answer these stupid questions about their clothes and be dressed and coiffed to look totally uncomfortable. Then for the Best Costume Award we get a montage of interviews about costumers. I have nothing but respect for costumers but why do they get highlighted when cinematographers and editors don't? So another fail for this year's Oscar show.

As Harvey Keitel once said, "Show me your ass!"

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Above: As Harvey Keitel once said, "Show me your ass!"

And some bad fashion moments: the bland on bland beige of Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz (who also took a moment to show us their asses, J-Lo's made to look even bigger by the diagonal pattern on her dress); Sandra Bullock's dropped waist disaster; and the luscious Penelope Cruz made to look rather ordinary with her cropped hair and conservative dress. And then of course Angelina Jolie's right leg. A woman this anorexic should keep her limbs clothed. She could be seen practicing this pose on the red carpet before the show. I guess this is what happens when you have nothing in competition but your significant other does. No one wrote about Brad losing for "Moneyball" but everyone was writing, posting, and Tweeting about Angelina's leg. It apparently has a Twitter account all its own now.

And now ladies and gentlemen... Angelina Jolie's right leg.

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Above: And now ladies and gentlemen... Angelina Jolie's right leg.

Kudos to Crystal for delivering the jab about nothing like taking the sting out of the recession like "millionaires presenting each other with golden statues." Yeah that sums up how out of touch Hollywood can be with its audience. The Academy decided to go to 10 Best Picture nominees in 2009 after TV ratings for the show dropped and mainstream America expressed displeasure over films like "The Dark Knight" getting overlooked in favor of smaller, artier films. But this year, the Academy couldn't muster enough votes for 10 potential Best Picture contenders and what it did nominate was, for the most part, neither satisfying blockbusters nor outstanding art films. The nine nominees, with the exception of "Tree of Life," were all rather safe, bland concoctions.

Jean Dujardin gave the night's most charming acceptance speech. Every time he smiled I expected his teeth to sparkle.

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Above: Jean Dujardin gave the night's most charming acceptance speech. Every time he smiled I expected his teeth to sparkle.

Even "The Artist," which was charming and beautifully rendered, was a cleverly made but rather predictable valentine to Hollywood. Nowhere to be found on the list were more daring works like "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "The Skin I Live In," "Hobo With a Shotgun," "Submarine," or "Coriolanus." Or popular crowd pleasers like "The Bridesmaids," "Harry Potter," and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." How could the dud "War Horse" make the list but none of these could get enough votes to round out the 10th slot? This expanded field achieved nothing -- it failed to bring quality indie films into the mix and it failed to embrace the well-made box office hits. The focus group parody that Christopher Guest and company did would have been funnier if it weren't so sadly true. Too much in Hollywood is determined by focus groups, market research, and trying not to go out on a limb.

Even the craft awards revealed a sad bias. How could "Tree of Life" and "Drive" be overlooked for cinematography and editing? These were both films that challenged conventions, and isn't that what the best in any category should be doing? Shouldn't the best be groundbreaking, original, and fresh? The fact that these films couldn't even get a nomination proves yet again that the Academy has blinders on when it makes nominations. Plus, West coast tech people have a better shot at being nominated and winning than east coast or foreign tech people because Hollywood prefers to keep the awards in the family.

You don't put Darth Vader and Oprah in the corner! James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey, and make up artist Dick Smith receive special awards but are not even brought onto the stage. What's up with that?

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Above: You don't put Darth Vader and Oprah in the corner! James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey, and make up artist Dick Smith receive special awards but are not even brought onto the stage. What's up with that?

And finally let's get to the issue of length. The Academy and viewers keep complaining that the show is too long. So acceptance speeches were cut to 30 seconds unless you are Jack Nicholson (nobody gives him the hook). In recent years they also cut out having the honorary award winners come out. Clips have been cut to a minimum. Yet still the show runs long. Maybe that's because they refuse to cut the things that really need to be cut: musical numbers and banter. The musical numbers, like this year's Cirque De Soleil, have nothing to do with the movies. They are like some useless old vestige from the old MGM musical days.

Cirque de Soleil may be entertaining but it has no reason to perform at the Oscars.

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Above: Cirque de Soleil may be entertaining but it has no reason to perform at the Oscars.

Continuing to give out a Best Song award only encourages studios, and especially animated films, to ram a musical moment into a film even if it has no business being there. If we eliminate this category we will shorten the show's running time, and reduce the number of stupid songs we have to sit through in theaters. This year only two songs were nominated so instead of singling the two, we got a totally unrelated musical number from Cirque de Soleil. We also got Billy Crystal singing the Best Pic nominees. If all the music were cut we'd get back an easy 15 minutes of our lives.

Best Song winner Bret McKenzie for "The Muppets."

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Above: Best Song winner Bret McKenzie for "The Muppets."

Although the one small pleasure I got this year from the Best Song category was that Bret McKenzie won for "The Muppets." He was one of the comic geniuses behind cable's "Flight of the Conchords."

While "live" moments like acceptance speeches have been almost eliminated, there are plenty of self-congratulatory montages. There was a whole section praising "Precious." That could have easily been cut. Again it only existed so white males in the industry could go on camera to show that they too care for poor black women. How about just giving some black women jobs in Hollywood where they can start creating some films that genuinely reflect their point of view?

In another montage, this one about great/favorite films, Reese Witherspoon admits -- of her own free will -- that "Overboard" is her favorite film. Well if she is typical of the voting membership, no wonder so much crap gets nominated and wins. How embarrassing. Not for her, she can like whatever she wants, but for the Academy that wants us to take them seriously.

Then there was the tearful montage of all the people who passed away last year. Well, all the people Hollywood saw fit to include like a marketing research dude but no Tura Satana. How the heck can they ignore a cult icon like Tura Satana and include a marketing research guy and Whitney Huston (who was really more a part of the music than film industry). That was criminal oversight. Plus give us a moment to savor the talent of these people. I mean Elizabeth Taylor deserves a few sound up lines.

Ultimately the thing to remember about the Oscars is that they are industry awards given by Hollywood to itself. It started with Mary Pickford having voters over to her home for tea and then winning a Best Actress Award. It hasn't change much since then. It's like awards at work: the people who really do the best job rarely get recognized and it's more about who's popular and who brings in the most money.

This year's awards, though, managed to overlook great work in its nominations and then managed to pick some of the least deserving winners from that limited pool. And as if to add salt to the wound, there were montages of past winners further proving how with hindsight the best films don't usually win. Remember "Ordinary People" beat "Raging Bull," Cher has an Oscar but Richard Burton doesn't, and cinematographer Gordon Willis (who shot "The Godfathers" and Woody Allen's best films) received a mere 2 nominations and no awards.

The Oscars are a rather silly affair and could be taken more lightly if they didn't actually impact films. Some foreign films and documentaries may not receive a U.S. release if they fail to garner a nomination or award that can render them in a distributor's eyes as "marketable." And the Academy's voting membership reflects the white male bias in the industry (a fact that oddly seemed to surprise a colleague of mine), which is probably responsible for the rather homogenized products we keep getting.

An awards show should be about the work and the winners. Let's have a simple show, no presenters bantering, some lovely clips from the best films, and more than a moment for the winners to really enjoy the spotlight.

And a few images to leave you with:

Ben Stiller not liking the spotlight stolen from him by Emma Stone who seemed to be acting drunk.

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Above: Ben Stiller not liking the spotlight stolen from him by Emma Stone who seemed to be acting drunk.

A gag that was funny but awkward and way too long involving Robert Downey, Jr (funny) and Gwenyth Paltrow (not so much).

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Above: A gag that was funny but awkward and way too long involving Robert Downey, Jr (funny) and Gwenyth Paltrow (not so much).

The evening's best presenters: Kermit and Miss Piggy.

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Above: The evening's best presenters: Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Best actor Jean Dujardin smooching the pooch who was probably key in helping the Frenchman win the award.

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Above: Best actor Jean Dujardin smooching the pooch who was probably key in helping the Frenchman win the award.

Kristen Wiig proving she may always be a bridesmaid but never a bride.

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Above: Kristen Wiig proving she may always be a bridesmaid but never a bride.

I have no clue what these "cigarette" girls were doing during the commercial break.

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Above: I have no clue what these "cigarette" girls were doing during the commercial break.

Comments

Avatar for user 'BD Cruz'

BD Cruz | February 28, 2012 at 5:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

My primary source of amusement was Jim Rash (Twitter @RashisTVUgly), co-winner for Best Adapted Screenplay { doing an homage | mocking } AngiesRightLeg. Realizing he would never get a chance to speak, he made the most of his 40 seconds in the spotlight.

Thank goodness for DVR, I just went zip-zip-zip through all the boring parts and it only took me about 60 minutes to watch the whole thing!

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | February 28, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Smart move with the DVR. ;)

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Avatar for user 'butters'

butters | February 28, 2012 at 9:48 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

damn... this should be mandatory reading for both academy voters and the awards show producers. now to get a hold of that super ultra top secret motion picture academy rolodex...

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Avatar for user 'Gabriela'

Gabriela | February 28, 2012 at 10:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm not sorry I missed the Academy Awards, but I'm glad as hell that I caught this incisive and entertaining review by Beth Accomando!

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | February 28, 2012 at 10:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Thanks!

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Avatar for user 'Torb'

Torb | February 28, 2012 at 11:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Beth, you're review is spot on! The best song catagory was a joke. Just an empty fashion show.

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Avatar for user 'Torb'

Torb | February 28, 2012 at 11:18 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Whoooops, your.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | February 28, 2012 at 11:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Ha! Thanks.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 29, 2012 at 8:50 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Beth, I think any straight male critic would put Angelina's right leg as an Oscar highlight!!!

But seriuosly let's recapa your recap:

"Most satisfying win"??? Hardly. DuJardin did nothing but win a statuette for pantomime! If were one of the other four nomineesr--I'd be verrry upset! Give me a blanking break! And Chris Plummer, a sentimental favorite on the surface,, but where does that leave the great Max Von Sydow? No way is the bitter Plummer a better actor than Von Sydow! Or maybe it was purely a politicized choice because of the "coming out of the closet" role and they thought it would kill two birds with one stone?

Totally agree on Meryl. Personally I think she is OVERRATED and the ONLY reason she is on this level is because the powers that be in Hollywood consider her to be a patrician and the closest thing next to Britain's Vanessa Redgrave and Helen Mirren! My choice would have been Robin Wright for THE CONSPIRATOR.

100% right on Brooks and Serkis. Didn't see the Swinton movie.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 29, 2012 at 9:04 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Haven't seen A SEPARATION but any dummy can see it was more of a political statement (not taking anything away from whatever merits it has and the clandestine guerrilla filmmaking) similar to Penn winning for MILK.

Almodovar was pretty much more of the same with a horror twist which I appreciated but I found a lesser-known Spanish film MIENTRAS DORMIAS to be creepier! I did love the end to THE SKIN I CRAW IN though (lol). It was great the way it ended!

Technical omissions you are probably correct. I wish RISE had won over HUGO.

Only two nominated "original songs"? It would be wiser to eliminate this category.

The late luscious Tura Satan--a half Apache, half Japanese beauty only to be rivaled by the "ladies" chocolatemodels.com! (lol) Well, if anyone from the Academy is familiar with her, they probably thought it would be "sleazy" to include her. That's just my guess. Of course, the Academy can be pretty sleazy on its own.

But hey, we're used to Academy mistakes and omissions. I mean Harvey Keitel didn't even get a nom for BAD LIEUTENANT!

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | February 29, 2012 at 12:02 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Beth, it seems you needed at least another day's separation before you wrote. It's the poorest, meanest column of yours I can remember. You are furious that Crystal's spot-on Sammy Davis impersonation--which has seemingly forever been a populay highlight of his act--was in BLACK FACE! Sammy Davis was black. Should an IMPERSONATOR do him as white? If anything, it was an homage to Davis to include him. You have "no clue" what those candy (not cigarette) were doing. It must have skipped your notice that the theater was decorated to look like a movie "palace" of the "old" days. Candy sellers--not as glamorous as those at the Oscar--were common during intermissions (yep, there were intermissions.)
As for the rest of your comments, you concede the Oscars are the movie industry congratulating itself (and a way to increase attendance for nominated films). yet you take it seriously. As Joan Rivers would say, "Grow up.:

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Avatar for user 'butters'

butters | February 29, 2012 at 3:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

oh beth... looks like you lost the al jolson contingent... hope you will recover... who knew there was anybody left alive flying the torch for that particular breed of racial humor...

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 29, 2012 at 9:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Most egregious acting inclusion: Jonah Hill.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | February 29, 2012 at 11:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Len - I guess you didn't read what I wrote if you think I was "furious" over Billy Crystal's blackface. What I said had to do with the context in which it occurred and what I said was "With all this in mind, Billy Crystal's blackface just seems like a bad idea. I don't think it was intended as offensive or racist yet it smacked just a little of both."

Doing Sammy in blackface on a late night comedy show that prides itself on being irreverent and edgy is a very different venue than a primetime awards show. Within the context of SNL it was fine. Just like Robert Downey, Jr. doing blackface in Tropic Thunder worked within the satiric context of that film. If Downey appeared in blackface at the awards it too would be in poor taste even though he had done it before and done it well. At this year's Oscars Crystal's Sammy Davis seemed like a bad idea (plus it wasn't even that funny). Plus Billy Crystal does his Ali impersonation without resorting to blackface, so yes a white impersonator can do a black impersonation without donning black make up.

As for taking the Oscars seriously I don't, and the more films I see the less respect I have for the Awards (the Academy itself actually does some good work in film preservation and education). The Oscars are as I said a silly affair but I wish their silliness did not affect small and independent films whose future can rest with the fickleness of the Academy.

As for growing up, no thanks.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. And yes I guess I will have to kiss the Al Jolson fans goodbye. ;)

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | March 2, 2012 at 3:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Beth. I never heard Al Jolson, he was before my time. But your condescending remark insults all "old" people, some of whom actually know more than you do. As I recall, Downey's character was a white man pretending to be a black man, caricaturing "black" stereotypes. For laughs. That is different than an impressionist portraying a real person. Crystal's "Davis" has impresses audiences with its authenticity--its closeness to the original. It never diminished, patronized or insulted Davis. He has done it in venues far different than SNL; it was part of his stage performances. Only you, as far as my reading of "Oscar" columnists shows, think there was anything "racial" about Cystal's brief inclusion of Davis among other show business "greats." You really believe that because Crystal can do a convincing Ali without blackface, he should do all his black impersonations that way? Your "defense" reminds me of something else Joan Rivers said, to a critic on a talk show who thought her act demeaned men: "Is your skin made of Kleenex! Grow up!" I guess I will have to kiss the Sesame Street fans goodby. ;(

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | March 2, 2012 at 5:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

My error. I thought the "Al Jolson" remark was directed at people old enough to have seen Jolson, which is why I referred to Sesame Street. Jolson painted his face black with big white "lips" and gaping eyes in a stereotypical, caricature of black men, disgusting and racist to us, obviously acceptable in his time. This is not remotely comparable to Crystal's impersonation of a genuine person: smile, voice, expressions and skin color. Which is why I didn't at first get your reference to Jolson. It seems Davis loved Crystal's impersonation and requested he do it more than once. It was an homage to Davis. In any event, it was tan face.
"Nuff said. Including by me.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | March 5, 2012 at 12:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I would suggest that you are the one who needs to follow Joan Rivers' advice. Grown ups know how to deal with criticism and you seem excessively sensitive to my comments about Crystal's Davis impersonation.

You make my point for me by acknowledging that Downey's blackface was to caricature stereotypes and was done for laughs. Exactly. What was Crystal doing with his for? It certainly wasn't an homage to Davis in the context of a skit in which the Jewish Davis offers to kill Hitler. If it was meant for laughs it doesn't play as that funny and definitely has no edge to it as Downey's performance did. It was meant to be a gag and because it was poorly thought through it struck me as a bad idea to include. If I had been in the writer's meeting I would have said throw the joke out or make it funny. If you like what he did, fine. If you need to justify why it's okay to like what he did, that's fine too. But I disagree.

On the one hand you argue that Crystal needs to be in black make-up to do an effective impersonation of Davis yet because he can do a convincing Ali he doesn't need the blackface. Make up your mind. Either he needs it because his voice and mannerism alone are not enough to convince us or he can do without in which case why do Davis in black make-up on the Oscars. (Or "tan" make up as you pointed out as if that really changes anything, was Davis a "tanned" performer rather than an African American one?)

As for being the only Oscar critic to point this out, I doubt it. But even if I were I do not base my opinions on what the majority says. I pointed it out in the context of everything else going on at the awards show.

As for the Jolson remark, it was a joke made in a previous post and I was referencing that.

I admire Crystal as a performer and my point about him was minor in the context of my other complaints about the show, most notably how too many deserving people were overlooked and how the show has drifted so far from honoring the nominees and winners in favor of just paying tribute to the Hollywood film industry itself.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | March 5, 2012 at 2:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

You have defended your opinion in two posts about the size of the article, and I (!) am the one who needs to know "how to deal with criticism"? You were driven to reply even after I said enough had been said about the "blackface," including by me. I didn't anywhere say that you were the "only Oscar critic to point this out." In fact, there is a robust discussion of it by other critics and by commenters--a quick estimate is that opinions are about evenly divided. Just for kicks, someday write a column describing, with names of winning films, the years when the Oscars were not the film industry paying tribute to itself.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | March 5, 2012 at 3:48 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Sorry I didn't realize you had taken it upon yourself to speak for me when you said enough said.

And you did single me out: "Only you, as far as my reading of 'Oscar' columnists shows, think there was anything "racial" about Cystal's brief inclusion of Davis among other show business 'greats.'" Did you not mean to say "only me"? Did you mean to say that I along with many others had raised this issue? You keep changing the argument.

As for the last question, I have, it was the year Silence of the Lambs swept that the winners were deserving and not stereotypical of the Hollywood establishment. And back when the awards were luncheons and not televised, winners could take as long as they liked to thank whomever they wanted.

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Avatar for user 'The0ne'

The0ne | March 8, 2012 at 1:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Who are the judges for Academy and Golden Globe? I partial know but do you guys? If not I think it's worthwhile to take a look and see why things "are" the way they are. Call it what you will but I don't watch either anymore.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 8, 2012 at 1:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

@THEONE, for the Academy Awards is it fellow actors and techs who are members of the Academy. For the Golden Globes it is a strange Kafkaesque group known as "memberd of the foreign press."

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