HOLLYWOOD & HIGHLAND – the Super Bowl of Show Business went off last night, culminating a season of screener watching, awards shows, water cooler arguments, parties and the closing of a major east-west artery here in Tinseltown for an entire week… only to have that rarest of celebrity sightings show up on the red carpet in Southern California: Rain. “Well we need it,” any Angeleno will tell you, speaking of the precipitation and not necessarily the self-congratulatory spank-fest that are the Academy Awards.
But everyone watches, even if all those outdoor projector parties had to move inside. And while many of the categories on your ballot could just as well been picked by a gorilla throwing darts (or a Gorilla who watched Virunga, and then flew into a rage when Citizenfour won best doc instead), any savvy Oscars veteran could’ve told you the big three would go to two actors playing characters with handicapping diseases, and a movie that celebrates the fantasy of Hollywood’s inner artist. Sorry Boyhood, let this be another coming-of-age tale on your road to cynical Adulthood.
Let’s recap the Best Picture nominations. Here’s a look at the Oscars For Sports Fans:
American Sniper: A big Texan who fired lethal projectiles at people’s heads, a hero to some but a liar to others, battling personal demons all the way… Roger Clemens still isn’t in the Hall of Fame after four tries.
The Grand Budapest Hotel: What was once the beloved jewel, a symbol of class from a bygone era, now forgotten to an ignominious decline… the Lakers and the Celtics played at Staples Center in a game the league said “Eh, nobody’s going to watch. Put them up against the Oscars.”
Whiplash: A long-shot to take home Best Picture, but winning Best Editing is a pretty great achievement, considering it beat a 12-year long film cut down to under three hours. I can’t think of any good sports references here, though horse racing still uses whips, right?
The Imitation Game: Add the Chargers to the list of NFL teams to use Los Angeles to bully their cities into ponying up the dough for a new stadium. This time it was as easy as trotting out Jetson-esque conceptual drawings and floating the ludicrous idea of sharing with the Raiders.
Selma: A best picture nomination but nothing for David Oyelowo or director Ava Duverney, it’s kind of difficult for the movie business to duck the observation that it’s about as white dominated as the Mormon Church. Still, could you imagine if, after that John Legend and Common number that brought tears to Captain Kirk’s eyes, it didn’t win best song and Everything is Awesome did? It would be like the Don’t Worry Be Happy Riots of 1989 all over again (what, that didn’t happen? It was just wishful thinking on my part?).
Boyhood: Perhaps, statistically, the worst player in baseball, B.J. Upton has decided to change things up by changing his name. Somebody must’ve finally taken him aside and gently broken to him what B.J. stands for. Now he plans to go by Melvin Upton Jr. He obviously picked it based on the Urban Dictionary definition.
Birdman: Your 2015 Best Picture. I had a whole Mark Fydrich idea here, Big Bird walking behind him telling him to play baseball again, but that ending is even darker than the movie’s.
Please feel free to comment below… but as J.K. Simmons suggested, make sure you call a living parent today, if you are lucky enough to have one.