Political Animal

Blog

February 23, 2013 8:47 AM Oscar weekend blogging: 75 years of best supporting actress winners in less than 6 minutes

By Kathleen Geier

Tomorrow is the day of the gay Superball, otherwise known as the Academy Awards. I unabashedly love the Oscars, though I certainly don’t believe in the Oscars as an infallible indicator of ultimate merit. How can you possibly take seriously an institution that allegedly honors the greatest achievements in Hollywood film, yet never saw fit to confer a competitive award on Alfred Hitchcock or Barbara Stanwyck (who each did go on to receive late-in-life honorary awards)?

Not only do the best films rarely win; frequently, they’re not even nominated. That happened once again this year. Quentin Tarantino, the director of the year’s best Hollywood film, Django Unchained, was snubbed. (Trust me, he won’t win until he gets boring — as was the case with Martin Scorsese when he finally won). And 2012’s greatest cinematic achievement, the darkly mesmerizing film The Turin Horse by the Hungarian master filmmaker Bela Tarr, was all too predictably shut out.

Nevertheless, in spite of all the crap that Oscar frequently sanctifies and all the greatness it routinely ignores, I’m an Oscar fan. While I do cheer for my favorites in each category, what I mostly enjoy is the ritual and the spectacle of the damn thing. I love the fashion show element and take much delight in both the legitimately stunning gowns and the most wackily demented ensembles (Bjork’s legendary swan dress and many of Cher’s 80s- and 90s-era costumes being among the highlights in the latter category).

I also love the idea that it’s a live show and anything can happen. There’s always a chance that a fascinating entertainment debacle like the infamous Rob Lowe and Snow White duet might occur. Or that a celebrity may do or say something ranging from the deeply embarrassing (Jack Palance’s onstage push-ups) to the thrillingly outrageous (Marlon Brandon sending the Indian to collect his Godfather award).

In honor of the Oscars, I’m posting the YouTube below, in which an actor brilliantly impersonates 75 best supporting actress winners in less than 6 minutes. I think it’s inspired and totally hil-air, but a warning — the dude is seriously manic and, at least in the intro, pretty hard to take. But if you can get past the intro you might enjoy both the guy’s artistry and his unabashed fandom. Speaking as a film geek, I certainly do!



Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee

Comments

  • martin on February 23, 2013 10:20 AM:

    Yes, the purpose of watching the Oscars is bad dresses, bad speeches and bad production numbers, which for some inexplicible reason the Academy keeps trying to limit. Maybe they think they can never top the Riverdance tribute to editing. Who knows?

    And, btw, QT got boring a few minutes after Resevoir Dogs hit the screens.

  • martin on February 23, 2013 10:23 AM:

    Yes, the purpose of watching the Oscars is bad dresses, bad speeches and bad production numbers, which for some inexplicible reason the Academy keeps trying to limit. Maybe they think they can never top the Riverdance tribute to editing. Who knows?

    And, btw, QT got boring a few minutes after Resevoir Dogs hit the screens.

  • Michael W on February 23, 2013 10:28 AM:

    You forgot the streaker back in the 70s, while David Niven was speaking. :)

  • martin on February 23, 2013 10:34 AM:

    Sorry about the double post, the server seems to be acting up again

  • c u n d gulag on February 23, 2013 10:34 AM:

    When I was a kid, I LOOOOOOVED me some Oscars, and stayed up as late as my parents would let me.

    But I no longer watch the Oscars, and haven't since I was a senior in High School.

    After Jack Nicholson didn't win for "Five Easy Pieces," or 'The Last Detail," or "Chinatown (CHINATOWN!!!)," and I snuck out of bed and watched him NOT win, I stopped watching them.

    And then next year, when the SOB's at the Academy finally, FINALLY gave him his well-deserved Oscar for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," I was in bed, fast asleep.
    I figured, if the Acadmy didn't give him one for "Chinatown," or those other two great films, they'll NEVER give him one, so why stay up?

    Now, I don't go to the movies at all, and don't have any of the Pay/Premium channels, and don't rent, so, why would I watch?
    I'd only be disappointed again.
    Too often, the awards don't reflect film or performance value/excellence/greatness.

    I mean, what kind of band of imbeciles gives Russell Crowe an Oscar for being in the schlocky "Gladiator" movie, but then doesn't the following year for his far, far, FAR, better performance "A Beautiful Mind," which was by light-years a better film?

    I swear, a feckin' squid could do a better job at determining great performances and films than the Academy!!!

    PS: I studied film in college, and was and actor and an acting teacher, so I have at least SOME idea of what's good and what's not.

  • Steve P on February 23, 2013 11:40 AM:

    Billy Wilder on the Oscars: "Garbo has none, Luise Rainer has two."

    You also forgot Howard Hawks, but so does everyone else who thinks Tarantino is a master.

  • schtick on February 23, 2013 2:10 PM:

    The Oscars are just politics. Everything is settled in the backroom (bedrooms) and with a fistful of money changing hands.

  • chaoslegs on February 23, 2013 2:27 PM:

    Wow that Bjorn character must have really liked Bjork's swan dress.

  • Me jo on February 24, 2013 6:16 PM:

    Hard to care about the oscars