Sunday, February 26, 2012
On the other hand, Billy Crystal is turning into Bob Hope, and I mean that in the worst way possible: a comedian who has passed his sell-by date, and is coasting on a residuum of good will. It was a serious mistake to revive the old working-the-nominated-films-into-a-song routine and remind everyone of when it was fresh and funny. Crystal needs to stop dying his hair (if that's his hair) and grow older more gracefully.
But by now we are awards-showed out. The SAG awards, the BAFTAs, the Gilded Globes all told us what to expect, down to which stars will be turning up to present. The Oscars have nothing new to show us, no special revelations about what the movie industry is or wants to be. I don't think it was as bad a show as Tim Goodman does, though he seemed to like the Ben Stiller/Emma Stone presentation shtick a lot more than I did. (All I could think about was: Is he really that short, or is she really that tall?)
But as it happens, the only one of the nominated movies that I've seen is the one that was named best picture. I liked it -- how could you not? But the idea that The Artist now becomes a yardstick by which all future films are to be judged is obviously absurd. It's a one-of-a-kind jeu d'esprit, and nothing more. And I suspect in a few years people will be asking, Really, weren't there any better films that year?