Sunday, 28 February 2016

Oscars 2016 - My Gripes

Well, my only really big peeve is Alicia Vikander (above, right) winning the 'Best Supporting Actress' award for 'The Danish Girl' - even though her nomination ought, by rights, to have been in the 'Best Actress' category if she were to be nominated at all. Not that I think that she's a particularly bad actress - she might be very good, as far as I know - but, hell's bells, I challenge anyone to watch that film and tell me all what she's saying 'cos most of what I hear is just inarticulate mumbles - and that characteristic of hers was underlined in she being my single complaint about my favourite film of 2015, 'Ex Machina', for precisely the same reason. As I say, it's not for the entire time that she falls into this 'can't-be-bothered' mode, but it certainly is for a considerable part of her on-screen appearances. It's just not good enough for one to have to try to catch a view of her moving lips in order to help decipher the meaning behind those hardly audible sounds. ('Helluva Bon-bon Carthorse' has precisely the same fault in nearly every film she's been in, except maybe for her shouty role as Red Queen in Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland'). 
However, with Vikander I'll concede that she emotes well even though her diction is just plain lazy. And before anyone says that it must be my hearing that's deteriorating because of my age, it would be fair enough comment if I was having the like problem in other areas of my life, such as in everyday conversation or watching TV, listening to radio etc, but it's just not the case. No, if she can't put in the effort to articulate properly then the film's director or the sound engineer ought to compensate for that in their microphone placings and settings. I suppose that they are already so familiar with the script that they are not so concerned - and anyway the chances are that they might have done several takes of any given scene and might be getting bored! 
Additionally, the ultimate vote for the Oscar winners is made by a significant number of members (average age of 63!) who must be around my own age in any case.
I'd most likely have given the award for 'Best Supporting Actress' to Rooney Mara for 'Carol' - or, as she's already won the BAFTA, to Winslet for an impressive role in 'Steve Jobs'. (Jennifer Jason Leigh had comparatively little to do in 'The Hateful Eight' and even less to say).

Other comments:-
It would have been nice if Eddie R. had managed to pull it off as 'Best Actor' for two years running, but everyone was saying it was going to be Leo's year, so can't do much about that - and anyway, his was a worthy enough performance, easily displaying the regulation amount of sufferings which are requisite to winning here. 

I'm sorry that Charlotte Rampling didn't get it for '45 Years', an astonishing, profound and heart-breaking star turn if ever there was one. But the outcome was not unexpected, Rampling's case not being helped by the taken-out-of-context quotes about lack of diversity for which I think she had a point - well, up to a point. (I'm going to see 'Room' later today so I'll be able to judge on Brie Larson's win for 'Best Actress')

Sam Smith winning for the 'Spectre' opening credits song, 'The Writing's on the Wall'? Well, I don't know the other nominated songs, and have only seen one of the other films. If 'Writing' is not the worst Bond song ever written it's certainly not one of the stand-out ones either, of which there have been half a dozen at the very least. I've heard it several times now and still, if I was asked to, couldn't whistle or hum the tune.

Other awards - well okay, we'll let them pass.


  1. Well, I didn't watch the Oscars this year and - from what I've heard so far - I didn't miss anything. I, for one, can do without hearing yet another stale "Hollywood is racist" speech.

    I suppose DiCaprio deserves the Best Actor award. He can act (unlike some of the others) and has some impressive past films under his belt.

    As for Alicia Vikander - I've never heard of her before and (prediction) I doubt if we'll ever hear of her again.

    Charlotte Rampling deserved to win and I'm really surprised that she didn't. I've always liked her.

    I certainly agree that "The Writing's on the Wall" has no discernible tune, and - Sam Smith's singing annoys the hell out of me. Yea, he can admirably hit some high notes - but it still rubs me the wrong way (nothing sexual implied, of course....)

    1. I don't blame you for not watching them, Jon. Luckily they're on when it's the very early hours here so I've never caught them live.

      I agree that Leo is shaping up to be one of our very bast actors.

      I don't mind if Vikander makes more films - and she's bound to now with her award - as long as somebody tells her "For God's sake, and that of the audience, SPEAK UP!"

      Sam Smith has a quite large following here, even if not as much as Adele's,another vastly over-rated singer in my opinion, yelling her pretty little head off all the flaming time!
      But I still wouldn't have had a clue what 'Writing' was about if I hadn't looked up the lyrics, and even then I'm hardly bowled over by it.
      Having said that it was good of him in his little speech to have plugged the 'gay' word.

  2. I did not watch the Oscars; I did not see any of the mentioned movies. I like reading your reviews of them.

    1. From what I gather it was a very neutral experience this year - neither uplifting nor especially unedifying. Beginning to wonder what's the point of them.