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Will you see Brendan Fraser's 'The Mummy 2' in theaters?


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Hollywood Spotlight - Editorial [The 72nd Annual Academy Award: What Are They Really All About?]

EDITORIAL



BACKGROUND
Focus: The 72nd Annual Academy Awards - What are they really all about?
Editorial By: Matthew Albert
Date: 3/30/2000
Edited By: Marc Flemming


Best Song, Phil Collins for Tarzan. Did you think we wouldn't notice the extra little bit of hair there, Phil? What's worse - who is that he's standing next to? We once thought Michael Jackson steered clear of the limelight.
        O nce again the Oscars have left a bad taste in my mouth. Not necessarily because of the results, but for the sick fascination of this spectacle that we find ourselves in every March. It is a direct representation of capitalism at its worst and there is no denying that Hollywood is a money making machine. The outcome of most every Oscars is directly influenced by the amount of money a studio spends. Comparatively, it is very much like our politicians tossing out money in their campaigns to draw votes. This year's show saw Speilberg put up a large amount of money to mend his wounds for losing the last time - he came out with a gem. This year Oscars could have been well served if it had been renamed DreamWorks vs. Disney/Mirimax Part 2: Speilberg's Revenge. This thing should have been hyped just as any fight has ever been. It was a battle of wallets and certainly not of cinematic achievement.

Best Supporting Actress, Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Looking like she came straight from the set of a Sharon Stone film, Angelina proceeds to make out comfortably with her award. Looks like her brother is back on the market, ladies!.
However, considering all of what I've stated, it was the first time I was truly not appalled by the outcome. I never have understood why I have sat through the Oscars every year. They generally leave me red faced and banished from my house. I am, like so many others, drawn in by truly fine films, but the Oscars are the time when Hollywood rears it ugly head. The one thing that many of us forget is that these actors and actresses are actually 'people'. This societal obsession with the star has distorted these same people's realities. Do you actually think any one is going to remember whom Keanu Reeves is 5 or 10 years from now? In the golden age of film the Hollywood star at least had grace and a true talent. Most of the old school actors and actresses had a gift to make the audience lose itself for a few hours. The gaggle of young talent we now find trotting down the red carpet into the Oscars is almost as appalling as the acquittal of OJ Simpson.

Best Picture, American Beauty. Producers. Is this the Oscars or a Colgate commercial?
The 72nd Oscars ceased to amaze or briefly startle anyone out of their television coma. As usual, Billy Crystal pranced around the stage poking fun at his colleagues, not forgetting the all-important Clinton sex joke that is now as American as apple pie or even the mandatory "Jack Nicholson is the coolest" comments. The only part of his performance that was entertaining was the opening montage. As expected American Beauty swept all the major awards with the exception of a sentimental victory going to Michael Caine, taking home the Oscar for best supporting actor. Also, Hillary Swank took home a much-deserved best actress award for her work in Boys Don't Cry. Sometimes the Hollywood machine can't deny a truly inspiring performance. Times like these also serve as chances for Hollywood to prove that it is dangerous. Boys Don't Cry is a tremendously controversial film, one that would have never been made several years ago. By celebrating such a film, Hollywood can claim no biases. Hollywood and the Oscars are not a lot unlike well planned, pre-meditated murder. This thing is so carefully mapped out that all the audience is left with is a nice clean well-packaged show and a lingering feeling of emptiness.

Best Actress, Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry. Everyone knows that the Oscars is a fashion statement, but c'mon Hillary! Wasn't that look best left on the set?
The idea of a film superstar is one that can only be nurtured in an overtly capitalistic society like the United States. It is all too obvious that many of us are blinded by money and fame. Hollywood stars are given an excuse to do whatever they feel. Some of them certainly act as though they are above the law at times. Instead of trying to reverse this sick trend we celebrate these people every March. There was a time in Hollywood where movies spoke truths and educated the masses about the injustices of the world. These fine men and women had a honed craft and they were rewarded with shiny golden men. As television arrived in every household in America, Hollywood set out to make money, sacrificing the artistry films can achieve. With television as a direct threat to the welfare of the business, films became movies, a mindless entertainment that drew the crowds. Hollywood has blossomed into a mega giant not too far away from the corporate evils many rally against every day. They created the blockbuster - pulling talentless actors, actress and directors into the limelight. Unfortunately with the arrival of March, these people still receive awards and are in turn labeled superstars. There have and always will be fine films but the majority of them live on the fringe of the Hollywood system. The Oscars are as predictable as old Mike Tyson fights because of Hollywood's corporate giant status.

".. and I would also like to thank--. Oh. Uhm, excuse me, miss, in the front row there, yes. Do you need a ride home after the show? Because really - it's no problem..."
When all was said and done the best movie actually won. There is no denying that American Beauty was a fine piece of cinematic achievement. The end of the 90's saw the rise of the independent film. American Beauty did something that independent films have not really achieved so far. It straddled the Hollywood system. It had the necessary star power and distribution of mainstream films, but its spirit, as wells as its content, fell into the independent side of the spectrum. There were other films like Being John Malkovich or even Magnolia, that deserved more recognition than such films like The Sixth Sense or The Green Mile. It is amazing to think there have been two successive years of the Oscars without Tom Hanks smeared all over the television. The most glaring difference in this year's Oscars was the lack of big films. Last year we had two epics in The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan. This year was a quiet one, with far too many awful films. Thankfully, there were no moronic choices like "Shakespeare In Love" triumphs last year. I'm still choking over the fact that a bland, re-hashed, romantic comedy could possibly be held in the same vain as a film like Saving Private Ryan. We may all be sick of Spielberg, but at least he knows how to make a film - sometimes.

Lifetime Achievement, Warren Beatty. Could Warren be the next of a long line of sequels in 2004?
The Oscars have become a frightening look into the evolution of our society. I am sure that more people were enthralled and tuned into the Oscars than the voter turnout on Super Tuesday. In fact, I am positive that more people know what the Oscars are than those who know what Super Tuesday is all about. We are a society that knows more about the lives of movie stars than the true political and global concerns that this world faces everyday. We can all afford guilty pleasures but these people are no different than you or I. In fact, most of the stars out there have some tragic or even despicable past that they can cry about on a Barbra Walters special. Maybe we should all take a step back and re-think what we value. Are these stars worth all this hype? When Monday comes and you find yourself hanging around the office water cooler chattering about what Gloria Estafan wore last night, ask yourself if any of that stuff truly matters. Maybe we should vote for Warren Beatty for the next President. We could always use another actor in the oval office; I mean, we all know that actors are the best trained liars of them all.


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Note: The preceding material contains content solely representative of the author's opinion. All opinions expressed within this document do not represent those of Psyphire Productions, Inc.. This material is for entertainment purposes only.


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