Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And the Award Goes To ...

This was written just a few weeks before the Oscars. You can probably see just how spot on I am. 

It's that time of year when everybody who is anybody gets all giddy to watch hours and hours of television. Of course, I'm talking about the brand new season of "American Idol," which this season features a new tweak where contestants actually have to survive on a remote island just off the coast of Maine at a place called Kennebunkport. 


I'm kidding. No one watches Idol anymore and very few people not named Bush actually go to a place called Kennebunkport or Maine for that matter. Winter means that all television viewers turn their attention to awards season. There's the People's Choice Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Directors Guild Awards, The Grammys, Writers Guild Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and, finally, The Greater Kennebunkport Area Awards for Art and Pastries. 

Oh, and there's also something called the Academy Awards. 

The Academy Awards are the awards program that most people not named Bush are really excited about. This is an especially exciting time around my house, where each year during the Academy Awards, I spend the entire day watching reruns of "Matlock" and eating leftovers from Pancho's Mexican Food Buffet (don't ask how I do it). 

Even though the 85th annual Academy Awards isn't airing until Feb. 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, Sciences and Pastries, have announced this year's nominees. The Academy announces the list early to give movie lovers a chance to read the list and then Google each of the movies announced because most people not named Bush have never heard of any of the movies on the list. 

Let's take a few minutes to look at some of the Academy Award nominees making headlines. 

First let's take a look at this year's nominees for Best Motion Picture. This year's nominees are: Argo, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. 

In the spirit of all honesty, I have to admit I have only heard of about three of those movies and haven't seen any of them. I like movies. I like going to see a movie. I like movie popcorn and those giant movie-theater Snicker bars. I also like seeing movies that leave me changed and make me think. Unfortunately, with these movies, the only "change" that would come about is the $15 I would get back after breaking a $100 to get in to see these movies and it would only make me think, "Why did I just waste $85 and four hours of my time seeing something called Django Unchained?"

It's a strange world we live in. 

I am excited about this year's Academy Award nominees for Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role. This year's nominees include Emmanuelle Riva, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhane Wallis. I'm excited because those are all great multi-syllabic names. I hope one of them wins. 

I actually stopped watching the Academy Awards several years ago, when my favorite movie of all-time was snubbed by the Academy. In 1994, one of the greatest movies of all time was released to the public for the first time. The movie, "Dumb and Dumber" was one of the best movies not named Bush ever released by Hollywood. The movie follows the lives of two lovable characters, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, as they travel across the United States to return a lost briefcase to the love of Lloyd's life, Mary Swanson. The two winsome travelers wind up in the city of Aspen, Colo. (where the beer flows like wine), where they discover that the briefcase is loaded with cash. The pair decides to do the only thing plausible and that is to "borrow" the money to buy extravagant items, including a Lamborghini, and in the place of the cash, leave IOU's. It's a great coming-of-age story of adventure, loyalty and friendship filled with pithy dialogue and a couple of classic tuxedoes.

Lloyd was played by Jim Carrey, who should have won the Oscar that year for his brilliant performance. I still use the memorable lines "So you're saying there's a chance?" and "Big Gulps, huh? Welp, see you later" almost on a daily basis. 

Now that is the kind of movie that will change your life and make you think. 
But in 1994 instead of handing out the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture to the folks that brought us this Hollywood Classic, the Academy handed the award to "Kennebunkport, Maine." 

Seriously, the award that year went to "Forrest Gump," which was a true story about one boy's struggles to become a ping-pong champion, drink Dr. Pepper, run across the country and to meet several presidents. While "Forrest Gump" was an entertaining movie, it was no "Dumb and Dumber." While Tom Hanks (who won the Oscar for Best Actor that year) was good as a leading actor, he could not carry the extra pair of gloves of Jim Carrie's role of Lloyd Christmas. 

It makes me sad, really.  

So I probably won't watch the Academy Awards this year either. Instead I'll be watching my copy of "Dumb and Dumber" for what could be the 1,000th time and wondering why my last name couldn't have been Bush.

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