After a lifetime of following the Oscars and most of the other award shows, I’m feeling a bit out of touch these days. Maybe even a little curmudgeonly.
It’s been years since I’ve watched the Grammy awards and knew who all of the artists were who were performing and were nominated. And when I do recognize someone, I’m running to the computer to find out just how old that someone is, praying that the face which time has marched across (perhaps with cleats) is years older than mine. (By the way, I go to the computer because I don’t have that girl on my phone who answers all your questions—at least, if I do, she’s not plugged in. Or downloaded. Or whatever.)
Of course, if I listened to anything other than two oldies stations, the classical station and my own CDs of Patsy Cline and the Mamas and the Papas, I might know these new folks. But I don’t, so there you have it.
As for the Screen Actors Guild awards, they are kind of like a football playoff game, leading up to the Oscars, which are the Superbowl of movie awards. (Should I say film?) But even without Winona Ryder making faces during an acceptance speech (really, Winona, if I’m telling you to turn down the crazy, then you need to listen), there’s something about the SAG awards that bothers me. It’s the inability to use the word “actress.”
Really, I don’t care about the politics of the word. But, as long you’re giving out awards based on the gender of the performer (which is clearly going to get trickier in the future, don’t you think?), why use two words—female actor—instead of one word—actress. It’s a perfectly good word. And “female actor” sounds like the first cousin of “lady doctor”—and that term has been dead for years.
Of course, Academy Award nominations were announced last week, and we’re going to have the Not So White Oscars this year. Which is great, even if Jada Pinkett Smith’s performance in “Bad Moms” was overlooked. (That was snarky, but I couldn’t resist.)
Back in the day, the films nominated served as my personal “to do” list of movies to see before the awards show. While I’ve seen a handful of the nominees this year, I’ve divided the unseen ones into two groups—the ones to go see before the awards and the ones to watch when they come on cable. There won’t be a weekend before the Oscars movie marathon for me—not anymore.
Several of my friends have stopped watching the awards shows altogether because the speeches can be so political, and I get that. It’s just that I’m a sucker for pretty people in pretty clothes giving each other pretty gold statues. And with everything that’s going on in the world right now, I need an extra helping of pretty right about now. (Calling Bradley Cooper.)
But, may I indulge in just one more bit of snark? Thank you, I knew you wouldn’t mind. You know how old Cher is? (How old is she?) Well, Cher is so old that, when she won her Oscar, it was announced by Paul Newman with the words, “And the winner is Cher.” It seems Cher is almost the last actress (or female actor) actually to win an Academy Award. Starting in 1989, Oscars aren’t won, they simply “go to” someone. There even seems to be an effort to avoid the word “best”—another perfectly good word that describes the person who gave the performance which allows that person to take the pretty little gold man home.
Maybe the Academy should call it the “Better” Actress, so as to protect Meryl Streep’s fragile ego. (She holds the record for losing more acting Oscars than anyone in history.)
Sean Penn, ever the Hollywood bad boy, pronounced “and the winner is Sandra Bullock” at the 2010 ceremony. But I’m sure the Academy exchanged that particular award for one of those “go to” awards. Heaven forbid that Sandy should actually win something—it might make Meryl feel like a loser.