The buzz is deafening at the time when the new rules of preventing shameless promotional campaign (Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York, anyone?) have been applied for the past 2 years.
But for such a grandeur and prestigious event at this caliber where even the most predictable sweeps in the tradition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King still managed to get major news coverage worldwide, is the Academy still in need of a good buzz?
Judging from the list of the nominations this year, positively I say: yes, the Academy is desperately in need of a good buzz.
Having been guilty for too many times in favoring questionably good films rather than selecting the ones daring enough to voice out certain statements, be them political, economical, cultural or even religious matters, this year’s selection is hard to escape the notion that not only Academy favors films with edgier themes, but also the fact that the films uncompromisingly make a stand of the themes they bring.
One director daringly opens up the closet subtleties of Western genre and make a whole new imagination out of the notoriously hard-to-redefine genre. Another writer shows the scar of interracial slur happening at a city where the dreams are fabricated, whereas other marvels in depicting a life of a celebrated author at his bleakest phase of lifetime. A certain storyteller responds to the current emerge of terrorism by transporting us back to the oft-forgotten merciless event three decades ago, and finally a director in his sophomore work tickles us with how we should treat a goggle box by tracing theunresolvede problem way back five decades earlier.
If the seriousness of the glamorous event is apparent, then maybe it is required to elevate the common pessimist judgment towards Oscar as a popularity show.
Thus, no more kookiness of previous hosts, as selecting Jon Stewart who is very much at ease with his political stand will guarantee some thoughtful jokes might easily be lost in conservative audiences comprising of elderly aunts and uncles championing their distant cousin or nephew in some obscure, smaller categories.
No more Top-40 song being nominated in Original Song category, or over-the-top score as the voters opt for subtle, if not unique, works that accompany those bravely political films.
Finally, there will hardly be any crowd pleasers this time.
Alas, if these eyebrows-rising affair defines and puts the word “glamour” to this event, then we’re up for it!