Oscars have made me a grouch

I have always been a fan of the Academy Awards, holding them in high regard, particularly when compared with things like the Emmys and Grammys. Even when the Oscar voters get it wrong (like, say, when Forrest Gump beat Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption, or when Ordinary People triumphed over Raging Bull), I still enjoy having the arguments of “Well, those people are just complete and total idiots.”

Well, this year, those people are complete and total idiots. And then some, actually.

I am one of several people who think The Dark Knight as the best film of 2008 and should have been included in the Best Picture category. I can, however, understand the academy’s reluctance to honor a “comic book movie,” so I’m not completely shocked by its exclusion. More puzzling, however, was The Dark Knight being shut out of the Best Original Score. I truly don’t understand that because TDK’s score is among the best I’ve ever heard. While it might not contain anything as bombastically memorable as the Star Wars main theme, it has a frightening edge, keeping it true to the overall work its creators intended.

Then there’s Best Song, which is another huge joke this year. Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler,” which proved a perfect way to end the year’s second best movie (The Wrestler). Even if it might not be the single best song in a movie in 2008 (which is a ridiculous statement because it was), how can it even be argued that it wasn’t in the top 5? I guess we’ll never know because for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, the academy only nominated three songs instead of the typical five, slapping Springsteen (and fans of music in general) in the face.

So, we’re left with an awards ceremony being hosted by Hugh Jackman, which makes about as much sense as … well, it makes no sense whatsoever. I keep saying I won’t watch, but old habits are hard to break. I’ll probably watch it, but I won’t like it.

And, if anyone cares, here are my predictions in the major categories:

Best Actor: Sean Penn will probably win, but Mickey Rourke deserves it
Best Actress: Kate Winslett
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger
Best Supporting Actress: Either Viola Davis or Penelope Cruz – I’m going with Cruz, although Marisa Tomei deserves it
Best Director: Danny Boyle
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire (in the most overrated movie of the year)

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