Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars (Part II): The Award Shuffle Conundrum

Many were confused last night when the Academy was so keen on Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" that they gave it the awards for Makeup, Cinematography and Production Design, but not Best Foreign Film. The reason is fairly simple. A different pool of voters—ones who attended Academy-sanctioned screenings of all the nominees—vote for the Foreign Film Award, and the general perception is that they're old and don't like them crazy Mexican horror directors. By all accounts (I haven't seen it), "The Lives of Others" is a very well-made film and probably appealed more to the voters' mentality.

The bigger question, however, is how Emmanuel Lubezki lost Best Cinematography when his work in "Children of Men" amounts to some of the best cinematography in decades. While I was pleased to see "Pan's Labyrinth" take home some awards (although I would have been pushing "Children of Men" for Art Direction if it were nominated) and Guillermo Navarro was my second choice to win, Lubezki's work stuck out so much that I couldn't imagine someone beating him. The cause is easy: Universal Pictures didn't make any effort to get people to see the film or release it, and the average Oscar-voter Joe doesn't know how to form an opinion of his own. Let's face it: The film was lucky to receive its three nominations. "Children of Men" and "United 93" both went home Oscar-less because there wasn't much campaigning on their behalf. At least that's the story I'm sticking to.

Also, in case everyone was wondering, we brought lighter fluid for Chris, but he didn't light himself on fire. Oh well, there's always next year.

1 comment:

Chris Bellamy said...

Um...I didn't have any matches. Maybe if "Little Miss Sunshine" had won BP, I would have been man enough to go buy some matches and do it. The protestacular would have come to pass. But alas...