Monday, February 26, 2007

And The Award Goes To

So, no Oscar for Peter O'Toole then. Again.

I never watch the Oscars on TV. A bunch of people patting each other on the back who can't put a decent thank-you speech together or stand to listen to one when someone does. The whole thing is stage-managed and long-ago lost what credibility it ever had in the political infighting and studio shenanigans that go into the nominating process.

There are often oversights that are "corrected" in later years by honouring someone overlooked for some historic piece of brilliance in years gone by for what is now an "ok" performance. One feels torn by this sort of thing. On the one hand one feels that justice has been done (as in the Academy finally recognizing Jackson for The Lord of the Rings by awarding him a paperweight for the last installment), on the other one feels sorry for the otherwise deserving awardees who must stand back. Thus are born "Lifetime Acheivement Awards", probably the most worthwhile category in the whole nasty business and hence one not in the list of options, the nearest thing being the rather snippily named "Honorary Award". The name says it all. You're not worth a real Oscar, here's a pretend one.

I know that it's just a different name for the same thing but if your were beaten out of a "Best Actor" for Lawrence of Arabia by Gergory Peck (To Kill A Mockingbird), Becket by Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady - I mean, what were the nominating comittee on?), The Lion In Winter by Cliff Robertson (Charly) and (this one is the real jawbreaker) Goodbye Mr Chips by John Wayne (Rooster Cogburn for crying out loud) then I think, twenty five years down the road when the committee are shuffling their feet and looking guilty, that the wording matters.

I did see O'Toole in the opening video collage, being asked why he hadn't won after so many nominations and I thought he gave an absolutely brilliant answer: "Because they gave it to someone else!"

Well done Peter. I'm gratified you got the Honorary Oscar in '03. I wish they'd called it something more applicable to the job they were asking that statue to do though.

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