Wednesday, January 26, 2005

No Moore Oscars

I was 95% sure yesterday morning that "Fahrenheit 9/11" wouldn't get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. I had two reasons for this. First, I figured the two controversial films of the year, "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Passion of Christ", would cancel each other out in terms of Oscar. More importantly, the category is called Best Picture. There's a separate category for the Best Documentary. When Moore refrained from submitting in the Documentary category in order to focus on a Picture nod, he pretty much sealed his own Oscar fate.

Moore has a tumultuous history with the Oscars. When he released his first documentary "Roger & Me" in 1989, it received very high praise. When it failed to get an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, Siskel and Ebert were very vocal in their anger at the snub Moore received from the Academy. Although it's tempting to call the omission personally or politically motivated, the actual reason is that the Academy can simply be daft at times. Other well respected documentaries such as "The Thin Blue Line" and "Hoop Dreams" have also been shamelessly overlooked in past years.

I'm guessing that Moore carried the resentment throughout his career. He finally got his first and only nomination to date last year with "Bowling for Columbine". When he was named the winner, he got on stage and did his rant against the Bush administration only to receive boos from some of those assembled. He has since stated in a number of interviews that "Fahrenheit 9/11" was made in order to state his case to those who would ridicule his statements from that night.

In the end, "Fahrenheit 9/11" received both plaudits and ticket sales to dream for. On a more basic and important level, it received people's attention. In this respect, it fulfilled it's role (even though the man it argued against won re-election, anyway). It seems to me that Moore's pursuit of more awards are inconsequential given his larger motivations. Perhaps he wants to show people that, despite the election results, people like him will never simply fade away. Perhaps. But to a significant number of us out there that agree with him most of the time, his efforts to win Best Picture carries the unmistakable whiff of ego run amok.

It's OK, Mike. It happens to the best of us. Now do yourself a favor and forget about the Oscars. You have much better things to be doing with your time.


Anonymous said...

Isn't a documentary simply a subset of 'picture'? What is the definition of 'picture' for the Academy? -- David P.

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

This was something that I actually started thinking about after I made that post. According to this site, the specific rules state that "Films submitted for Documentary Awards consideration may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories if they meet the specified requirements". So fooey on me.

Even so, because the film is nonfiction in nature, it's of my opinion that it should be separate. In the same vein, I have no problem with animated features, which also now have their own category, being nominated for Best Picture. It was a good call when it happened to "Beauty and the Beast", and it would have been a good call for "The Incredibles" had they been so blessed this year.

I also discovered that Moore's failure to submit for the doc category was because of his broadcasting of his film on TV, which is against the rules. This very same rule has recently been apealed by the Academy, alas too late for Moore. The whole "boradcast" rule was what doomed "Croupier" years ago and is best disposed of, anyway.