Oh my God, with this, Ethan Hawke. Are you serious?
Elaine loves to taunt Michelle and me about our teenage love for him. I have to admit, it feels embarrassing in retrospect. Not because he wasn’t cute then, or appealing to our young selves, but because there’s that sanctimonious thing that is so exhausting – that guy who first burst your bubble about sweatshops when you thought your clothes were cute, or who pointed out how everyone gets lonelier as they get older and life’s a bitch and your children leave you and it’s pointless.
Okay. Yes. Some things have down sides, for sure. And – news flash – no awards, not even the Pulitzer or Nobel prizes – are completely exhaustive in recognizing all the great work in a given period, and they are necessarily subjective. Oh and Ethan Hawke has been nominated for these subjective awards, by the way.
So we should get rid of them all, never celebrate anything?
One thing the Oscars have been good at doing in recent years is celebrating movies – and TV – in ways they never would have in years past. It’s not just about the nominated films, but about the moviemakers as a community. Stewie Griffin will undoubtedly be a part of this year’s telecast. Go ahead and be all “do they really need that much celebrating?” but you think at the Architect’s Association of America* awards there’s not someone bellyaching that they got totally shut out for the ninth year in a row?
Do you know what’s happening at Hollywood and Highland right now? There are literally tens of thousands of people who are here to work on this show, the biggest of its kind. Either they work on it all year or it’s a highlight of their years. A lot of people work to get it right, and to make it a program that is beamed into literally hundreds of countries. It’s a big deal, and sh*tting on it in a New York magazine for New Yorkers doesn’t make it less so. Does that mean it’s worthy of being vaunted as the Only Right Voice on cinema? Of course not. But is the polar opposite true, then? Celebrate nothing, get excited about nothing?
I’m not suggesting we have to be drones who get all excited about Government Mandated Famous Peoples and squeal with delight at every tiny move they make. But who, over the age of 13, thinks that the Academy (which is a GROUP of people, by the way) gets it right every time and that anything they shun should be shunned? Nobody. It’s a sampling, a selection. I’m willing to bet many eligible voters enjoyed Pitch Perfect just as much as I did, even though it’s never making it to the Dolby Theatre stage.
But to be all “they are pointless and mean nothing to anyone with sense or taste”? We get it, Scrooge, but even though there’s commercialism and money and focus on the trivial, there are still people who get some magic out of it, too. The worst part is that your pouting doesn’t dissuade any of them at all – even the ones who know better. What good is a rant if the strongest word you can use to describe it is “boring”?
Attached -- Ethan Hawke at the Oscars in 2002 and 2005. (Lainey: OMG I forgot about Scarjo’s hair that year.)