天之聪教育 2012-06-19 未知 392次
We should be glad "The Artist" won
THERE was only ever going to be one of two responses to last night’s Oscars. Either 1: "Of course they gave all the prizes to 'The Artist'", or 2: "Wow! They didn’t give all the prizes to 'The Artist'!" Throughout the awards season, in ceremony after ceremony, no other film built up any kind of momentum. Come Oscar night, the only danger for “The Artist” was that, as it had amassed such a mountain of trophies already, voters might just have felt that enough was enough and defected to their second choices. In the event, they made the sane decision. “The Artist” won five Oscars—for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Score and Design. “Hugo” was consoled with five Oscars in the technical categories, while the other major statuettes went to Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”, Octavia Spencer for “The Help”, Christopher Plummer for “Beginners”, and the screenplays of “The Descendants” and “Midnight In Paris”.
But let’s not forget that while the coronation of “The Artist” might have seemed inevitable on Sunday evening, that wasn’t always the case. Indeed, it was the only film on the Best Picture shortlist that didn’t come laden with a sheaf of Oscar-baiting credentials. The others were made by revered, award-hoarding directors (Spielberg, Scorsese, Allen, Malick). Their stars were Hollywood royalty (Brad, George, Tom, Sandra, Brad again). They addressed big, serious topics (9/11, civil rights, the first world war) and yet, aside from “Tree Of Life”, they had an inviting balance of comedy and drama. Months before they were released, you could have put money on their being included on the Best Picture list.
And then there was “The Artist”. Yes, it’s as nostalgic and reassuring as any of the films which were in the running—and nostalgia was the over-arching theme of this year’s nominees—but it’s also a French, black-and-white, near-silent melodrama in 4:3 ratio, starring an actor and actress that very few people outside France had ever heard of. A year ago, you wouldn’t have bet on it being released in America at all.
That said, Michel Hazanavicius’s passion project was bound to appeal to the Academy in one or two respects, in that its subject was the movie business, and it was the only one of the contenders to be shot wholly in Los Angeles. (Those aspects in themselves were enough for it to be seen as some sort of Hollywood-worshipping sell-out in some commentators’ eyes.) But it’s still hard to think of any Oscar winner which started life as such a rank outsider and went on to be such an all-conquering sure thing.
And so, just as the film itself leaves audiences feeling better about life, its award-gobbling success should cheer us up, too. Dispiriting as it was that Oscar voters ran scared of several edgier films which deserved to be nominated—“Drive”, “Melancholia”, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”—just think of how depressing it would have been if “The Artist” hadn’t been nominated, either. Which film would have bagged all those Oscars in its place? Would we really have been stuck with “The Help” or “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” as the year’s Best Picture? As it is, we can now revel in the notion of a French comedian being given an Oscar solely on the strength of his body language and facial expressions. It’s enough to make you tap-dance for joy.
Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined. But let us cherish this moment. Finally we are all here together: the athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, living under one r
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