Updating The Oscars

If A History Of Violence had been nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, surely it would have been a sign of the forthcoming entertainment apocalypse; for reasons I have previously explored.

This got me thinking (insert joke here) about the rather archaic nature in which the Academy try and pass off their little men. The art of the motion picture has certainly evolved since the early part of the 20th century. It would only seem sensible that the world's most famous awards, (no disrespect to those Pulitzer and Noble thingies) start following this Darwinian trend. I'll even give some suggestions for new categories:

- Motion Picture that was so depressing some audience members purposefully choked themselves with their own popcorn: Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback could be about Heath Ledger forming a life long bond with a three-legged sheep in the flock he's watching; that wouldn't change the fact that this was a terrifically depressing film.

- Actress most likely to drop an F-Bomb when snubbed in her acting category: Reese Witherspoon

This isn't even taking into account what the mother of Reese's children Ryan Phillipe will do. The only thing that the Academy likes more than an actress becoming a singer is an actress making herself exceptionally unattractive. Hello, Felecity Huffman. Also, this could trigger a series of events resulting in Nicolette Sheridan ordering Michael Bolton to carry out a Tonya Hardingesque attack on Ms. Huffman. Fascinating business.

- Actress most likely to not eat or drink in the 60 hours preceding the Oscars: Renee Zellweger

Seeing as how Renee isn't nominated or presenting this year and thus, doesn't have to concern herself with exhausting activities like walking and speaking; she, effectively, has no ceiling. Then again, there's an 80% chance she'll be in a hyperbaric chamber somewhere

- Actor most likely to take a cleverly disguised jab at George W. Bush: Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Somewhere, Sean Penn pumps his fist.

- Actor most likely to forget that they're an actor and not particularly important or influential in a global sense: Matt Dillon

"I'd like to thank the academy first and foremost... Uh... More importantly I'd like to thank Paul Haggis for giving me the opportunity to bring the issue of racial profiling and discrimination to the forefront of the American consciousness. (Raucous applause!) Without a film like Crash the people of Los Angeles and to a larger extent the people of... (Dramatic Pause) The United States of America (!) would never get a chance to view a raw, real slice of the racist tendencies, so prevalent in our society today. This award isn't for me... It's for all the actors whose sole mission is to make the world a better place. I will now attempt to have sex with myself."

- Most entertaining film of the year: Hitch

How is the NOT a category?

- The Casting Couch award for the most inexplicable, flabbergasting career in film (the modern day lifetime achievement award): Paul Walker

Paul Walker having abdominal muscles airbrushed onto the promotional poster for Into The Blue was the entertainment highlight of 2005 for me.

(While we're here: Tiger Woods' hideous goatee is second. Thinking back on Rosie O'Donnell pretending to be in love with Tom Cruise is third - amazingly, this is actually moving UP the list as time goes by. Seeing Katie Holmes hustled into the Church of Scientology in mid-town Manhattan in June is fourth. This list is beyond reproach.)

- The award for the actress best disguised as a human being: Michelle Williams

Mrs. Ledger just had a baby with her Brokeback co-star. Congratulations to them. My only question: how is it possible that Michelle Williams looks like she would qualify for the Russian Gymnastics team if the trials were held tomorrow? The answer - obviously - she's actually a cyborg created by Warner Brothers.

This is - undoubtedly - a can't-miss formula for success.

In all seriousness the saturation of absurd awards show and the modern day obsession with celebrity is one of the most fascinating developments in the last ten years. Eventually, every fad climbs towards its zenith and spectacularly tumbles down the other side. If I had to take a guess, I'd say the collapse of this societal obsession will happen right around the time Lindsay Lohan leaks a sex tape with Jessica Simpson, followed immediately by Will Smith dominating the primaries for the leadership of the republican party, and capped off by Jon Stewart securing the Democratic nomination.

If nothing else, this will certainly be an exciting week.


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