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Idol Chatter

I read the rumblings in the trade papers about how the dysfunctional family comedy “Little Miss Sunshine” was going to sneak its way into the Oscar nominations, but I was still disappointed that the rumors became reality in the early morning hours today. Granted, 2006 was a weak year for movies, in my opinion, but honestly, the fact that the movie received nominations in every single major category is a little shocking. “Sunshine” is unworthy of a golden statue for two main reasons: First, the tiny bit of redemption at the end of the movie is not worth the 90-minutes of sludge–and I found it to be mostly highly unrealistic sludge at that–to get there, and secondly, giving the nod to a narcissistic, nihilistic movie like this left other redemptive performances out of the limelight.

Does the Academy really think a little girl (nominee Abigail Breslin) prancing onstage to “Superfreak” translates into an Oscar-worthy performance over touching performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello in “World Trade Center” or Julianne Moore in “Children of Men”? If they wanted to recognize a comedienne, why not nominate the brilliant Catherine O’Hara in “For Your Consideration”? By the same token, Alan Arkin’s over-the-top performance doesn’t really rate in comparison to many other overlooked performances, such as critically-acclaimed Ken Watanabe’s turn in “Letters of Iwo Jima” or even Ben Affleck’s role in “Hollywoodland.”

Oh , and a little side note to my fellow blogger, Esther: Do you hear those hoofbeats? That’s the four horsemen of the cultural apocaplyse bearing down on us, because Borat will most assuredly take home an Oscar for its lewd and crude screenplay. Between “Sunshine” and “Borat,” perhaps lewd and crude will be Oscar’s theme this year.

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