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The reason most movie buffs like me watch all the pre-Oscar award shows is because the Golden Globe,SAG Awards, and the Critic’s Choice Awards are all good indicators of the mindset of the Oscar voters heading toward Hollywood’s big night. After last Sunday’s SAG awards, I definitely saw a trend emerging. With Jeff Bridges winning for “Crazy Heart” and Sandra Bullock sharing an award or winning outright for “The Blind Side”, this year’s Oscar race is perhaps not so much about honoring the best in cinema as it is giving out a few lifetime achievement awards.


I certainly enjoyed Sandra Bullock’s performance in “The Blind Side” enormously and I think she is a gifted comedic actress. Do I think her performance is in the same league as Streep for “Julie & Julia” or Helen Mirren for “The Last Station”? Not exactly. But I think comedy is always overlooked at the Oscars and so the recognition of Bullock is a nod to the fact that she is definitely the most successful comedic actress of her generation and is a due a little something. (Besides, I really love the way she has gushed from the podium about her marrage to her hubby Jesse James.)
Likewise, Jeff Bridges has had a long career, but also an uneven one filled with more mediocre movies than great ones. But Bridges has always given memorable perfromances in even so-so movies like “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and how did he get overlooked for “The Fisher King”? So even though hardly anyone has seen “Crazy Heart” and he is a category that left out the likes of Robert Duvall in “The Road”,I am happy he will get his due from Oscar.
Oscar has certainly lost touch with the mainstream moviegoing audience over the years – as witnessed by its flagging ratings – so I think maybe these noms are also a nod to recognizing those accessible, popular movie stars that have given us pure enjoyment. It’s a possibly calculated, yet surprisingly sentimental, approach that might convince me – and others – to hang out with Oscar after all this year.
Sandra Bullock

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