Dude, where’s my Oscar?

The Oscars are usually the year’s most prestigious and honored prize in mainstream cinema. But this year’s awards ceremony failed to recognize the truly unique and important films of the year, opting instead for such uninspired and banal films as Gladiator and Traffic.

Early in the ceremony, Gladiator took the award for Visual Effects while Highlander: End Game starring Christopher Lambert was completely forgotten. In the costume design category, Gladiator scored another victory. Do I smell like a monkey’s ass, or did the Academy simply skip over Jonathan Lipnicki’s killer costume in The Little Vampire? That the judges had been bribed was as plain to see as J-Lo’s jubblies.

Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic took the Film Editing award, while anyone who saw the free screening of The Legend of Bagger Vance in Lisner Auditorium knows that it should have won the award for leaving the boom microphone visible in several shots – a daring and brilliant editing technique.

Those weren’t the only problems with the Oscars. How could Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous take the Best Original Screenplay award over the year’s smash hit Dude, Where’s My Car?

Many fine actors were snubbed in the ceremonies. Arnold Schwarzeneger was again passed over for the Lifetime Achievement Award in favor of some walking corpse with a British accent, and where was Charlize Theron’s award for her fantastic 10-minute appearance in Men of Honor? Theron had better win Best Supporting next year for her 2.5-minute sequence in 15 Minutes.

On a positive note, the only award that went to the right nominee was Julia Roberts’ as Best Actress for her role in Erin Brockovich. Julia showed the talent, the star quality, and the wonder-bra cleavage that proves she’s still America’s favorite hooker.

The greatest travesty of Oscars night comes with the Best Director award. Did the Academy forget about the most enigmatic director of the 21st century, Jerry Bruckheimer? After all, with back-to-back cinematic triumphs Gone in 60 Seconds and Coyote Ugly, he should have been a shoe-in for the prize.

Although this year’s Oscars were bleak and disappointing at best, next year the Academy will have its hands full with bed-wetting-good pictures set for 2001. Already we have seen two contenders for Best Picture, See Spot Run starring David Arquette and Exit Wounds starring the original bad-boy Steven Seagal.

Also, if you’ve been aching like the rest of America for the return of Australia’s favorite diplomat from Down Under, Paul Hogan will be returning to the screen this year in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Hogan, 2001’s choice for Best Actor? No worries, mate.

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