By Peter Knegt and Matthew Hammett Knott | /Bent January 30, 2014 at 1:22PM
"Norbit" for Best Make Up
Knott: Though I suppose I should be praising the Academy for being able to recognize excellence in specific craft categories within the wider context of a truly abysmal film, I expect this wouldn't have made the cut if it weren't the work of industry legend Rick Baker. But really - I've actually watched that film, and the fact that there should ever be legitimate reason to utter the phrase "Academy Award nominee "Norbit"? Unforgivable.
"War Horse" for best picture
Knegt: "Crash" aside (and I'm sure one of is going to go there sooner or later here), I sincerely feel like Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" is the worst film ever nominated for best picture. The first year the Academy decided to go on its "sliding scale" of nominees somehow saw enough #1 votes go to this total mess. Horribly written, unabashedly sentimental and artistically old school in a severely lazy kind of way, "War Horse" is only enjoyable if you pretend that the war horse himself was intended to be read as homosexual. Which I suggest you rent the movie, smoke a joint and pretend to do RIGHT NOW.
Knott: Best Original Song is a category that offers endless potential for bitching. These are the people that took the song widely considered the low point of Stevie Wonder’s career - “I Just Called To Say I Love You” - and promptly handed it a gong. But I’m afraid “Suddenly” deserves it for the sheer laziness of its nomination. How many people remember what this song sounded like, or even who sung it? I’d bet not even half of the voters, who simply weren’t able to nominate anything more well-known from that film which had all that singing in it. Excellent choice guys.
Knegt: That "Les Mis" nomination reeks of this desperate thing that musical adaptations of the past two decades constantly get away with because the Academy's music branch are -- as we saw yesterday -- clearly ready to do whatever the fuck people tell them to do. They take a Broadway musical, whether "Les Mis" or "Chicago" or "Dreamgirls" or whatever, and add one new song that is so ridiculously below the quality of the rest of them just so its technically original and thus they have another Oscar nomination to count on. Personally, the worst example of this is "Learn To Be Lonely" from Joel Schumacher's take on "The Phantom of the Opera" (which frankly I'd be surprised if too many people remember exists). A horrible song from a horrible movie that somehow ended up the same amount of Oscar nominations -- three, actually -- as "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Before Midnight," "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Frances Ha" and "Stories We Tell" combined.
“Crash” for Best Picture
Knott: I’ve been called a bitter, hate-filled homosexual a lot on the internet this week, but it’s not this film’s egregious victory over “Brokeback Mountain” that still has me reeling. It’s the very fact that “Crash” got any awards traction at all. From the category that didn’t bring you “Do the Right Thing” fifteen years earlier, we got this pompous, condescending and trite take on race relations in America. Oh Academy, I wish I knew how to quit you.
Oscar Bitchfest is a regular awards season feature between /bent boys Peter Knegt and Matthew Hammett Knott. Check out Knegt's Oscar predictions over on Indiewire now.