By Michael Lerman | "Lincoln Blogs" by Michael Lerman February 27, 2007 at 4:10AM


I suppose as the newest member to indieWIRE blog family, I should take my first entry and throw in my two cents about the Academy Awards as well. First of all, I think all of Anthony Kaufman's points are well taken. The show was pretty abysmal. That being said, here are a few things I learned at this year's Oscars:

1. I'll start with the positive. Much to my surprise, the foreign language Oscar is not based on country. Germany, who won four years ago for Nowhere In Africa, wins again for The Lives of Others. Now, how an entire country made the film is actually beyond me, but whatever.

2. The cinematography award is really about color and landscape. No kidding. Because - and I really do love the look of Pan's Labyrinth -, but the incredible feat that was shooting Children of Men not being honored is just egregious.

3. American TV coverage reached a new low when William Monahan won for Best Screenplay and the millions of viewers were told by the ABC announcer that The Departed was based on the Japanese movie Infernal Affairs, a film which, as Scorcese points out in his acceptance speech, was made in Hong Kong, or, as the Oscars would have you believe, made by Hong Kong. Okay, maybe it's not a new low, given that, you know, Fox News exists, but it still was pretty idiotic and offensive. I guess to ABC, they all those slanty-eyed people look the same.

4. You really can put three cameras on something important, take five minutes to edit it and, not only get invited to Sundance and Cannes, but also win an Oscar for best documentary and shaft people who have actual talent, especially when you come from a famous family. That being said, it took a "documentary" and an ex-vice president to make the Academy realize global warming was a serious issue and that they should go green?

5. What the hell does the Academy have against Robert Altman that he did not get the same in depth tribute that Kubrick got?

Lastly, as for all this speculation Eugene has been doing in his last several postings, I have trouble believing that Johnny Depp will get nominated for this movie. First of all, it's directed by Tim Burton, who in my opinion, has not made a good movie since Mars Attacks!. Also, though a film of Burton's gets nominated nearly every year, the one and only time anyway won an acting award under his supervision was Martin Landau in Ed Wood, a fluke to say the least (not that the performance was anything short of amazing). But I do think you are right, Eugene. The Oscars really have gone Hollywood. Just don't tell the Gotham Awards who nominated The Departed for what is esssentially Best Independent Feature.