Jessica Day George

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Night

The Oscars always makes me groan aloud. Not because of the acting or directing categories, but because of the costume design and the most important category of all, Best Adapted Screenplay. It drives me batty when you have costume design nominees like Lord of the Rings, where every gown and shirt and sock and piece of armor had to be created from scratch, designed and sewn and embroidered, and it's up against something with modern costumes, where half the clothing was just bought at a store. And it loses! If the Devil Wears Prada had won last night, I would have been climbing the walls. They bought those outfits (or were loaned them) by the designers like Prada, and things like Curse of the Golden Flower and Marie Antoinette (which did fortunately win) were created by hand. There was at least, justice in this category. Which brings me to my biggest Oscar pet peeve: Best Adapted Screenplay. People who take books and turn them into screenplays deserve recognition for their work, for the accomplishment of their undertaking. And every year, the Academy screws up. This year, Children of Men was nominated. This was a complex book that has been turned into a complex and critically acclaimed film. Its opponents? Borat, which was semi-improvised and only considered adapted because the characters previously existed, and the Departed, which is adapted from a nearly identical Asian film. All they had to do was change Tokyo to Boston, and translate the dialog. Whoop-de-doo. Guess what won? The gripping, bleak drama of Children of Men? Of course not! The Departed won, the film that many critics called "warmed-over Scorsese" and was said to have a confusing ending and a number of plot holes. Yep. Go figure. Oh, well! Hooray for Oscar night! I suppose.

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