Thursday, February 09, 2006


The British Media Can't Walk No Line

Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan. That's all I seem to do here. My apologies for that, and for the fact that this particular gripe is now a week old.

My gripe is this: why are the British media so nationalistic about Oscar nominations? As soon as they were announced last week, the nations' news media got into gear, and discovered that they had been spared the horrific prospect of actually providing any, you know, analysis or anything, by the fact that WE GOT FOUR NOMINATIONS! Did you hear that at the back, I said WE GOT FOUR NOMINATIONS!!!

Seriously, it was ghastly. I watched three news programmes that night, and only one failed to bawl the fact. Congratulations, therefore, are due to the Channel Four news, which to be fair provided a carefully presented five-minute segment, asking, amongst other things, the pertinent question of whether or not everyone has awards ennui these days.

The two media outlets that did worst were the BBC and ITV. I wouldn't mind all this overly exaggerated patriotism, but at least two of those nominations stand absolutely no chance at all. Judi Dench (for 'Mrs Henderson Presents') and Keira Knightley (for 'Pride & Prejudice'), in the Best Actress category, are obviously making up the numbers since Reese Witherspoon is, it seems to me, more than a certainty for 'Walk The Line', and having seen that last night, I have to say it would be an absolute travesty if she didn't win. Her performance is perfect, and then some. Again, kudos to Channel Four for acknowledging this, but it was magically missing from the BBC and ITV coverage, most notably on the BBC News website, where this article was run, comparing the two Brits, as if the two actresses can be meaningfully compared anyway, and then - in one of the absolute all time lowlights of 'participatory' news - asked readers to vote on their favourite of the two. Dame Judi won - what a surprise that must have been.

I know this is an odd, sad and esoteric thing to get angry about, but it's just so pathetic. I thought it had reached its nadir last year, when we had the laughable sight of news teams reporting on the oh so significnt win for Britain that was 'Wasp', winning Best Live Action Short Feature, despite the fact that blatantly none of them had seen it, or even had a clue what it was about.

At the end of the day, films are about universal feelings and actions, and personally, I'd rather Aunty and co thought a bit more about that than wasting time on tinny and feeble yelps of nationalism.

I may return to 'Walk The Line' at some point, because it's so fantastic that it really deserves a bit more attention. In the meantime, if you'll take my advice, go and see it - trust me, it's absolutely jaw-dropping. Unforgettable.

Go see. Phoenix and Witherspoon are just perfect.

I loved that movie. What an awesome biopic, and I the music was great, too.
I did find it interesting, however, that they chose to wallpaper over the fact that one of his biggest early hits was a novelty song called "Boy Named Sue," probably because it didn't match the image they were sporting of our boy Cash.
It's funny you should say that. I was talking to my dear old papa on the phone yesterday, and he was asking whether they put that song in. I had to confess complete ignorance.
Of the existence of the song that is, not of whether it was in the movie.

Which was great.

Have I mentioned that?
Yes! You did! I understand. And that's what I meant by wallpapering over it.
They not only don't play the song, but don't even mention it.
Which is odd, because it was his single biggest early hit.
They are, they are, it is! I absolutely, catagorically, loved Walk the Line. Two of my favourite things (Johnny Cash and Joaquin Phoenix) in one sexy lump. Although, due to us arriving late, we got front row seats and he looked a bit like a bowling pin. Nevertheless, fantastic film. Witherspoon really surprised me in it, I can't remember her being quite as good since Election, not forgetting Freeway (with Kiefer Sunderland, which was ace).

Boudica, you have excellent taste - those are indeed Witherspoon's finest moments. I love Election. It is a desperately under-appreciated film.
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