Scott Alexander Young comment on Oscars of 2020

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Oscars Congratulations to Bong Joon Ho. Not only for winning Best Picture for Parasite but for having such a cool sounding name.

But Oscars glory means millions of people will now seek out this film, and some will look for Bluffer’s Guides to Korean cinema, so they can instantly appear knowledgeable about Hallyuwood, as it’s known. I can’t say I am an expert in this apparently rich film tradition, but I did work in Seoul once, on a commercial for Samsung. At the time I called it a “Good Korea Move”. Kaching! (There are puns equally that bad in The Wild Cats of Piran – “may the paws be with you” is the least of it.) 

Apparently Bong Joon Ho is a big Tarantino fan, which explains Parasite’s slow burn of tension leading up to …an orgy of ultra-violence at the film’s climax. That pretty much sums up not only Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but also Tarantino’s entire oeuvre. That said, I loved Once Upon… I thought it was QT’s best film since Pulp Fiction. It was good to see Brad Pitt rewarded for his work there, but what I wanted to know was …how the heck does anyone look that good at 56 years old? Is he cryogenically frozen between roles, or what? 

It seemed to me both Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and Sam Mendes’ 1917 were somewhat overlooked, but I guess, well, they can’t all be winners. I haven’t seen Joker, but River Phoenix is undoubtedly a talented actor who gives his all. I must admit however, I did doze off in the middle of his acceptance speech. Okay, I kid. I just watched it online and it was certainly heartfelt. Perhaps less talked about was Renee Zellweger, who elevated Judy, an otherwise rather pedestrian film, by convincingly transforming herself into Judy Garland

Whether each and every film floated my particular boat, is beside the point. Actors shouldn’t really be moonlighting as critics. But since I made my late entry in the acting business, I have gained a deeper respect for the hard work and tenacity that goes into every nomination, in every category. Of course, that admiration is mixed in with the constant refrain going through the head of all jobbing actors. Towit: “Why can’t it be me up there? Why can’t it be me up there?” Ah well, back to the auditions I guess.

Written by: Scott Alexander Young

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