Friday, March 25, 2011
I’ve always been intrigued (read: suspicious) when people opine that something is “good for what it is.” The expression sounds incomplete somehow, as though the speaker really wants to add a closing parenthetical comment: “(which is bad).” “Good for what it is,” when I’ve heard it or used it myself, feels like a vague apology for not liking something more, or else a need to identify as someone who can intellectually recognize quality even when one is emotionally unmoved by it.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
When I was twelve years old and watching the Academy Awards, something amazing happened: Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Christy Brown, a writer with cerebral palsy, in My Left Foot. Having seen the film and been in awe of his performance, I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled though, I remember feeling a deep belief that something right had happened. Never a sports fan, unable yet to vote, I felt rewarded for my convictions the way I imagined other true-blue supporters might. My passionate rooting had paid off, and the resulting feelings of glory – though ultimately vicarious – were no less visceral. I have ever since loved the Oscars, and looked forward to watching them every year. And in response to those who would drone on to me about how the awards were political, or rigged, or unfair, or just plain stupid, I had nothing really to say; I simply held onto that pleasure I experienced in caring deeply about my favourite films and actors, and wanting so much to see them acknowledged: someone needed to tell Daniel Day-Lewis how great he was, simply because I couldn’t.
This year’s Oscars sucked. Sucked so hard that I might not be coming back.