Let's Talk Oscars

My Song Is Done. Franco's Never Got Started.
All about the Academy Awards.
Feb. 28 2011 5:20 PM

Let's Talk Oscars


Scarlett Johansson. Click image to expand.
Scarlett Johansson

OK, Dana— I see the orchestra conductor fiddling with his baton, readying to strike up the band and play us off, and I refuse to test his patience very much. Churning out Oscar coverage isn't exactly coal mining—for one thing, the former gig involves sinking into a slightly more toxic atmosphere than does the latter—but, my, does one grow weary. Nothing can compete with the Academy Awards as an annual rite of hype. I mean, only the Super Bowl commands a larger share of the national media mind, and that involves an actual game.

Why didn't Generalissimo Franco do an actual song-and-dance routine? The word on the street, dispensed by the ray of sunshine known as Nikki Finke, is that his singing is unlistenable. "You only have to hear the tape to learn why it was scrubbed," says her source. So there is your evidence that he knows when to say when.


Why can't I quite get on-board with your articulate defense of the Kirk Douglas appearance? Perhaps because I am a horrible person and, watching the gentleman appraise the supple drama-queeny flesh of Anne Hathaway, I instantly flashed on Vlad the Impaler sizing the tasty neck of Mina Harker. But thanks for that Logan's Run reference. It's the second one to turn my head this month, following a line in Mark Harris' February GQ story on the studios' collective creative crisis. Mark quotes writer-producer Vince Gilligan: "The studios say, 'Well, no one else is coming to movies reliably these days except for young males, so we'll make our movies for them.' And yet if you make movies simply for young males, nobody else is going to want to go. So Hollywood has become like Logan's Run: You turn 30, and they kill you.'"

Did Christian Bale forget his wife's name? Maybe. Anything's possible. I've forgotten my own at this point. It should come back to me by this time next year, after a year of actual moviegoing restores a limited faith in the art of film and a boundless one in the showbiz hustle.


Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Sept. 21 2014 11:00 AM Sometimes You Just Need to Print Your Photos the Old-Fashioned Way 
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.