Magazine article Out

Dale Peck on the Movies

Magazine article Out

Dale Peck on the Movies

Article excerpt

If you're desperate enough to watch the Oscars, do so under the influence (it numbs the pain).

'Academy Awards coverage in a monthly magazine is a bit like election coverage in a weekly-speculative, misleading, often embarrassing, and almost always irrelevant. The quickest and surest way to find out who lifted the golden statue from the podium and fingered it like a new dildo is to watch the show. I prefer to do so at an Oscar party, where I can use alcohol to distract me from the self-congratulatory treacle of acceptance speeches (although I do enjoy seeing the presenters squirm their way through those profoundly unfunny sound bites they have to read). This year, however, I don't think there's enough gin in the world to numb me to the litany of bad movies on offer. Normally on a Sunday night I'd watch Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters, but since the Oscars are broadcast on ABC I'll probably just go to the movies instead. I know: how ironic.

At any rate, by the time many of you read this column, you'll already know who won, so I'm not going to bother with predictions. Besides, I always lose in my Oscar pool-and when I say lose, I mean I still can't believe Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovich. Maybe I just haven't learned to read the signs. I mean, strident woman goes it alone? Norma Rae? Monster1. Hilary Swank in both her Oscar-winning roles? Of course America's sweetheart was going to win-the only role more likely to get the Oscar is a retard (although readers of this magazine are well aware that the straight guy who dares to play gay is always good for a nod, if not for a win, as witnessed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote last year, along with both boys from Brokeback). This year, of course, there's not a soul who thinks Helen Mirren won't take home the trophy, just as Forest Whitaker seems to be a lock for Best Actor. The supporting categories are somewhat more interesting, if only because the leading contenders, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, have sentimental stories (veteran returning to form, ingenue making good her first time out) on their side.

In fact, there were a lot of great performances this year, but nothing like a great movie (apologies to Martin Scorsese, but, you know, a good Scorsese movie is about as common as a bad Jim Carrey movie-it's just not something anyone really talks about anymore). …

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