Matthew Norman's Column: My Academy Awards. the Winners Are

The Mirror (London, England), March 21, 2003 | Go to article overview

Matthew Norman's Column: My Academy Awards. the Winners Are


Byline: Matthew Norman

IN THE early hours of Monday morning, many of us will channel-flip from the pyrotechnics on CNN to a rival broadcast on BBC1.

Ladies and gentlemen, live from Hollywood... it's the 75th Academy Awards!

It should be a lively Oscars night. Stephen Daldry, the British director of The Hours, promises to deliver an anti-war blast should he win, while no doubt others will have oh-so- sincere words of support for President Bush should they be honoured by the Academy.

As for those monstrous little preambles the presenters love to recite, it hardly bears imagining what heights of pomposity they'll scale this year.

I can hear it in my head already. "Motion pictures are about telling stories," (reads Halle Berry, bottom lip a-quiver, off the autocue).

"Stories of hope and of despair. Stories of terror and of heroism. Stories of the unquenchable power of the human spirit. At such a pivotal moment of human history, it more than ever behoves us to remember the part we can all play in illuminating these stories."

I'm not sure about hoarding bottled water and plastic sheeting in case of terrorist attack. More urgent, don't you think, to stock up on the sick-bags?

When this riot of piety and self-importance is over, the rather greater horror in Iraq may, with luck, be drawing towards its close. Then will be time to think about a new awards ceremony, the WarScars.

Today, we imagine how some of the main players should be honoured.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: It's George Bush, of course. His acting may be a bit unsubtle for the European audience, but the Americans love him to bits. "Gee, folks," George tells the audience as he accepts the award, shaped after a cruise missile. "I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be Best Leader in an Acting Role."

And just for once, he means exactly what he says.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Condoleezza "Condy" Rice, George's "Kill 'em all" National Security Adviser. Crazy name, crazy gal, crazy ideas about how to stop the growth of anti-American terrorism. Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Yes, I think you've guessed this one. And the WarScar goes to. …

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