The Right Opinion

The Oscars & Other Travesties

By Burt Prelutsky · Feb. 18, 2013

It is once again that time of year when we are told that a billion people around the world will be tuned in to see which of the over-hyped movies and actors get to take home Academy Awards. My wife will be tuned in because she likes to see what everyone is wearing and I'll be watching because I enjoy seeing the winners trying to act humble and I get a kick out of watching the losers pretend to be good sports.

The fact of the matter is that as with most elections, the winners have to spend a king's ransom advertising. For months, the same people who will go on stage and pretend they are unworthy have been waging war in the Hollywood trade papers.

This year, there's been a lot of static over the fact that Kathryn Bigelow, who directed “Zero Dark Thirty,” wasn't nominated for an Academy Award, even though the movie was. As a result, as happens whenever a woman appears to have been slighted, we have been hearing from the usual suspects that sexism reigns in Hollywood.

The dopes ignore a few salient points. For one thing, although they are now nominating 10 movies for Best Picture, they continue to only nominate five directors. Therefore, if one were to say that if it was an injustice in her case, it was equally so for Ben Affleck, whose “Argo” was nominated, while he wasn't. For another thing, how is it that if the Academy is now riddled with sexists, it wasn't two short years ago when they actually gave Bigelow the Oscar for the mediocre “Hurt Locker.” Is it possible that the Academy been over-run with right-wingers? And if so, why wasn't I invited to join the coup?

We had the same scenario when Barbra Streisand wasn't nominated as Best Director for “The Prince of Tides,” and outraged feminists – there being no other kind! – ignored the fact that she had been given an Oscar for the very forgettable song, “Evergreen.”

Back in 1958, David Niven won the Best Actor Oscar, Wendy Hiller won as Best Supporting Actress and Deborah Kerr was nominated as Best Actress. What's more, the movie they all appeared in, “Separate Tables,” was nominated as one of the five Best Pictures. In spite of all that, its director, my friend, Delbert Mann, was not nominated. To his credit, he didn't whine about it. He was disappointed, but he didn't complain that the Academy members had it in for guys born in Kansas.

It seems to be a constant complaint that when women don't win any award they might have a shot at, it's because of blatant sexism. And when they do win, it's based on recognition of their sheer genius, even when there might be more women than men casting ballots on both occasions.

It reminds me of the black college basketball coach who, after several losing seasons, was let go a few years back, and accused the university of racism, ignoring the obvious fact that it was the very same institution that had hired him in the first place.

Only the folks who hand out the Nobel Peace Prize make as many bad decisions as the members of the Motion Picture Academy. These are the folks, let us never forget, who decided that “Sweet Leilani” was a better song than “They Can't Take That Away From Me” and that “Three Coins in the Fountain” was better than “The Man That Got Away.”

They gave Oscars to the likes of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “The English Patient,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Platoon,” but never even nominated “Roxanne,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Hail the Conquering Hero,” “Singin' in the Rain” or “Groundhog Day.”

These are the very same goofballs who have given not one, but two Oscars, to Sean Penn, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda, but none to Irene Dunne, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, William Powell, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter or Preston Sturges, and never even got around to nominating Joseph Cotton, Steve Martin or Edward G. Robinson.

This year, the biggest blemish on the Oscars had nothing to do with Kathryn Bigelow. It's the fact that they, who saw fit to bestow Oscars on Michael Moore and Al Gore, for such left-wing crapola as “Bowling for Columbine” and “An Inconvenient Truth,” respectively, never even had “2016” on their short list of 15 documentaries worthy of consideration.

One thing for certain is that on Oscar night, when one recipient after another rushes on stage, and with the sort of cloying humility that made Charles Dickens' Uriah Heep so singularly obnoxious, insists that they are undeserving of such an honor, I'll be sitting home, echoing their sentiments.

NOTE: I have been approached to host an internet talk radio show. The only hang-up is that it requires a certain level of sponsorship in order to get started. If you own a company, sell a product or provide a service, or if you know someone – preferably someone dedicated to conservatism – who owns a company, sells a product or provides a service, who would be willing to consider sponsoring my show, please contact me at BurtPrelutsky@aol.com, and I will be happy to answer any and all questions. In the meantime, you will all be alerted once I get airborne. Best of all, if the show does well, I will be able to quit dunning you folks for donations to the Fund to Keep Burt Prelutsky From Pursuing a Life of Crime!

31 Comments

GeorgePA in PA said:

I remember all the whining not that long ago, during one of the many "Year Of The Woman"s, that men weren't writing good parts for women. I guess all those actresses weren't capable of writing, nor discovering women to write for them... Seem every man in Hollywood has his own production vehicle, yet the women are still standing around, huddled in the corner, waiting for men to give them jobs. Pretty pathetic, for a bunch of feminists, yet not all that surprising.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio replied:

It hasn't been that long since women could not vote, own property or hold the same offices as men. So much has been accomplished since 1900 for females and although we are not on the same page as males, we are striving to keep up. I love a good movie and I'm glad to see females moving into the directing roles as well as acting. One of the greatest movies ever made is The Nativity, made by three women.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Joan: I had never heard of the movie, but I looked it up. It's called "The Nativity Story," but I don't know what you mean by the three women. True, a woman directed it, but a man wrote it, and all but two of the dozen people credited with producing it were women.

I'm be just as happy seeing a movie directed by a woman as a man, except that I have never particularly enjoyed one. I'm thinking of the films directed by Ms. Bigelow, Barbra Streisand, Ida Lupino and that Italian woman who was all the vogue about 30 years ago.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio replied:

The Nativity Story was an awesome movie and I had seen a video of how it was made and they talked about the three women that were involved in the making of the movie. The writer is a Christian.
Men and women don't prefer the same type of movies. I prefer historical movies such as Empire of the Sun and it does not matter if they are directed by a man or woman but the Director is the person responsible for great movies. I also prefer reading the book before seeing the movie and right now I'm reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy in preparation for the movie. I love books and I think men make the better authors since they are better at fabricating. I'm not a feminist since I was born to early, married to young and was a stay at home Mother and my name is not toots. I never realized that term was still used. You gentlemen have a great day, it was nice chatting with you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:22 AM

Jim in Western NC replied:

Joan, your first sentence applies historically to most men as well. As far as women in public office go, I haven't been very impressed (at least at the national level), since the much ballyhooed "Year of the Woman" in '92 that ushered into the senate a gaggle of Democratic big government liberals--just like their male counterparts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio replied:

Jim, The people who impress me are those who lived what they taught..I'm for females doing whatever they choose. When my daughter was graduating High School, I told her if you want to get anyplace go into a man's field. She has a degree in Electronics and has never regretted it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 3:13 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

George: The most surprising thing about feminists is that they never surprise us.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

Just watched Singin' in the Rain for the umpteenth time....pure entertainment.Doris Day never recived an Oscar and she has given hours of pure laughter and fun. You're right about the similarity of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Oscars but consider the committee makeup; lefties pinkies and gross liberals. Add in the committee who chose Hil for her latest award. I'm pretty sure common sense died whatever year Nancy Pelosi was elected. I hate to type her name because my name is also Nancy. I always loved my name til I knew of her.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

ODR: It's a very nice name, but I can see where new parents might be reluctant to tack it on to a baby girl, lest people think they are honoring Mrs. Pelosi.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

received, darn it.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Richard of CT in Cheshire, CT said:

Hi Burt,
Excellent essay, and I cannot disagree with one word of it. Thanks!
The whole Oscar/Hollywood thing has always made me wonder. And I just love those great films from the 30's, 40's and even some from the 50's and 60's. But when it comes to patting themselves on the back the denizens of Smellywood have been outdoing themselves in recent years!! Michael Moore???? YUCK!! Al Gore??? Putrid!!!

As for your seeking sponsorship for your TV projec, I only wish I still had a company or the connections that could help you with this. Once upon a time I was pretty successful at generating sponsorships for my American Spirit Racing Team. ASRT was a fairly successful operation, campaigning the Mazda RX-7 sports cars in long-distance endurance races, with over 100 volunteers crewing and servicing on the team. Mazda Motors of America was our primary sponsor, with additional support from tire companies, motor oil suppliers, tool and equipment companies and even a bank and a real estate company. GLORY DAYS!!

And before anyone questions (as was done often back in the day) how a team called American Spirit could be sponsored by a Japanese auto manufacturer, I hasten to point out that back then (1980's) Mazda was owned largely by the Ford Motor Company. Doesn't get much more American than that!!
So, if I have any brainstorms, or if you could use some (formerly) professional help with the sponsor search, let me know. I'd be honored to participate in making this project happen.
RJA

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Thank you, Richard. But it is radio--actually on the Internet--not TV. I'm just sending the word out, figuring that there must be some potential sponsors who wouldn't object to having their company, service or product, attached to a conservative...but can't afford to advertise with Rush, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Richard of CT in Cheshire, CT said:

"projecT" Fingers are too fast for the brain sometimes!! RJA

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

BJ in St. Cloud, MN said:

Do not despair Nancy. The fact that you would read Burt shows you're actually a thinking human and not a slime ball autobot lefty whose goal is destruction of the individual's rights while moving us toward a collective that depends on liberals staying in power. God help them after the "shrug" occurs. In our case it has started. We closed one of our 2 stores here in Central MN, let 2 full timers go, and are looking for any ways available to not feed the monster.

TERM LIMITS-IMPEACH-PROSECUTE-SOON

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

BJ: A child of six could predict that ObamaCare, increased taxes, more government spending and a higher minimum wage, would result in fewer jobs. The trouble with Obama and his stooges is that not one of them is six years old.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

thanx BJ in St. Cloud

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Cowboy in San Antonio said:

I recognized only My Cousin Vinnie, and I have recommended that flick to a lot of people for its absolutely great acting, tremendous writing, and absolutely appropriate casting. Even the legal courtroom stuff is up to speed. (I know that area intimately.) A commenter stated that the more hype about a movie, the worse it is. That seems to be absolutely true. I have been disappointed time after time by poor or non-existent plots, poorly written scripts, bad acting, apparently non-existent directing, and the like. When friend tell me something is a "great movie", I make a point to not go. Most people are idiots when it comes to appraising the quality of Hollywood productions.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Bo: We agree about "My Cousin Vinny." I also thought "Groundhog Day" was terrific.

Burt

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 10:35 PM

NormalGuyAZ in Surprise, AZ replied:

Have to agree about "Groundhog Day." I look forward to every February, so I can watch it multiple times.
A couple other movies I am fond of are "The Green Mile," and "The Shawshank Redemption."
Great movies, even if most of the actors were loony liberals.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Normal: I must admit I skipped the first and didn't care for the second, and not just because of the loony libs.

Burt.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Doktor Riktor Von Zhades in Western KY said:

Sexism in Hollyweird? Wow, whodda thunk it with such enlightened residents.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

Hollywood has to give themselves worthless awards for useless work, nobody else will.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

wjm: Not true, unfortunately. Hardly a week goes by that some group of liberals isn't bestowing an award or honor on the likes of Jane Fonda, George Clooney and Susan Sarandon, just to name a few of the unworthies.

Burt

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 1:15 PM

QueensJudyG in Queens, NY said:

My favorite part of the Oscars show in recent years, since now even the MCs stink on ice, is the tribute to those who have died in the past year. However, this segment rolls by much too quickly, when it should be lengthened, in reality, to replace most of the rest of the show's banality, musical spots, so-called comedy, seeing the "fashions" worn by young and old women who trot around looking like working girls. It's the people in the industry the show is honoring, so this part should be expanded to honor those who may have been out of the public eye for quite a while, who had contributed much to the cinema, and who were far more interesting people than those nominated now, from the USA or overseas. Usually, this tribute aired near the end of hours of boring TV. Years ago, I stopped watching this annual, grueling ordeal. I blame President Bush.

BTW, the scene in "My Cousin Vinny" where Joe Pesci first visits his cousin's frightened "partner in crime" in the Alabama jail, still makes me wish I was wearing Depends, even after several viewings.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

QJG: There are any number of memorable scenes in "Vinny." I must have seen it five or six times by now, and it still makes me laugh.

Burt

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 1:17 PM

eric hunter in montgomery, AL replied:

Two thumbs up for Vinny. Pesci became a favorite after that one. I still guffaugh at "the two yoots" remark and the judge's (Herman Munster) remark!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Jim in Western NC said:

Burt, as I reread your column while anticipating the next I thought about my dwindling relationship to movies. I rarely go to the theater anymore. The last movie I bought a ticket for was Star Trek a couple of years ago. Even though I realized it was a franchise hand off to the younger crowd and not necessarily what I enjoyed when younger, it was just a poorly written film. Special effects will only take you so far. I have also watched a number of movies that I have turned off, even after sitting through most of the hour and a half or so. I think overly familiar ("rehashed") plots are one reason. Not being able to separate today's high visibility actor from the character is another. However, the main reason is the absurdity of paying money and investing time to have my worldview assaulted by Hollywood types. The last movie I really enjoyed was Breaker Morant (1981) and it wasn't even an American film!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Jim in Western NC replied:

Oops, almost forgot. I took my son to see Skyfall while on a trip to Sacramento at Thanksgiving. Not too bad, but another generational franchise hand off.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Jim in Western NC replied:

PPS- Bond films are just for sheer entertainment--no real thinking necessary. I'll admit that when Bond/Craig opened up the storage space and revealed the Aston Martin, I almost stood up and applauded. I'm glad that I didn't. Apparently, I was the only one in the theater that made the connection. Old age strikes again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Joan in Dayton,Ohio said:

My husband and I were married in 1968 and went to the theater every saturday night. I've seen every movie that won Best Picture since 1967 and some before that. The only one I could not get into was Ghandi and I tried two or three times. Some great movies have been made over the years. The Godfather, Empire of the Sun, Butch Cassidy, Gone With the Wind, Gladiator, Braveheart, The Lion in Winter, Bonnie and Clyde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Raging Bull, The Deerhunter, The Killing Fields, the list goes on and on. Can't imagine life without movies, books and music.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Adrien Nash in Crescent City said:

In addition to crappy song nominations, they also choose the insipid "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" over the deeply serious Hal David song "The Theme from the Valley of the Dolls" ("Why?"), and totally overlooked Natalie Portman in "The Professional" for best actress. It would have been a bit embarrassing for the grown-ups to have lost to a 12 year old. And the list goes on and on...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 4:11 AM