Tag: Academy Awards

Go With The Flow


“Never bet against the side that’s having the most fun in a culture war.” – PDB

Politics is downstream from culture, said Andrew Breitbart, and he was 100% correct. Politics can try to dictate culture, but a counter-culture soon pops up and forms a resistance. This was true in Soviet Russia, it was true with the hippies in the 60’s and it’s true today. Thanks to crowdsourcing and multiple streaming platforms, everyone can watch what they want to watch, and support the artists who produce the content that they want to see. The deer now have guns, and we’re darn near everywhere. For example, I spent hours in my youth scouring the bins of Zia’s Record Exchange and Eastside Records, looking for rare import tracks from my favorite artists. Now pretty much everything is available on YouTube, Last.fm or other platforms. Animé, (or as I knew it, japanimation), was a rare thing indeed in my younger years. We’d spend $75 or more (in 19080’s money) to watch a poorly dubbed VHS copy of Nausicaä, now there are entire film festivals dedicated to Miyazaki’s works

‘When You’re a Star, They Let You Do It’


We all learned a valuable lesson from last night’s Academy Awards presentation. President Trump was right when speaking to Billy Bush, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Now, from the Billy Bush tape, I believe President Trump was referring to victims of assault letting the perpetrator off scot-free or even consenting to the illegal behavior for some mutual benefit. But as was shown by recent events, not only the victims of assault may excuse a celebrity’s behavior, but the elite and well-heeled might even give you a standing ovation. You don’t need to look much further than the Academy of Motion Pictures Art and Sciences members giving Will Smith a standing ovation and awarding him an Oscar even after his illegal behavior last night was witnessed by millions.

Oscar Attendees Virtue Signaling to Each Other


Kyle Smith just published an outstanding article about last night’s Academy Awards.  This outstanding article included the following outstanding paragraph:

“Booksmart” star Kaitlyn Dever made, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “a sustainable fashion statement at the Oscars in a custom-made ethical gown by Louis Vuitton, featuring eco-responsible silk satin that was embroidered with Swarovski crystals and beads.” Whatever that is. Phoenix has been wearing the same tuxedo all Oscar season, because no sacrifice is beyond this man. The last role he played before the Joker was Jesus, and he is a method actor. Maybe he thinks he’s here to save us all.

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience.  I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

Member Post


It is an extremely rare thing when the best film of any given year is given the Oscar for Best Picture. There are a number of reasons for this. Sometimes the best film made is not made in the English language. So even though Rashomon or The Lives of Others may have been the best films […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

No Host Is Pure Enough to Host The Oscars


“My name is Oscarmandias, King of Entertainment;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

After months of searching for a host then chasing off the only person willing to try, the Academy has thrown in the gold lamé towelette. For the first time in the past three decades of The Oscars, the event will go hostless. From Variety:

Producers will select a crop of A-listers to introduce various segments instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers, said the insiders. The producers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, are scrambling to line up top talent needed to carry the telecast, which is just six weeks from airing live — on Feb. 24 — from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Hand-wringing at the Academy has been palpable.

Oscars Ratings Fall to All-Time Low


I didn’t watch the Oscars last night. Apparently, most Americans joined me. The final ratings are in for the 2018 Academy Awards and it ain’t pretty.

Jimmy Kimmel earned appalling ratings when he hosted the event in 2017, but this year’s broadcast dropped 19 percent from that to a paltry 26.5 million viewers. This makes it the least-watched Oscars in history. The previous record-holder was in 2008; last night’s entry garnered 5 million fewer viewers than that bomb.

Trying to put a shine on it, The Hollywood Reporter said the bad ratings were no big deal since they were totes expected:

Rod Serling to Narrate Remainder of American Experiment


Are things getting weirder? Brexit was only a mild shock: polls are often wrong, at least when conservative ideas prevail. Trump’s victory was a bigger surprise but again, polls, the echo chamber of the punditocracy, etc. But then there was the Super Bowl. And the Academy Awards. (Note to Meryl Streep: at least the Super Bowl stuck the landing.)

You don’t have to be a football fan to see that the 2017 Super Bowl was great entertainment. It was no She Devil, but still … Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was fantastic, although I didn’t appreciate her divisive “one-nation-under-God” rhetoric.

Taken individually, each of these events is remarkable. Collectively, it’s as if John Wayne removed a thorn from God’s paw or something.

Oscar Reflections


Miss me, Ricochet? I’ve been busy trying to place my reflections on American-prestige-at-the-movies in various venues, trying to tell conservative America: Pay attention, at least a little attention, at least during awards season! The ugly truth is, it’s really hard to get people to care, but very easy to get them angry and contemptuous at Hollywood out-of-touch-elitism, so I’m busy trying to avoid all the dark passions. But while people still make lovely movies worth the praise, I will try to show you what they’re about and how to navigate through the sophisticated concerns that give poetry its great dignity.

So here’s my list of Awards movies conservatives should support, nay cherish. They’re all but one featured at the Oscars. I picked three all-American stories, two of which are true stories such that the movies actually understate the miracles they depict. They’ve all been remarkably successful at European art-movie festivals, even at the highest level. They’ve not been too successful in America, but they’re doing ok mostly, and getting another chance at prestige in awards season. This is the sort of stuff conservatives should support, both because it is poetry worth supporting and because it supports the conservative case for American goodness and greatness.

  1. Hacksaw Ridge. The best show of Christian America at war I can think of — so naturally, the conservative press ignores it altogether. A war picture, a remarkable technical achievement, independently financed and produced with great savvy — and then it gets lots of Oscar nominations, including the first for Mr. Mel Gibson in perhaps 20 years. Shock after shock. I think we should be bipartisan about this and do at least as much as Hollywood liberals have done, so I’m doing my part!
  2. Kubo and the Two Strings. This is the most beautiful surprise of 2016. A film almost entirely free of the sordid, which tells a broken-family story Americans should love, while at the same time doing the sophisticate poetic work of analyzing grief in terms of the grief song, threnody, and trying to show where poetry stands in-between the city and the moon.
  3. Hell or High Water. This was the anguished manliness movie of the year. I’ve written about it at length on my website, but those are notes for a very limited audience. I’ve also produced a popular essay, but I’ve not found someone willing to publish it yet…
  4. Loving. This is the most surprising sort of civil rights picture you’re going to see. It’s a respectful and very American portrayal of the moral virtues that make private life a joy, a shelter, and a benefit to the country as a whole at the same time. It’s one those true stories that makes so many of us wonder at the ways in which Americans are blessed and innocent.

Then there are movies really worth the attention of conservatives who care about the culture, but they are not really lovable and I cannot recommend them. I suppose I don’t need to, either, as they’ve been plenty successful:

Member Post


This morning the nominations for the 89thth Academy Awards were announced. I’m sure that in the next few days, and following the awards themselves, we’ll hear and read the standard criticisms of these movies from conservative commentators. Usually it’s that the movies are ones that no one has seen, or that are too liberal, or […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

What the GOP Can Learn from The Oscars


Trump OscarsEven after a big win for Donald Trump in the New York primary last night, it is still likely that no candidate will arrive at the convention with a majority of the delegates on the first ballot. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed that 62% of republicans feel that the candidate with the most delegates should be the nominee, despite not having a majority.

One of the issues with this poll – that was discussed on a recent episode of the FiveThirtyEight election podcast – is how the question was asked. One wonders the outcome if the question was “should the party nominee be a candidate who the majority of the party did not vote for?”.

This is the trouble with accepting the winner of a plurality, rather than a majority. It becomes more probable that people will reject the winner rather than coalesce around an acceptable alternative.

Member Post


The troublesome Oscars monologue, the least important, most perfunctory part of the show–the leave your coats & pay your tickets part of the spectacle–the unpleasant prelude to celebrity worship–the strange, embarrassing attempt on the part of the Academy to be part of the popular culture–well, this year it had uncharacteristic bite to it, & is […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post


Flipped channels between end of the Oscars and Fox News’ top Trumpkin Judge Jeanine. The Oscars perfectly demonstrated what Trumpkins are reacting to. Self-Serving Action: An actor with the personal carbon footprint and annual revenue larger than those of most small countries … Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post


  Dear Academy Awards – It’s become clear that burdens of acting and filmmaking have an inordinate impact on minorities and women.  Given your unique position in Hollywood, I call on you to institute neither quotas nor set-asides but simply this: when it’s close, the Oscar should go to the minority. In the case of two […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Hollywood: So Progressive. So Racist.


The Oscar nominations were announced yesterday morning and Hollywood — that bastion of hyper-liberalism — has once again proven itself to be super-duper-mega-ultra racist. I hear your saying “But didn’t 12 Years a Slave win Best Picture just two years ago, with Lupita Nyong’o winning Best Supporting Actress? Didn’t Octavia Spencer win that same award two years earlier? Haven’t the last four Best Director winners been a French-Lithuanian Jew, a Sino-Taiwanese, and two Mexicans? Wasn’t Selma nominated for Best Picture last year, and didn’t John Legend and Common win Oscars for Best Song last year?”

Member Post


Los Angeles – Paul Krugman took home the Academy Award for Economics yesterday for his role as a pundit posing as a morally-vain economist who couches his arguments in contemptuous terms toward dissenters. “Those who disagree with my views are either fools, knaves or foolish knaves” he said in his acceptance speech, transforming into the award-winning roll before his colleagues who comprise […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Academy Awards Enters Equal Pay Debate…Unfortunately


ArquetteThe #AskHerMore Twitter campaign encouraged reporters to ask female Oscar nominees about more than just than their fashion choices. Hearing more about their films? Great. But hearing more from nominees, of either gender, about public policy is often not a path to viewer enlightenment — particularly if their film has nothing to do with that particular issue. Example:

Patricia Arquette used her big win at the Oscars on Sunday as an opportunity to talk about an issue that is extremely important to her — women’s rights. In accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Boyhood,” Arquette read from a sheet of paper and began her comments by thanking her children. At the end of her speech, Arquette made a call for action on women’s rights and argued that it’s time for women to renew the push for equal pay. “We have fought about everyone else’s right,” Arquette, 46, said. “It’s about time we fought for our own; it’s about time we have equal pay and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

I don’t know about Hollywood — I will give Arquette the benefit of the doubt about her own industry — but studies suggest overall that 5% or maybe less of the gender difference in worker pay has to do with discrimination vs. the fact that men a) work longer hours than women, b) work at more dangerous and financially risky jobs, c) have greater years of continuous work experience on average, and d) choose college majors with more value in the marketplace. AEI’s Andrew Biggs and Mark Perry: