Friday, February 28, 2014

A.O. Scott and 'Morning Joe' Crew Are Nuts

Cate Blanchett in 'Blue Jasmine'
New York Times film critic A.O. Scott made Oscar predictions on Morning Joe today and it was so weird. The crew--Joe, Mika and my dreamboat Thomas Roberts--asked Scott who he thought should win and will win. First it all started out OK. Scott's assessment of the Best Picture race was reasonable, though I don't agree--he picked 12 Years a Slave for should and Gravity for will. I can see that, though I think Gravity will be honored with all the tech awards, but Slave will take the top prize. So far, ok. Then Scott said he thought DiCaprio deserved to win over McConaughey because Leo was so energetic or something while Matthew only lost some weight, played a character with a fatal disease who transforms from a bigot to a nice guy. Never mind that Matt's role in Dallas Buyers Club was more demanding than Leo's (IMHO).

Then when they got to Best Actress it got crazy. Scott actually predicted Amy Adams of American Hustle not only should win over Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, but that she deserved to. WHAT? Then Joe and Mika started piling on about the Woody Allen scandal and how Hollywood would not want this controversy near "their party." Joe opened his big mouth and made the bizarre claim that Blanchett's character in the movie--a widow whose disgraced husband cheated clients in a Madoff-like scheme--was based on Mia Farrow. Again, WHAT?

It was pretty obvious what was happening. In support of their new MSNBC colleague Ronan Farrow, the Morning Joe crew has decided to trash Woody Allen at every turn. (In reaction to the Golden Globes honoring Allen with a lifetime achievement award, Ronan's sister Dylan wrote an open letter in the NY Times reasserting her accusations that Allen molested her over 20 years ago.) Did the Morning Joe people push Scott to downplay Blanchett's chances? I think they are dead wrong. The Academy voters will not penalize Blanchett just for being in a Woody Allen movie. She gives a brilliant performance and has already won every possible award so it would be just bat-shit crazy to deny her the Oscar because she might thank Allen in her acceptance speech.

To cap it all off, Scott opined that Jonah Hill deserved to win over Jared Leto for supporting actor. I screamed at the TV "These people are nuts." Then there was more babble about how the Oscars never honor a good comedy and there should divide everything between comedy and drama like at the Golden Globes. It's so middlebrow to think drama is more important than comedy, they all agreed.

Earlier this week when Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day passed away, Joe complained that Ramis was never nominated for an Oscar and that if the people voted he'd have a truckload of them. That's what the People's Choice Awards are for, Joe.

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