Very intense emotions did not always run smoothly...
It's just as obvious that the most prevalent issue in the awards ceremony this year was to be the war in Iraq as it was after the Oscar ceremony in 1999 that the biggest rivalry of all was between two equally powerful films, Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare In Love. But there was something of an unwritten rule this year that, if an Oscar winner absolutely HAD to say something about the Iraq situation, they would keep it mild and quick, such as the way Chris Cooper hoped for peace for the world in his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor (which he richly deserved).
The Best Documentary category was a sure win by Michael Moore's stunningly brilliant film Bowling For Columbine, but when he went up to the stage to deliver his speech, he made such incendiary comments that he was booed by the entire audience and, given my own personal opinions in regard to his comments, I can't say that all of the booing was just because everyone disagreed with him.
The point is not whether or not you agree with Moore that the war in Iraq is a huge corrupt ordeal and that George W. Bush should be shamed, but rather in the fact that this is simply not the time or the place for that topic. It's hard to get a lot of people on stage in front of millions to say whatever they want and prevent them entirely from saying a thing about their personal views in such politically intense times as these, but Michael Moore went too far. It's as simple as that.
One of the things that really bothered me was that (although this is true to his style) Moore invited all of his fellow nominees onstage and then made his volatile speech, without having previously discussed with the other nominees what he was going to say so that they could decide if they wanted to go on stage with him or not. I agree 100% with what Moore said (well, maybe more like 80%), but it was simply the wrong time for his opinion to be made known, and I personally would not have stepped on stage with him had I known he would make a speech like that.
I wish he would have thought it through more and not allowed his emotions to get the better of him in his speech, because he is now an Oscar winning documentarian he literally has endless other ways, more effective and more respectable ways, that he could have made his feelings known to the world. Adrien Brody also went on entirely too long in his emotionally-tinged speech, but at least was not as blatantly disrespectful as Moore was in making his opinions known to the audience and the world.
In other news, the rest of the ceremony was peppered with spectacular events. Steve Martin has returned to solidify once again his permanent status as the greatest host the Academy Awards have ever had. This guy can tell a joke that is absolutely as predictable as jokes get and still make it funny. U2 and Paul Simon each deliver staggering live performances, and Eminem, one of the hardest commercial rappers currently recording, is honored for a much deserved Oscar for Best Song.
I would just like to say that I was absolutely thrilled when Eminem won the award (although I was sure that he would), because even though all of the nominees deserved the recognition for their achievements, this is a case where, had the award gone to any of the other nominees, everyone would have clapped, gone on to the next category, and then gone home with a nice content smile on their face, and the winner of the Oscar for Best Song in 2002 would have been forgotten forever almost immediately. But since the award went to such a controversial nominee, this is a category that will not soon be forgotten. Eminem has done no less than revolutionized the possibilities for Academy Awards.
The Academy Awards are a time of goodwill and appreciation of the wonderful movies that deserve to be celebrated because they took advantage of the enormous impact that films can have on their audiences. The movies honored at the awards ceremony this year and every other year are honored because they were so well-made in many different areas and deserved to be recognized for one or more of those areas, and it is truly a shame that current political events have to have such a negative impact on a show that celebrates something like this. The movies awarded this year, with only one or two exceptions, have little to nothing to do with the current political climate, and I just wish that the winners could have concentrated more on appreciating their recognition for their accomplishments than on taking political stands.
If for no other reason, I absolutely love Michael Moore's work and, given the content of Bowling For Columbine, he's not in real good standing with the NRA, probably some of the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq and some of the most backwards people in our nation. I honestly hope Michael Moore has considered his own personal safety!
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