All (Oscar) Politics is Local

Front Page ChallengeThe post-nomination debates are raging in the newspapers, but the National Post’s front page summed it all up nicely:

SNUBBED BY OSCAR: No Best Picture nod for Dreamgirls; Jack Nicholson, Borat and Brad Pitt get shunned.

The lack of a Best Picture nom for “Dreamgirls”, yeah, that’s kind of newsworthy in light of the film’s eight nominations … but, well, is “shunned” really the right word?

I mean, it’s not as if Nicholson doesn’t have three Oscars already; it’s not as if “Borat” wasn’t, you know, actually nominated for something; and it’s not as if Pitt, whose production company produced both “Babel” and “The Departed”, was told he couldn’t attend the ceremony this year.

I know, I know. It’s all about grabbing eyeballs and telling people what they think they want to hear. And, evidently, they want to hear how great it is that big Hollywood stars (and that “Borat” guy you’ve been hearing so much about) have been shown up at the whole being-famous thing, while our very own Deepa Mehta — a national treasure! — has been honored with a nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film for “Water”.

Now, I know we need homegrown stories, but really … I was at the Varsity yesterday morning for a screening, and the Deepa machine was going full-bore, with journalists lining up to chat with her about her year-and-a-half-old movie and how great it is that — how did she put it in the Globe? — oh, right, that was just a picture of her sitting in an auditorium, she wasn’t actually quoted or anything.

Yes, she’s a lovely person and she’s entitled to every bit of exposure she can scrape out … and because we’re very nice up here in Canada, no one will mention that “Water” is kind of disappointing, and probably doesn’t stand a chance against “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “The Lives of Others” or even “After the Wedding”.

Still, what else were we going to put up for the nomination? “Bon Cop, Bad Cop”?