Slumdog who?

Published 10:32 pm Friday, February 27, 2009

I know that I am woefully behind in my movie watching but I didn’t know just how much until I saw the Oscars this past Sunday. I consider myself pretty in tune with the cinema, as it is my one passion that I can truly say rivals my love of food. But after watching this year’s Oscar’s ceremony, the Academy should revoke my right to watch movies.

The only reason I had even heard of Slumdog Millionaire, this year’s winner for best picture, is because I heard it nearly went straight to DVD when it was released. So, my reasoning for not seeing this year’s best picture is that I’m not in the habit of watching anything that once found itself on the same level cinematically as “Bring it on 2” or “Air Bud 16” or whatever.

How wrong was I on that one, huh? In my defense, I was misled by whoever told me that little known fact about the finest picture produced this year.

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The best actor nod was no surprise to me, though. I had my legendary Oscar twinge in the pit of my gut the night I saw the preview for the movie about Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official. And as I sat there waiting for the movie I actually went to see — “Role Models” (amazingly snubbed by the Academy, by the way) — I said to myself, “All Sean Penn has to do is show up to work every day on this one and the Oscar is his.” And I was right.

But I’d much rather sing the praises of another best actor nominee, Mickey Rourke. Rourke received a nomination for his role in “The Wrestler,” an independent film I read about in GQ. I can’t wait to see it.

If Rourke’s performance as a gritty, brutal criminal out to avenge a dead prostitute in the movie “Sin City” is any indication of his Wrestler performance, I’m in for a treat. Besides, anyone who can take as many kicks to the face as a kicboxer in Thailand and still turn in such an amazing performance deserves a great kudos.

For me, though, the rest of the Oscars was a blur of Wall-E something, The Curious Case of Benjamin Blah-blah, Frost/Who, and Vicky something Barcelona. How did I get so far detached from the cinematic experience? I never heard of “The Reader,” the film for which Kate Winslet won best actress and so many other films up for awards this year.

All I can say to all you fine actors, actresses, and filmmakers is this: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not celebrating your genius by going to the movies this year. And I promise to run right out and get the Independent Film Channel and rent like crazy until I have gotten myself by into the good graces of the Academy.