Monday, January 26, 2009

Awards, awards, awards. Enough, already!

Last night was the someteenth annual SAG Awards. My dear friend Janet is a member of SAG and she gets to vote every so-many years (though she never tells anyone who she's voted for). As an actor, myself, I know how much more peer accolades can mean than those of family, friends and strangers. Make no mistake, acting is a blood-thirsty profession and every member of it has thought at least once, "I could've played it better!" -- By the way, if you are one of my actor friends who is reading this, don't even try and deny that statement, because you know it is true -- but I digress. In any event, to be told by another actor that you were the best this year, is probably the compliment you will remember above all others. There was a surprise, or two. I hadn't expected Meryl Streep to win (and neither had she, apparently). Sean Penn's win was good, though his speech was a little all over the place. The evening's funniest moment was the hilarious mock-argument between presenters Amy Pohler and John Krasinski:

When I was a kid, there were four Awards shows: The Tonys; The Emmy's; The Grammies and the only one that really mattered, The Oscars. That was it. Then, in the 80's, MTV created a new medium and eventually, their own awards, The Golden Astronaut. And suddenly, awards shows were everywhere and for everything (hell, even MTV created another one - The Golden Popcorn Box). There are even the "Anti-Oscars" -- The Golden Raspberries, given for the worst of films and performances. It is human nature to crave acknowledgement and praise, but the idea of awards for art seem to me to be comparing apples and oranges. I understand that prizes and awards increase the value of actors, directors, writers and myriad other folks. Wouldn't you want to hire some one who is perceived as "Best" in his or her field? Unfortunately, today's awards aren't always about who or what was truly "Best," but often more about who or what garnered more attention among an elite few.
In the end, it really doesn't matter who won what, but how much the audience responded to the product. making movies is a business, after all. The success of a business is based on how much it makes in profit. It seems to me, the "Best" movie is the movie that made the most money. It certainly performed the best, which means that more people saw it, than any other movie. If I were in the business of making movies, I'd be much happier with a billion dollars than a clump of gold-plated lead. You made the most? You win! Capitalism at it's finest.
More, anon.

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