It’s time for the Up-lifting Triumph vs. Tragedy Smackdown. Oscar night is nigh.
Sure, Oscar loves its incurable diseases, cripples and the mentally handicapped. Will the lead actor playing an assassinated gay martyr win? The young talent who died tragically before his time of a drug overdose?
In the one of the best episodes of the HBO series, “Extras”, Kate Winslet played a far-fetched very bawdy version of herself on the set of a film about the Holocaust. The fictionalized Kate Winslet – in full costume as a nun in habit -- boldly admits she’s going for Oscar:
She says: I don't think we need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It's like, how many have there been? No, we get it, it was grim, move on. No, I'm doing this because I've noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, guaranteed an Oscar. Schindler's bloody List. The Pianist. Oscars coming out of their arse. I've been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, "why hasn't Winslet won one?"
Next Sunday Winslet is up for an Oscar again – this time in a Holocaust movie -- but she’s a Nazi not a nun. Does that count?
Does villain in Nazi movie trump Nun in pedophilia movie? One wonders.
Has a psychopathic serial sadist ever won Best Supporting Actor?
What if he should have won last time, but the Academy was too squeamish to award Oscar gold to cowboy sodomists?
Would giving Heath Ledger the Academy Award – posthumously - for The Joker be a terribly moving move or too much of a downer for the diamonds and pearls crowd?
Maybe the triumphing over adversity Oscar needs to go to Mickey Rourke for best performance in spite of a messy personal life. And best comeback – a Rocky Oscar. And Best Performance of a wrestler’s face without special effects.
Or maybe it will be Sean Penn for Milk, something of a posthumous award for the “NO on Prop 8” campaign. A sorry-about-that, and sorry-about-Brokeback and also, Best Performance by an Actor in a film that reminds us that we actually haven’t come all that far, baby.
In any event, get your booze ready for a drinking game -- take a shot every time something bittersweet happens.