It’s Oscar season! If you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough you can almost smell that perfect mix of high fashion and pretentious bullshit from your own living room! But seriously folks, as many respectable outlets compose their well though out, analytical dissection of this year’s nominees and their predictions on who will walk away with a golden statue – we here at The Tuesday Night Cigar Club are not a respectable outlet. Not by a long shot. But I do have some thoughts, or actually one specific thought rather, on the Oscars so I thought I’d share it with our loyal followers.
My right eyebrow, the one I manipulate to show my skeptical disapproval towards a subject, first arched upward towards the Academy Awards when I was just a preteen. Looking back now, with a memory heavily clouded by booze and years of hypnotherapy, it seems as though the Oscars were watched yearly by my mother and I usually joined her as I became obsessed with movies and the people who made movies at a very early age. One year when I was just a wee lad but at the time obsessed with the film Jaws, I remember asking my mom how many Academy Awards it had taken home back in 1976… her answer of “I don’t think any, now pipe down Burt Reynolds is talking” blew my fucking mind.
Even as a little shit, I always had an appreciation for good acting. The fact that neither the possessed salty dog Quint or the loveable aqua nerd Hooper won an Oscar (or was even nominated I’d later learn) was simply unfathomable to me. And years down the road when I learned that the film’s director Steven Spielberg wasn’t nominated either (!) for orchestrating one of the most entertaining big screen spectacles of ALL TIME… well, my bullshit detector started twitching. Something was amiss.
Skip ahead to 1993 and I’m working at my local movie theater and my obsession with film has only grown at this point. I sit in the back row of the theater every night for several weeks straight basking in the glow that is Val Kilmer in the fantastic western Tombstone.
Val’s performance as the sickly smartass Doc Holliday literally knocked the wind out me, night after night. I couldn’t breath when he delivered his lines, it was as if I was the one with tuberculosis! I remember thinking “How weird is it that the goofball from Top Secret! is gonna win an Oscar?” But guess what? NOT EVEN FUCKING NOMINATED. Although, it’s worth mentioning, Val was nominated for “Most Desirable Male” at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards that same year where he was narrowly beat out by master thespian Billy Baldwin for his brilliant and sensuous-as-all-hell career defining performance in Sliver.
And the list of head scratching oversights and unjust rewards continued year after year after year. 1995’s Oscar shunning of both Pulp Fiction and its director Quentin Tarantino was the last straw for me. Forest Gump? Give me a goddamn break. I can see the chiseled and socially aware Billy Baldwin being a smidge more desirable than our boy Val Kilmer and taking home the prestigious MTV Moon Man trophy but this Forest Gump sweep was unfathomable. I never watched the Academy Award telecast again and I have no regrets.
There have been several occasions on The Tuesday Night Cigar Club podcast where we have drooled over performances in the films we’ve reviewed (old and newer releases) and we’ve lamented how there was no way in Hell that these talented actors would ever get nominated for an Oscar. And whether they were ignored in the past or left out when nominations were announced months later, we were right every time. Check out our passionate discussions on…
And here’s a blast from the past, who can forget the scene stealing turn from Richard Dawson in The Running Man!
Well I know I’ll never forget Richard Dawson in The Running Man, although I have long ago forgot about Morgan Freeman’s appearance in the film Street Smart which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nod that year over our beloved handsy game show host.
Do you remember Street Shart? Sorry, I mean do you remember Street Smart? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. And that’s why the Oscars are ultimately meaningless. The nominations and often the award winners themselves just rarely hold up over time and their cultural relevance is usually fleeting at best. I mean for God’s sake Richard Dawson predicted the future!!! In 2017 a slimy but extremely charismatic game show host somehow positions himself to run the United States of America… that’s essentially the plot of 1987’s The Running Man. Think about that for a moment.
So I predict the night’s big winners will be Tyler Perry’s Who Gives A Shit? and the new Woody Allen joint Look At Me As I Talk All Smart & Stuff! Congrats to all! Cmon ladies and gents, the Academy Awards are only about money, politics, and self promotion. That’s it. So instead of watching a bunch of mostly mediocre talent pat themselves on the back for five hours on Sunday, February 26th, how about pouring yourself a well deserved drink and pulling up one of your favorite episodes of The Tuesday Night Cigar Club podcast. We’ll never disappoint you and we’ll always give you what you want. And there’s nothing self promoting about that…