In Most Races, It’s a Handicap

But lameness is obviously an advantage for the best picture Oscar competition. Now that “Little Miss Sunshine” has won the Screen Actors Guild best ensemble prize, it’s more than likely to repeat last year’s “Crash” phenomenon, when the weakest intellectually and aesthetically of the five top Academy Award nominees won the Big O.
Not that LMS isn’t a funny, ever-so-meekly subversive little entertainment (“Crash” was a nice little gimmick movie, too). It’s just not about real people or anything truly meaningful, and its smidgen of formal ambition amounts to a couple of frames’ worth of “Babel,” “The Departed” or “Iwo Jima.” Hell, even “The Queen” was exponentially better shot and staged – with writing and acting and, yes, comedy that left the SAG winner in the dust like a broken-down van on a desert road.
Now the big question is, when LMS conquers the Kodak on February 25, are people finally going to stop taking this whole ridiculously capricious Oscar business seriously? Probably not, even though, if this does come to pass, the lame-os who actually vote for the things will have proven for the umpteenth time that they don’t take movies seriously at all.

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