I don’t care who wins an Oscar. I don’t really like any of the films, particularly in the best picture category — with the exception of “A Serious Man,” how can anyone take this thing seriously, with films like “Precious” and “The Blind Side” in the running for top awards. To consider which one of these is better, or “The Hurt Locker” vs “Avatar,” is to give validation where little is deserved. It’s like saying who is better: Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Beck? Going down this year’s nominees list, it strikes me how few of the major nominees are actually great films. Maybe if “The Messenger,” “A Serious Man,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” or “The White Ribbon” had been major contenders, I would be paying attention on Oscar night. But they’re bit players in a Hollywood extravaganza that has long abandoned the art of cinema.
I know there are plenty of people out there like me, who give little credence to the Oscars as a value of quality. But everywhere you look — even “The New Yorker” cover depicted an Oscar theme — the Hollywood awards have dominated entertainment coverage. This time of year, it’s so damningly apparent how much editorial content is driven by advertising dollars it kind of sickens me. Can’t we just stop the fawning, prognosticating and kissing-ass, and focus on something else? I can’t wait until next week so we can change the conversation: Did you know Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl” opens next Friday?