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March 1999, Week 4


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"Edward R. O'Neill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 14:20:18 -0800
text/plain (58 lines)
I *do* think it's important to point out the total insignificance of the
Oscars as anything other than an index of popular trends in the film
industry, most notably the industry's desire to represent itself to the
public--as artistic, as independent-oriented and not studio-controlled,
etc.  Heavy-duty outrage is a bit beside the point with the regular
awards--the special lifetime awards, however, being different matter.

That said, I was actually more compelled by Paltrow's Oscar tears than by
the performance that supposedly merited the very award which provoked those
tears.  (It is ironic that feelings of authenticity emerge retrospectively
from exactly such ironies.)

If one wanted to criticize Paltrow's "Oscar-winning" performance for lack
of depth, her acceptance speech could be entered to make a prima facie
case.  While in the comment below Chris downgrades these speeches as
"calculated," I would say the televised performances were less calculated
than the celluloid one.

The fact that Paltrow's contorted facial expressions during her Oscar
acceptance speech were terrifically unbecoming (even on someone so easy on
the eye) only called to my attention the way the same actress will not let
herself do anything that is not pretty and even calculated to be pretty in
her filmed performances.  For me this constitutes the lack of depth of
those performances, although it does not mitigate their (rather limited)
charms.  (On these criteria, she was better in _Hard 8_.)

But Paltrow is still young, and there's no reason she shouldn't grow.
Let's not forget that Jessica Lange's performance in _King Kong_ could
hardly have alerted us to the full extent of her talents.

Also, if the Golden Globes speech was PR, was there really any need for the
Oscar speech to be so as well?  After all, by that point the campaign was
over and the goal achieved.

Edward R. O'Neill

At 10:14 PM 3/24/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Gwyneth Paltrow is a wan waste of celluloid. She won because she cried
>at the Golden Globes. She used her father's illness as well as her
>grandfather's illness to win her the Oscar. The Golden Globe speeches
>are calculated attempts at votes. Before the Golden Globes, Blanchett
>was the front runner. After the waterworks, Paltrow had it locked.
>Perhaps, Susan Lucci should do that sometime.
>Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
>University of Alabama:

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