With so many Hollywood celebrities jumping on the various presidential bandwagons, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell where politics leaves off and show business begins. This being the movie awards season, one sort of expects the politicians to return the favor by announcing their support of, say, George Clooney or Johnny Depp for the Oscar.
When I read recently that Robin Wright was divorcing Sean Penn after 11 years of marriage, I was hoping she would attribute the split not to the usual irreconcilable differences, but to irreconcilable differences of opinion. I mean, if I were the judge and Mrs. Penn testified that she’d finally had her fill of Sean’s going on like a besotted teenager about how cool Hugo Chavez is, I’d be happy to give her custody of the kids and 100% of the community property, including the Oscar he should never have won for his hammy over-the-top performance in “Mystic River.”
Speaking of Oscars, there’s a great deal wrong with them, even aside from the fact that the Academy voters actually handed one over to the bozos who wrote the song, “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp.” For starters, there’s the fact that they are hardly ever awarded to comedies or to those who write or star in them. On rare occasions, someone such as Kevin Kline or Marisa Tomei picks one up in a supporting role. But, as a rule, if you want to win an Oscar, your best bet is to appear in an overlong, overwrought drama as a mute, a cripple or a prostitute.
But as bad as the Academy Awards are, the biggest scam of all are the Golden Globes. At least most of the members of the Motion Picture Academy either work in the movie industry or used to work in the industry. But the folks who hand out the Golden Globes are 80-odd stringers, part-time foreign journalists. In the old days, when I was working for a production company, the joke was that if you cared about getting a nomination, you invited these underpaid wretches to a party and fed them pigs-in-a-blanket. If you actually cared about winning, you’d go whole hog and feed them jumbo shrimp in cocktail sauce.