Monday, 8 March 2010

What a load of Bullocks

Think of a famous Oscar speech. Chances are, you're picturing Gwyneth Paltrow's meltdown, Sally Field's "You like me, you really like me..." or Halle Berry's sobbing self-love. To be honest, after seeing one Hollywood diva dissolve into snot and tears, they all become a little interchangeable.

So it was nice to see Sandra Bullock hoisting the little gold fella last night and managing to crack a few jokes while she was up there. Delivering what most people considered to be the best speech of an otherwise rather dull evening, Sandra started by asking "Did I really earn this, or did I wear you all down?"

Rather than talking about herself, Sandra kept the orchestra at bay by gushing about the other actresses in her category and thanked her parents for "reminding her daughters that there's no race, no religion, no class system, no color, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love."

It's hardly surprising that she handled herself so well - she's certainly had plenty of practice in the last couple of months. As The Blind Side marched inexorably towards quarter of a billion dollars at the box office, Sandra kept herself busy picking up every award that was going for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, who took in a homeless young man and nurtured him to football stardom.

But although her mantelpiece may be straining like Chris Moyles when he has to take the stairs, not all of Sandra's awards worthy of pride. Just 24 hours before her moment of glory in the Kodak theatre, Sandra was on stage in the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, to collect a Golden Raspberry for her performance in All About Steve.

It's very rare for a Razzie winner to turn up in person, even more so when the lucky recipient is hot favourite to win the Oscar a day later. In fact, Sandra's double win is an industry first that's almost as monumental as Katherine Bigelow's landmark victory as the Academy's inaugural female winner for best director.

Ever the joker, Sandra rocked up to the Razzies hauling a cart full of All About Steve DVDs which she kindly distributed to every person in the audience. The key, of course, lies in never taking yourself too seriously. Although her role in The Blind Side was one of Sandra's few excursions into 'serious drama' - she's ensured that people will remember her for being self-deprecating rather than self-absorbed.

Not everyone was quite so impressed with Bullock's moment of victory. A number of comments posted on sites like Huffington Post have sniffily derided her long-standing popularity as a reason why she was a less than worthy winner. With several people comparing Sandra's Oscar to the one Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovitch, the mentality seems to suggest that films can either be art or commerce - never both.

To put it simply, the less seen a film is, the more worthy it is of accolades.

When 'Oscar' rewards big, successful movies, he's accused of selling out. Conversely, when he hands out gongs to movies that nobody saw, he's condemned for being out-of-touch with movie audiences.

Unlike Sandra, I guess some people just can't win.

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