An obsessively long article in today’s New York Times chronicles the supposed emergence of Crazy Heart, a low-budget movie starring Jeff Bridges as a washed-up country singer , as a possible Oscar contender. Now, maybe Crazy Heart is great, maybe Jeff Bridges is great (he usually is), and maybe this is one of the best movies of the year. Or maybe not. The thing is, how the heck would you or I know, since none of us has yet seen it? For that matter, how the heck would Oscar voters know, since they haven’t yet seen it either?
With great love and admiration for the brilliant analysis my EW brothers and sisters (led by the erudite Dave Karger — hi, Dave!) do in covering the great annual moviepalooza known as the Academy Awards, I’ve got an uncontrollable urge to jump in here and say: Show me the movie before you tell me the odds! Show me, even though my opinion (either professional or off-duty) doesn’t matter in this race. Show me (and you), even though I know that the winners of those coveted naked-bald-man statues are the result of a process that’s indescribably farklempt (as they say in Hollywood). I don’t know a movie-lover around who really believes that Oscar = Best. But it would be nice if, in the months and months leading up to the nominations and awards, we could at least believe that Movie = Seen.
And in the meantime, regarding Crazy Heart and its award-worthiness: Sez who?