Good Luck, Sandy.

I heart Sandra Bullock.  I didn’t always.  For a while I was really disheartened by her string of bad movies. Hell, from what I can tell on IMDB, she is going to continue to do a slew of bad movies .

But what I really like about Sandy is that she seems like someone you’d really like to have a beer with.  Anyone who would show up to collect a Razzie Award (worst performance/movie) on the same weekend she could potentially be winning an Oscar must, at the very least, have a sense of humour about themselves.

She’s not a bad actress — though she is clearly not a brilliant actress– she’s really just only good at certain types of movies.  Five years ago, no one, especially not Bullock herself, would have believed that she was going to win Golden Globes and be nominated for an Oscar.

I admit, this is a bit of a blind defense because I haven’t seen most of the movies in the “Best Actress” category this year.  In fact, Meryl Streep’s performance in Julie and Julia is the only one I’ve seen (and the only part of that movie worth seeing).

I have no doubt that Helen Mirren in The Last Station, Carey Mulligan in An Education, and Gabourey Sidibe in Precious (fuck you Sapphire, I’m not typing the rest) are also very deserving of the prize.  But that doesn’t mean that Sandy isn’t also deserving.

Gabourey Sidibe is  super-delightful, but I haven’t seen her movie, so I have no idea of her acting ability.  What I do know is that she is new, and young.  People don’t generally win Oscars right out of the gate – they have to pay their dues to Hollywood.

I hear that Carey Mulligan is amazing in An Education.  But her movie couldn’t compete with all the hype this year. With Bigelow and Cameron’s imaginary fight, and all the awards hype surrounding Precious, she really didn’t have a chance.  When I get around to watching her movie and find out that she was phenomenal I might be furious.  But until then, I’ll have to be content with the fact that Oscar is a game and Carey Mulligan has been forgotten on the sidelines.

And then there’s Meryl and Helen.

Meryl Streep has been nominated sixteen times for an academy award and won two.  Helen Mirren has been nominated four times and won once.  Everyone knows that they are phenomenal actors and that they deserve awards.  They’re clearly better actors than most (although Kate Winslet with her five nominations clearly deserves to be in the same category as these women), but they’re also held to a higher standard than others in Hollywood.  If they weren’t, they’d win every year.  And that would be boring.

People like to pretend that the Oscar winners always correlate with the best performance, or the best art.  But we all know that isn’t true. Academy Award winners often win for a variety of reasons — politics, timing, subject matter — that is not always relevant to their talent.

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail about how Oscar hates comedy, Rick Groen says this about “Oscar”:

This year, he may love Avatar, James Cameron’s latest. Or maybe he’ll go for Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. It’s a case of either/or – nothing else is really in the running – and the contest keeps getting billed as David versus Goliath, the big-budget opus against the worthy art flick. In truth, that simple contrast is a bit bogus. Bigelow’s ticking-time-bomb set pieces are the stuff of pure commercial suspense, while Cameron’s last frontier tropes are shrewdly rooted in enduring aesthetic archetypes.

Clearly things get ignored, but The Academy doesn’t nominate shit actors either.  Sandra Bullock may have given the best performance of her lifetime in The Blind Side but her nomination was probably only possible in a year like this one — with the greats in not so great movies, and the other nominees being virtually unknown (plus an emotional movie about being the bestest adoptive mother in the world).

Sidibe and Mulligan might get passed over this year because of the hype.  But that happens at every Oscar ceremony – someone wins because it is their time not necessarily because it was the best performance.  But both girls are young, and have plenty of time.  If they’re amazing actresses they will get nominated again (like Kate Winslet) and they’ll win when it is time.  That’s the way the Oscars work.  Pretending they work any other way is just silly.

Sandy may not be brilliant, but she doesn’t suck, and I like her.  Afterall, if Reese Witherspoon can win an Oscar, it’s really not absurd that someone like Sandy can win too.

So good luck, Sandy.  I wish you well.


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