As I predicted a few days ago; the Oscar ratings were horrendous:
LOS ANGELES - ABC is in for a "Crash" landing in the Oscar ratings.
The Academy Awards were down 10 percent from last year's ceremony, based on preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings from the nation's 55 biggest markets. If the full national ratings follow suit later Monday, this year's ceremony will likely be the second least-watched Oscars telecast behind 2003, when "Chicago" won best picture.
Ed Driscoll talks about the failure of hollywood to unite Americans behind a single picture anymore:
But the most envied business model in Hollywood is the one at Lionsgate Films, whose two "Saw" horror movies, made for a combined cost of $6 million, have racked up $142 million in domestic box office alone.
Talk about the power of niches. For all their accolades, none of this year's best picture nominees — "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich" — has made as much money as "Saw II." The biggest hit is "Brokeback Mountain," with just over $75 million so far.
There is another, even more radical shift in today's pop culture that is helping to undermine the Oscars and other tradition-bound award shows. For years, the Oscars have mattered because the awards served as a barometer of cultural heft. Just the name alone — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — has the air of high-minded authority.
Millions of moviegoers who would've been wary of seeing a challenging film like 1969's "Midnight Cowboy" or 1999's "American Beauty" caved in and plunked their money down, soothed by the academy's best picture badge of distinction.
But this elite, top-down culture is being supplanted by a raucous, participatory bottom-up culture in which amateur entertainment has more appeal than critically endorsed skill and expertise.
How about this?
Pride and anguish at first Palestinian Oscar party
For once, the cacophony in Ramallah was not over an Israeli army raid or infighting between militant factions . It came, instead, from the first Oscar party held by Palestinians elated at a kinsman's nomination for Hollywood's top honor.
In the end, "Paradise Now," a controversial drama about two Palestinians recruited to carry out suicide bombings in Israel, did not win the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
Despite their disappointment, many of those watching Sunday night's Oscar ceremony on a big-screen television set up in the Almond Bar enjoyed the brief glimpse of glamour and opportunity far from the hardships of the occupied West Bank.
"I was hoping it would win and I am disappointed," said Vivienne Sansour, organizer of the event in the bar. "At the same time it is a good feeling to see ourselves represented in the world."
Represented as indiscriminate murders? Er, OK, I guess...
Still waiting for "Hollywood/America prejudiced about gay cowboys" story...but as Philip Seymour Hoffman was named best actor for playing homosexual writer Truman Capote in "Capote, the left cannot complain too loudly...
Well, how's this:
"Brokeback" screenwriter Larry McMurtry told reporters backstage he believed that Crash's setting in Los Angeles helped it because many of the 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences live in the city.
"Americans don't want cowboys to be gay," McMurtry said.
Smartest thing I've heard said by a nominee...