PGA, WGA: No Best Picture Oscars for brutes, Britons or boors?

We hate awards season. All sorts of crazy, tea-leafy prognostications emerge, as The Town seeks to get a handle on who’s ahead – much in the same fashion that medieval vicars determined if you were a witch by testing your buoyancy in the local lake. _252784_oscar_trophy150.jpg

Viz, today’s Gold Derby piece in the Los Angeles Times‘ Envelope section:

“Since no film has won the Oscar for best picture after being snubbed by the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, today’s nominations by those groups reveal that the winner of the next top Academy Award will be “Brokeback Mountain,” “Crash,” “Capote” or “Good Night, and Good Luck” the only films appearing on both new lists.”

Well, maybe so.

But the Academy’s largest block of voters is by far actors, which means that while it’s an interesting factoid, the PGA / WGA nomination comparison is probably about as reliable as having sex standing up in the shower to avoid pregnancy, or secretly burning the toenail clippings of your adversaries to induce agonizing gout.

Now, I’ve never met Tom O’Neil, but I have spoken to him on the phone once or twice, and he’s an awfully nice, bright guy. So much so, I am surprised to see him iterate thoughts like this one:

“In the case of “Match Point,” it’s possible that Hollywood couldn’t forgive Woody for going to the U.K. to make his big comeback film. Or perhaps they just won’t forgive his personal scandals.”

Shooting in the U.K. didn’t hurt Kansan director Robert Altman when he made “Gosford Park;” it got him nominated for an Oscar. And having sex with teens is hardly a reputation-ruiner, either: Roman Polanski amply proved as much by winning an Oscar a year later for “The Pianist.” tux1.jpg

No, the reason Spielberg’s “Munich” and Woody’s “Match Point” weren’t nominated is that they’re good films, not great films. (Or as my shul buddy Morty puts it far better: “‘Munich’ is the best made-for-TV movie I’ve ever seen.”)

But enough criticism: Getting the Oscar host ahead of everyone was smooth, lads. Nicely done.