Oscars for the Great Recession

Disaster film

First, my real Oscar predictions: Slumdog Millionaire and Mickey Rourke.

This Oscar season I feel like I’ve been watching a big-budget disaster film, one of those eye-searing explosion flicks that kick off the summer movie season. But I’m sitting in a center seat in the front row, and I can’t get up to get popcorn or go to the bathroom. And everyone I know is in the film. Call it The Great Recession.

This movie is the Best Picture.

And here are my awards for all the other categories.

Best Director: Alan Greenspan, for refusing to raise interest rates to cool off the overheated housing market. Where are you Paul Volcker?

Best Actor: Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, for his “I really have no idea how to fix this problem, so I’m keeping all my money in my mattress” performance while announcing the bank rescue package.

Best Actress: Sarah Palin, for her “I gonna shoot me an economic plan as soon as huntin’ season opens” website. Runner up: Kate Winslet, for her performance as an illiterate Nazi that was nearly as good as Palin’s.

Best Supporting Actor: John Boehner, for his role as a Republican. Runner up: Mickey Rourke, for demonstrating that one can make a comeback after having his entire career repossessed.

Best Supporting Actress: Carly Fiorina, for following up her incompetent leadership of HP with her awesomely wrong-headed economic advice for John McCain during his presidential election campaign. Runner up: Marisa
Tomei, for also playing a character expert at faking something people desperately want to believe is real. 




  1. I wouldn’t dispute for a minute The Reader’s unworthiness as an Oscar Best Pic nominee. A lot of people were scratching their heads over that one. And I agree, The Dark Knight should have been nominated in its place. The American film industry isn’t a fair one; bad films do good business and get the acclaim, and good films pass unnoticed. Still, I’ll be watching on Sunday night.


  2. The Baader Meinhof Complex was a much bigger deal in Europe than it was in the US, so while it somewhat resembles other BFF award winners, it probably doesn’t have a chance.
    I haven’t seen the Japanese or the Austrian entries, and they weren’t very widely distributed in the US. They don’t seem to have attracted much attention, at least from what I’ve seen, so they seem like long shots.
    My sense is it’s really down to The Class and Waltz With Bashir. I liked the former more, but the latter was more daring cinematically and it was consistent with American attitudes about its country, so I’m guessing Waltz will win.


  3. This is “applying the techniques of ‘cinematic’ studies to life as it is lived” good and proper. The parallels between these and WB’s times suggest there are times when voting itself has to be superfluous.


  4. Hi Mano: Funny you should mention the superfluousness of the political system. On Thursday I had lunch with a friend who’s involved in local politics, and his basic message was that nobody in local government can do anything about the global economic crisis–and it doesn’t seem like national governments can do much, either. It struck me that we’re all just passively watching the crisis unfold, and we can’t look away.


  5. Hi. To use another allusion (to Titanic, this time), there are still the little life boats.
    It is nice of politicians to come clean and admit inadequacy. I wish one could hear a different voice as well though, one that wouldn’t just be busy pointing out to the world how it had told the masses so.


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