YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Movie Lovers Sharpen Swords After the Oscar Nominations

February 17, 2001

The commentary by Geoff Boucher on the Oscars "snubbing" the youth market was one of the dumbest things I've ever read ("A Show Meant for Adults Only?," Feb. 14).

First, he's not really suggesting that "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Scary Movie" should be nominated for best picture Oscars, is he? Even people who liked these movies thought they were stupid.

Second, some of the movies he mentioned were nominated for Oscars in categories that were appropriate (best song, makeup, etc.). Also, his classifying of movies as "youth" and "adult" is arbitrary. "Meet the Parents" attracted many "adults" and movies that were nominated such as 'Erin Brockovich" attracted "youth" audiences. When I saw "Billy Elliot" there were many young people in the audience despite its ridiculous R rating.

I hope this article isn't a good example of Boucher's thinking.


Los Angeles


We already have several movie award shows for youth--the Blockbuster, People's Choice and MTV movie awards. While I certainly think some of the films Boucher mentioned were worthy films, he should remember that "Titanic" was a big hit with teens and preteens and managed to snare a number of Academy Awards.

To simply honor movies because they did well at the box office and teens loved them is not a serious consideration for the Oscars. The Academy Awards are traditionally geared toward the serious moviegoer who enjoys films, not for the kid talking to a friend on his cell phone during the movie and seeing who he can hit in the first row with malted milk balls.


Redondo Beach


Who got snubbed at this (and every) year's Oscars? The writers. You devoted half a page to the actor-actress and director nominees Feb. 14, telling us nothing we haven't heard repeatedly during the last two months, and nothing on the nominated writers!

I submit to you that the background information on Cameron Crowe, and his largely autobiographical "Almost Famous," is just as compelling as any of the actors or directors. And what about Susannah Grant? She was a former Nicholl Fellow (arguably the screenwriting equivalent of a Rhodes scholarship) before being selected to give Julia Roberts the lines that make us cheer for "Erin Brockovich."

Maybe writers just need a better PR team. Maybe they'll get it after this strike. And maybe they'll get the respect they deserve.


Woodland Hills


So, the critics dismiss "Chocolat" as "syrupy," a "fluffy" sop to the academy's geriatric members ("Let the Battle Begin," by Patrick Goldstein, Feb. 14)? Visually gorgeous, with intelligent dialogue and marvelous performances across the board, sensitively and creatively adapted from an engaging novel, the film is treated as "celluloid piffle."

Why? I've got it! The story is understandable and unfolds chronologically. There are no maimings, and the few deaths are from natural causes. Worse still, the people are more important than the special effects . . . and there's a happy ending!

Shakespeare thought comedy, too, was important--but we've grown far more sophisticated since his day.


Redondo Beach


This older moviegoer was bored by "Chocolat." It was slow, boring, inconsistent, one-sided in its point of view, shallow in its conceits, and way too quick to dismiss a really hot-looking Johnny Depp.

Keep your comments about the "older viewer" to a dim roar, Mr. Goldstein. We've seen more, critiqued more, hated more and rented more than you can even imagine.


San Diego


High-quality films such as "Chocolat" should not be excluded from recognition simply because they walk the line between reality and fantasy, or penalized for the oversell by overly hyper publicity flacks. "Shakespeare in Love" had this problem, and yet its excellence (rightly) triumphed several years ago.


Rancho Santa Margarita


"Erin Brockovich": A generic little-guy-takes-on-big-corpora-tion-and-wins story.

"Gladiator": A kitchen-sink pageant with (it must be said) cheesy special effects.

"Chocolat": An enjoyable though exceedingly slight fable taking the radical position that people should tolerate one another.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon": If something makes you say "What great special effects," then by definition the special effects are lousy.

"Traffic": The only vaguely complex or challenging title on the list, with the courage to suggest that the war on drugs is a misbegotten failure. Any of the five could be better replaced by "Almost Famous," a near-perfect movie with once-in-a-lifetime images, performances and at least a dozen lines of dialogue that are instant classics.

As for the actors, between "Almost Famous," "Waking the Dead" and especially "Jesus' Son," Billy Crudup is so clearly the best actor working today that the only contest is for second place. If he can't get nominated after a year like that, I give up--maybe it's the name.


Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Articles