The NMH Academy Awards (Vote Now!)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Raise your hand if you have a grandparent in their mid-eighties who regularly updates their own blog.

(Raising my hand.)

Keep your hand up if your grandparent's blog is full of interesting, insightful, informative posts and not rambling entries about Matlock or the Denny's Early Bird Dinner Special.

(Still raising my hand.)

Now keep raising your hand if the octogenarian in your life also rides a Harley, enjoys BASE jumping, went to a Kid Rock concert last summer and is planning to hike Kilimanjaro next year.

(Okay, my hand came down on that one. Even though my 85-year-old grandpa isn't into death sports, he is still pretty dang cool for having a great blog.)

Last year my grandpa started his own blog. His posts have helped me to learn more about my family history (including an English sea captain), his love for vintage automobiles (1936 Ford Coupe) and what that word "piker" means. While I normally enjoy my grandpa's blog posts, his last entry made me sad. You see, my grandpa is a hard-core movie buff. He spent his professional career as a college theater professor and director of a number of plays. Given his artistic background, it is not surprising to learn that he looks forward to the Academy Awards like guys with hairy backs look forward to Friday night tractor pulls. The Oscars have been his Super Bowl since 1946.

While I have watched the Academy Awards in my adult life as many times as I have seen An Inconvenient Truth (read: never), I get excited for grandpa every year when Oscar season rolls around. So imagine my disappointment when I read on his blog that he nearly turned off his TV twice during the Oscars because of the political rants some of the award winners gave. Grandpa also admitted that he had not seen any of the films that were nominated for Best Picture this year, either. He is now contemplating giving up on the Academy Awards all together. My grandpa giving up the Oscars would be as shocking as me quitting fantasy sports or the Cincinnati Bengals signing a free agent who has never spent time in solitary at the Youngstown maximum security prison.

My grandpa is probably not alone in his frustration with the current state of the types of movies and actors that receive the praises of the Hollywood establishment. Take me, for example. I like a good movie as much as the next guy and I have not seen a single Best Picture nominee since 2004, making me 0 for 25 in this category. It appears that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and I significantly disagree on what constitutes a quality film. In my humble opinion, the Academy jumped the shark in 1995 when it awarded Best Picture to Braveheart instead of Tommy Boy. The Academy and I have been on the outs since then.

I nearly broke my oh-fer streak this year by seeing Best Picture nominee Milk. Since I did not hear much about the movie's plot, I assumed that it must be a biopic about Louis Pasteur's quest to make milk safer to drink. Both the Normal Mormon Wife and I love historical science dramas so we were pretty bummed out when Milk got slapped with an "R" rating and we had to nix seeing it. I guess Louis Pasteur must have sworn a lot after repeated failures during the trial-and-error process of pasteurizing milk. Flip dang it!

While most of the movies that receive the Academy's praise are far too violent, sexual and vulgar for me to see, there are a number of movies that come out every year that I enjoy a great deal. Since the Academy failed to include any of my 2008 favorites in the Best Picture and Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, I am going to hold my own NMH Oscars. I replaced the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with the Normal Mormon Family (me, the NMW, and our two kids ages seven and four) to nominate the 2008 films and actors who delighted the types of people who visit this blog. The criteria that we used were pretty simple - the Normal Mormon Family had to see the movie and it needed to be rated G or PG. After discussing this topic at length during our 20-minute drive to the Natural Science Center, here are our nominations:

Best Picture:
Bedtime Stories
Horton Hears a Who
Kung Fu Panda
Madagascar 2

Best Actor:
Po (Kung Fu Panda)
Shifu (Kung Fu Panda)
The Cockroach (WALL-E)
Troy (High School Muscial 3)

Best Actress:
Eve (WALL-E)
Gabriella (HSM3)
Miggery Sow (The Tale of Despereaux)
Sharpay (HSM3)
Tigress (Kung Fu Panda)

Please vote in the polls on the right and let's try to correct what the Academy messed up this year. Also, please post comments explaining the reasons for your votes. To keep things fun and interactive I will select the people who leave the best comments to write the acceptance speeches for the eventual winners. For example, if you vote for Troy from HSM3 to win Best Actor and you leave a comment that says something like, "Did you see the dude's biceps? He's gotta be juicin'?" and then Troy gets the most votes, I would ask you to then write Troy's acceptance speech that will be posted at the end of the week.

Just keep politics out of the acceptance speeches, okay?

Somewhere there is an 85-year-old cool grandpa with a blog who will be grateful that you did.

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carmar76 said...

I had to toss my hat in for Bedtime Stories as best picture. Kung Fu Panda was good, it's true. But Bedtime Stories had Adam Sandler! : )

Also, I think it's awesome that your grandpa has a blog!

8:10 PM
Megan said...

Hail to your grandpa... a man after my own heart! I always wanted to be a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight growing up and even went into broadcast communications at the Y. Then I got engaged and my focus became clear (and I changed my major).

On to the votes:

Wall*E for a mix of human and cartoon with a sweet adventurous story. I mean what other movie has Fred Willard been in that's actually been nominated for an Academy Award? Speaking of actual nominations, I have to wonder if Peter Gabriel has kicked himself for his refusal to perform the song at the awards. John Legend did a great job filling in. In fact, Peter, I might even have preferred his performance. But I digress... Wall*E was a film for our time. It commented on our society (and Wal*Mart... see the resemblance to Wall*E? E=Environment, right?) and our need to green it up (thank you to those who saw fit to denigrate the Nobel Peace Prize by giving it to Al Gore) without being too preachy.

Cockroach wins my vote for being cute like a Japanese cricket while having the resilience and fortitude of a cockroach. His loyalty was unsurpassed. And his acting! So much was emoted without a word!

Miggery Sow is the night's biggest winner. Just like the real Academy Awards, I haven't seen the movie. So, she must win!

8:52 PM

The best line my family quotes, "In my world everyone's a pony, eats rainbows and poops buterflies". Horton Here's a Who

9:16 PM
Gretchen said...

All Mormon criteria aside, WALL-E should have been best picture. It got a bum deal just because it happens to be animated. Seriously, on WALL-E is among the best movies ever. It is 10th in average rating. Not this year. Not among animated films. Any film, EVER (that was reviewed by at least 100 critics).

9:19 PM
Amy Btw M said...

I voted Madagascar 2 for best film, because of the musical diversity in the film. I mean, we go from Move It, Move It to West Side Story. It also had two beautiful love stories and a wedding. You can't top that.

For best actor I almost voted for the Cockroach, but Troy from HSM3 won out. The reason for this is his Edward Cullen-like appearance when he jumps out of the tree. That is the clincher right there.

For best actress I voted for Eve, because of her heroic actions to save Wall-E. It was a stunning performance.

9:55 PM
Jon-Michael said...

WALL-E was so unique and unexpectedly heartwarming. My nearly 4 year-old son has watched that movie 50 times since Christmas, and I find myself watching it with him whenever I can.

John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, the late Joe Ranft and Lee Unkrich at Pixar are doing to movies what Walt Disney was doing to them 60 years ago, and that is re-inventing the way we watch movies.

Kung Fu Panda would get my second vote. Jack Black was so funny in that, and the writing was clever.

10:01 PM
Melanie said...

Great idea. WALL-E wins hands down and in all categories in my family. Out of all the movies, even when Kung Fu Panda is an option, WALL-E is the movie of choice. I have three boys and they've let me know "robots are cool".
I have to admit that the environmental undertones in WALL-E kind of get on my nerves. . . . but since we're not going all political on here I'll shut up now.

10:24 PM
Meredith said...

I had to vote for Horton Hears a Who, because, to my eternal shame, I have not seen any of the other best picture nominees. I was a college student! It's my only excuse. For best actor, Troy from HSM3. As my life-sized cardboard cutout of Zac Efron in his prom tux can attest as he watches over my sleep every night, my love for Troy knows no bounds. Plus, I honestly cried several times during the movie. He's just so sweet! And good looking.

5:56 AM
Meredith said...

Wow, so I realize that my last comment made me sound like a weirdo. But I have no excuse. I'm a nerd, and I love High School Musical: the Trilogy. It's my happy place!

6:11 AM
Jen said...

I vote for Kung Fu Panda because of its cool use of slow motion. Most action scenes now-a-days are mostly confusion and craziness, but I love how the scenes were put together in that movie. Also, my 4-year-old laughs like crazy when Po makes the bad guy bite his own tail.

7:29 AM
Janet said...

I didn't want to see Wall-E. I went because I love my 8 year old son. It wasn't long before I loved Wall-E, too. I wish I had a little Wall-E of my very own. This beautiful movie gets my vote.

I say Po for best actor simply because I have a thang for Jack Black.

Miggery Sow should win best actress because she made being ugly really quite lovely.

There should be a special Oscar awarded to Adam Sandler for is cell phone ringtone in Bedtime Stories. It has continued to delight our family as we reenact it on a daily basis.

12:41 PM

I voted for Kung-fu Panda because of it's wide and varied use of the word "awesome" in it's many forms. In short, it was awesome.

12:41 PM
Leann said...

In response to your comment on my blog. Thanks for the suggestion. I do love your blog, and I'm glad many more have found out about it cuz its hilarious. But I can't take all the credit for the name... my friend ( helped me come up with it.

4:54 PM
swedemom said...

madascar 2 was stupid and riddled with too many sexual innuendos. Did not like it at all.

8:54 AM
Admiral Lily said...

I haven't see Bedtime Stories, Horton Hears a Who, Madagascar 2 or Tales of Despereaux and I wasn't a huge fan of Kung Fu Panda so by default (and because I actually did love it, it was so tender and wonderful and while being about environment it didn't shove it down your throat in an annoying way) I had to choose WALL-E. As for the other two categories, Heaven help me but I'm a die hard HSM fan so Troy and Gabriella all the way, baby!

I have to agree with your Grandpa, though. I used to love award shows but now I'm so disenchanted with Hollywood and can't stand most of what comes out of it in any form. People see the irony in that and the fact that I'm a film student. I explain that Hollywood isn't the only place that films things (one friend said, 'Yeah, but the only one's who make good stuff.' I respectfully disagree.) If I'm blessed I'll be able to work for the LDS church in making films.

9:22 AM
Jolyn said...

I have to say Horton Hears a Who for best pic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and since my daughters have seen Kung Fu Panda they haven't asked to see it again or had the overwhelming urge to own it. Also, when it comes to WALL-E, we've had it at home for sometime now and I just saw it last night. It wasn't so gripping that I couldn't make dinner at the same time. Horton Hears a Who kept me laughing the whole time. Plus, who doesn't love Steve Carrel and Jim Carrey? As for best actress, hands down Eve (or was it Eva?). She had to be able to convey a huge rage of emotions with only her eyes and yet somehow, you can totally understand what she was thinking and feeling.

10:51 AM
Christa Jeanne said...

WALL-E was phenomenal!!! It takes immense talent to create such an emotional connection with a robot who doesn't really speak. What an amazing film!

12:40 PM
Rachel said...

we also haven't seen any of the "Best Picture" nominees, nor have we for years.. It seem like that have to be rated R to be nominated. It is just sad. We are true movie buffs!! but movies have just become more trash than any thing. Ok, off to vote!! i will probably vote for Troy, cause ah, he's got nice hair!!

3:33 PM
BVS said...

I believe the heart felt performance by Eva in the motion picture Wall-E deserves our special attention. Her range of emotion and on screen chemistry with Wall-E reminded me a Rhett and Scarlet, Harry and Sally or dare I say Adam and Drew.

Vote for Eva

5:18 PM
The Oregonians said...

You people have talked me into renting Wall-E before the week is up. Was intending to sometime, just hadn't gotten around to it.
Just to set the record straight, NMH's grandfather is only 84.
The Y1c in me salutes Admiral Lily and wonders how she liked the "Work and the Glory" films.

3:35 PM