I sighed this morning as I scanned the BAFTA longlist. I don’t want to do this any more, I muttered. I understand and respect the award-season process, but I’m feeling dismayed and uninspired. I don’t want it to end — I can roll with it, and am fine with seeing it to the end — but I’d much rather jump into 2012 and experience the new. I thought 2011 was a stirring year for the most part, but I’m mainly feeling like a sore loser because the “wrong” films are at the top of too many lists.
Yes, I say roughly the same thing every year just before Sundance, but it’s different this year. Last year I had a dog in the fight (i.e., The Social Network). An awful feeling in the pit of my stomach told me that The King’s Speech was gaining the upper hand as of mid December 2010, but at least there was anger about that. This year only one of “my” films — i.e., The Descendants — has even an outside chance of winning Best Picture. Mostly there’s a feeling of resignation about the likely Best Picture triumph of this or that mediocrity. I don’t have to name them. I’m tired of doing even that.
Nothing depresses me as much as Variety‘s Jeff Sneider and others telling me that The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin is a more likely Best Actor winner than Brad Pitt or George Clooney . I just want to step in front of a moving bus when I hear that.