The Cure for the Oscar Hangover: not “More Cowbell”

A Langley Delano Roosevelt Joint

Oscar fever; oh, the wondrous sensations that it brings.  The dresses, the glamour, the speeches, the burning urination (no, just me?), wondering whether Kirk Douglas is crazy or just old… it certainly is an amazing time of year.  You underwent weeks of research for your Oscar pool, only to lose because Nine Inch Nails icon Trent Reznor won Best Original Score over A.R. Rahman’s 127 Hours.  I bet you even watched Winter’s Bone, shocked when you saw Jennifer Lawrence sporting a hot red dress instead of an ugly plaid flannel shirt.  Personally, I watched 13 of the 24 “real” movies nominated for awards and 8 of the 10 best picture nods.  Did it do me any good?  A rhetorical question.  The answer: no; my sleeper, Hailee Steinfeld, failed to oust a much older Melissa Leo.  So, where are we left?  Prepare to embark on, historically, the worst two months of cinema.  I like to call this time of year, The Oscar Hangover.

If you accept that we have a problem, at least until Thor releases May 6th (please don’t judge), then we can work together and find a solution.  You can try to dust off your Playstation, crack the spine of that book that you’ve been meaning to read for eight months, or even delve into the reruns of Saturday Night Live on the E! Channel.  Together, though, we can do something far more substantial – find a good movie, a needle in the haystack that is first quarter Hollywood.  Lucky for you I’m not a team player and I’ve already done the work.  To be honest, this is been my hobby since I was a wee child.  I reveled in the ability to find the underground “Progressive Metal” bands that my friends envied.  I went as far as making the trek to Allentown, Pennsylvania to watch a former Medieval Times knight sing on the grand stage of The Crocodile Rock (if any reader knows the band, I applaud).  I thought my taste had matured when I discovered Bradley Cooper’s Midnight Meat Train.  Yes, that is the dude from The Hangover, and no, the movie is not a pornographic feature.  How naïve I was…

Finally, my patient readers, I have become a seasoned veteran of navigating the deadly March/April waters also known as the AMC Theater.  As such, in my grizzled old age, I bring you news of the cure: a 72 minute feature known as Rubber.  I understand the name is equally as perverse as How to Train Your Dragon, addressed by the astute James Franco, but it will do the trick to renew your faith in the ingenuity of Hollywood’s lesser known constituents.  A self-proclaimed “homage to the no reason,” this French film, originally released in said country but shot it English, is perversely entertaining.  On half a million dollars, Quentin Dupieux manages to bring us a dark comedy whose messages are socially relevant and oddly poignant.  He even managed to find actors with names eerily similar to the huge stars that we have grown to love: Ethan Coh[e]n and David Bow[i]e.  Rubber falls somewhere between noir and nouveau, following a homicidal tire that serves as a metaphor for something far larger than its 16 inch diameter.  If you are of the class that outsmarted Inception (I do have to give Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas credit for at least trying), I challenge you to watch this movie with the attention that it deserves.  On the other hand, if you found Inception to be overly confusing and incredibly smart, I suggest hitting the bowl before Rubber and laughing for the next 72 minutes.  Either way, you deserve better than mainstream Hollywood can provide.

 

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