For those of us who live in Hollywood, awards season is a time of non-stop excitement. The Academy Awards, Emmys, Tony Awards, WGA Awards, SAG Awards, and of course the most dramatic of them all: the State of the Union Awards.
The ceremony for this year’s SOTU Awards was not as dramatic as it has been some years in the past, but still provided a few upsets and some unexpected surprises. Now that the red carpet has been cleaned, and the pomp and circumstance is over, it is time to review the results of America’s biggest award ceremony since the previous one.
Best Supporting Actor: Joe Biden cruised to an easy win on the “I’m just happy to be nominated” image he’s been perfecting for years. John Boehner whined to the advance press junket, “I don’t even want to be there. I’m not a character actor, I’m a leading man!” Boehner’s many critics, however, point out that there is more to being a “serious” actor than being able to cry on cue.
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Obama received universal support for the win with no other real contender through the awards circuit. She also had the distinction of being the only person in attendance who bothered to get dressed for the evening. The standard suit and tie, military uniforms and sensible pant suits gave the pundits little to discuss during the lackluster red carpet arrivals.
Best Foreign Language Film: This always yawn-worthy category, which typically serves as a bathroom break for most viewers, was once again carried by “Immigration Reform,” though much of the nuance of the subject matter is lost in translation on an audience that is not really interested in reading a movie. An unnamed source claimed Rick Perry could be heard doggedly pushing his “Build A Bigger Wall” entry, which was not nominated.
Best Editing/Special Effects: “Energy” and the new approach it brings to film cleaned house at the technical awards, but “Big Oil” continues to pound the fledgling competition with its massive budget, over-saturated marketing campaign and familiar action-style editing.
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film: “Climate Change,” the only submission in this category since “Let’s Go To Space” stopped being a contender, has no real budget and continues to submit the same tired plot in a re-edited version of the same project in the hopes it will find a new audience. And funding.
Longest Running Franchise: “Taxes: Loopholes and Spending” managed to squeeze out a win over the uninspired “Jobs, Jobs and Good God We Need More Jobs” to take home the award in this category. However, with every entry exhibiting a complete lack of any long-term plot development, most critics agree that an uninterrupted camera shot of a wall of paint drying would win in this category if someone would just submit it.
Best Documentary: “Bring Our Troops Home IX” is the newest edition of the documentary series that always manages to evoke strong support for a win. Some critics are baffled that audiences have not grown bored of the concept, since the original “Bring Our Troops Home” documentary was released in 1964.
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Government: Smarter Not Bigger”, released by the Democratic Films production studio, was the clear winner in the Adapted category. Representatives of competing studios could be heard grumbling, however, that stealing a plot is not the same as adapting it.
Best Epic Film: “Entitlement Reform” continues to be the goliath here, handily winning again, but it continues to seem as though no one has actually gotten around to watching the grinding epic all the way through to find out how it ends.
Best Actress: The winner by a landslide, Hillary Clinton, was noticeably absent. Many believe she is already in pre-production for her next pet project, to be released in 2016.
Best Actor: This award was not given. In a moment of embarrassment for the entire industry, voters determined that no performance was worthy of a win.
Best Feature Film: The controversial big winner of the night was “Guns.” The tired subject made an explosive return to the ceremony, though the actual meaning of the project evokes strongly divisive responses between those who defend it as art and critics who believe it is glorified torture porn. Beloved actress Gabby Gifford came out opposed to it, apparently willing to sacrifice her future career on the altar of Jane Fonda.
Host Barack Obama: The grassroots affection which pushed him through his first several years presiding over the event has dissipated as many now believe that the “Hope and Change” sweep of 2008 was undeserved. Obama played the evening strongly toward fans of his current body of work, patronizing his critics and insulting the discerning viewer who refuses to be sold on his flash-over-plot action-style vehicles.
Notable Shutouts: Despite strong support from film festivals and young ticket buyers, “The Gays” was all but shut out. The most audible grumbling, before and after the broadcast, was from the “Tea Party” cast, producers and fans who were not even invited to present. Rand Paul, deemed unworthy of an actual nomination for his work in “Tea Party”, cheekily gave his own acceptance speech anyway.
Best Performance by A Prop: Best Male Ingénue winner Marco Rubio’s water bottle. No one remembers his acceptance speech, but the gulp heard round the world was the talk of the after parties. He may be a flash-in-the-pan Bobby Jindal waiting to happen as his career falls from studio films to cable one hour dramas.