Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Life after Oscar, or How the Award is a tough act to follow

Sure we've all heard of the actor/actress Oscar curse (need we remind you of Halle Berry's Monster's Ball, Catwoman? or Adrien Brody's career post The Pianist? and don't even make me name all those one-time wonders that probably cherish their coveted naked gold man nightly before they go to bed knowing they did nothing else afterwards) but how about a movie's life after Oscar?

Sequels have fared well, occasionally garnering the same if not more devotion from fans and critics alike (The Godfather trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars (original) trilogy), and sometimes just remarketing the brand as a pop culture icon (Rocky, The Silence of the Lambs). It would seem Oscar' movies have mostly survived the transition - think for example of Babe 2, or if you want to go back even further Terms of Endearment had a moderately successful sequel, and The Bells of St Mary's (already an Oscar-winning sequel) was made into a Made-for-TV movie in 1959. Let's just not even speak of Cate Blanchett's (still Oscar-nommedperformance in) Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Broadway adaptations aren't unheard of either. The Lord of the Rings Musical immediately comes to mind, but also Oscar nominees such as The Full Monty, The Graduate, Mary Poppins, The Color Purple and Beauty and the Beast have seen their fates re-fashioned for the Broadway stage. NEXT: Shrek (Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Feature Film and threequel pop culture behemoth) is starting its route to Broadway. Check out the details here at ModFab.

But if my early morning blog browsing brought attention to the ways in which Oscar films have survived past their running time, it is not because of the green-ogre's attempts at debunking the Disney-Broadway 'children's films made into musicals' monopoly. No. It was the news that Crash that Paul 'I stole Brokeback Mountain's Oscar' Haggis' directing vehicle is being made into a TV series (Awards Daily). True, Oscar and Oscar-nominated movies have had their share of churning out money-making enterprises (think just of ET's ride at Universal Studios, the Lilo & Stitch shows and made-for-tv movies, Pulp Fiction's endless DVD and soundtrack re-releases) as well as less than memorable 'sequel/remake-projects' (Eddie Murphy's Dr Dolittle, Jude Law's Alfie, Sean Penn's All the King's Men, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Wizard of Oz's Journey Back to Oz) but this is probably the one that annoys me the most. This is a film that, the more I think about it, the more I hate it. Why Paul Haggis thinks (especially after his The Black Donnelly's got cancelled) he can turn his 'gut-wrenching' tale of neoliberalism and racial tolerance into a drama series worth anyone's time is beyond me. I mean, it may rhyme but Crash is no M*A*S*H.

No comments: