five, er, eight years ago
welcome to new york

oscar run xii: cars

You know what to expect by this point. Mindboggling animation, famous voice actors … what else? Some of these movies are good, some are bad, Cars is in between. It goes on far too long (gee, when have I said that?), and its celebration of / nostalgia for the simpler small town ways of the past, while evocative if you like those things, is a bit odd, considering how different Pixar-style animation is from the old school. It might have made more sense to have the jazzed-up racing world in PixarVision, and the small town world in 2D. I don’t know … it just felt funny to see such a modern movie with such a love for the good old days.

The best effect is the Hudson Hornet, which somehow manages to look like a car and like Paul Newman at the same time. Many of the voices are good, although none of them match Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo (she deserved a Best Supporting Actress Oscar). I don’t mean to sound disparaging … I liked this movie well enough. But Miyazaki spoils you … you want every movie to be a great as Princess Mononoke, and that ain’t gonna happen. Cars actually gets two nominations, not just Best Animated Feature but also Best Original Song, for yet another Randy Newman special I can’t remember only hours after I saw the movie. It is possible the Best Song category is the stupidest one of all the Oscars … who really gives a shit? This year, I’ve now seen all of the nominees. Newman’s song is forgettable, Melissa Etheridge’s contribution to the Al Gore documentary is no biggie, and even though Dreamgirls got three of the five nominations, none of them are for the one acknowledged classic, “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going” (which is a classic because of the performance as much as the song) … that song was in the stage play, and the Oscar goes to original tunes, only. I guess my vote out of those five would go to Beyoncé for “Listen,” but I really don’t give a rat’s ass. 6/10


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