April 26th, 2013

movies, oscars

Five years is not "a long time"

While preparing my review roundup for the most recent episode of Community, I ran across the following bit of foolishness in a review by Joe Matar at Den of Geek:

So this is, of course, the episode that has the distinction of being written by Dean Pelton, Jim Rash himself, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for The Descendants. Knowing this in advance, I wasn’t going in assuming this pedigree would automatically translate to quality as I haven’t seen The Descendants and it’s been a long time since the Oscars had any real credibility (remember when Juno got Best Original Screenplay?).

Why, yes, I do remember that. Because it happened in 2008! There's no standard by which five years is "a long time."

Moreover, even if I bought into the idea that Juno is a bad movie with a bad screenplay, which I don't (though I wouldn't have voted for it that year, for Best Picture or Best Original Screenplay), it couldn't possibly be the one film that proves winning a writing Oscar doesn't automatically translate to quality, because Ghost won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1991, and Ghost is a terrible movie, well nigh infinitely worse than Juno. And even if Matar is too young to remember a film that came out in 1990, the movie that won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar just two years before Juno was Crash, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that Matar would, if asked, call Crash the Worst. Best Picture winner. Ever. As if The Greatest Show on Earth had never been made. Is a little historical perspective too much to ask for?