Whatever you think of the Oscar-nominated films, or the Oscars themselves for that matter, this Global Grand Prize Game pulses with fear, desire, inclusion and exclusion on a mass scale. Given that our dedicated focus as of late is the amelioration of fear, what better generally misunderstood figure to place on the analytic couch than Mr. Goldfinger himself (cue the James Bond theme here): Oscar.
Oscar is our quintessential American Gigolo—a hooker with a heart of Oliver stone who wears his gold on his sleeve. Oscar is a king who gives no speech, a Gatsby who doesn’t even float; not on the east coast, nor does he float in Gloria Swanson’s Sunset Boulevard pool either—but that’s still him at the bottom of our collective Theodore Dreiser/An American Tragedy lake that we’ll all be dragging like Rue Paul this Sunday when we’re Watching the Detectives who star in the big recurring dream/nightmare we all seem to Inceive each Oscar season.
So, what strange zeitgeist stirrings might be glimpsed in the collective tealeaves of this year’s best picture nominees? Perhaps we might deconstruct the nominated pictures in terms of raw dread and universal human emotion:
I cannot trust mom, and so I am not sure if I am good or bad. Love and success are not safe—I am not in a safe, sane or integrated place: Black Swan.
Dad cannot be counted on, so I must figure it out alone. I am not in a safe place (and I will lose an arm to get there): True Grit.