If you're looking for Oscar . . . .

. . . you came to the wrong place.

And how.

I barely register the Academy Awards. I seldom watch the entire show; in fact, most years I don't watch any of it. I'm sorry I missed Jon Stewart's monologue (and anyone who wants to fill me in on the highlights, I'd be happy to hear it), and glad I caught a few minutes here and there. But the fact is, the Best Picture award going to Crash didn't surprise me at all, anymore than I was shocked that at the Iras we gave it our Dramamine award. It's a smug stew of liberal pieties, filled with self-satisfaction at the idiotic insight that "deep down inside we're all a bit racist, so why can't we all just get along together." The award is about what I'd expect from the main company in a company town. Fuck 'em.

If you scan my ten-best list below you won't be too surprised at my attitude. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I've pretty much given up on mainstream American film. Which pains me no end, because I began writing about film in 1971, when Ford and Hawks and Hitchcock and Cukor and Welles and Preminger and Edwards and and Aldrich and Wilder were all alive and most of them (except Ford) were still working. I got to cover the last works of all those giants, and my all-time ten-best list always includes several Hollywood films.

Not lately.