Skip to comments.ACADEMY AWARDS ABOUT TO "JUMP THE SHARK"?
Posted on 01/25/2005 11:45:29 AM PST by Robert Drobot
"Jump the Shark" is a semi-known phrase meaning "lose all credibility" or "it's all downhill from here."
The phrase comes from www.jumptheshark.com - which catalogs and debates the (paraphrase) "defining moment when you know you're favorite TV Show has reached its peak and its all downhill from here."
The phrase "jump the shark" comes from a Happy Days episode - late in the series - where Fonzie went on a vacation with the Cunninghams. In that episode of the sitcom, Fonzie jumped over a jaws-like shark while waterskiing on the ocean.
Fans generally thought this moment was so absurd, that it was the signal that Happy Days was about out of steam. Happy Days had lost credibility. Happy Days had "jumped the shark."
Another example given is that "Charlie's Angels" jumped the shark when Farah Fawcett left the show (which was after only 1 year, according to the site). Get the idea? OK.
Well, network nightly TV has itself long ago "jumped the shark" as far as I'm concerned. And it is long past the time when those producing nightly network TV shows should have been arrested for corrupting minors.
And despite the already debauched image Hollywood has achieved, there has still been a sense that there was at least a good faith ATTEMPT to give the nominations and Oscars to those who deserved the awards each year, more or less.
But this year, the Academy Awards along with Oscar himself may "Jump the Shark."
As if it wasn't bad enough that Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ", became the 9th largest grossing film of all time - and as if it weren't bad enough that the film was hailed by just about everyone outside of Hollywood as one of the most remarkable films, if not the most remarkable film, that many had every seen - 2004 turned out to be a really, really very bad year for memorable movies, let alone movies deserving the Oscar for Best Picture.
Things were so bad that a seeming scramble took place to release flicks which might pass as credible Oscar Nominees. A flurry of films being touted for nomination were released near the December 31, 2004 deadline.
ONE PROBLEM: none of the other mentioned Oscar nominee contenders did very well at the office. A quick internet survey revealed that all of the other movies being touted as potential nominees -- including "Ray", "Million Dollar Baby", which is actually a right-to-die movie, "Kinsey", a falsified life of the pervert which never made it to 300 screens on the way to bombing, ("The Passion of the Christ" by contrast made it to about 3000 screens), "The Aviator", "Sideways", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", and "Finding Neverland" - all together hardly made the box office which was achieved by "The Passion of the Christ."
BIGGER PROBLEM: If you don't know much or anything about the rest of this "march of the mediocre" films - don't feel bad. If you keep up with the news at all, you probably know that "Ray" is about the life of recently deceased singer Ray Charles. But I would be hard pressed to tell you much of anything about any of the others. All of which means that nobody is talking about them, and nobody can find anything much to say about them - not even in the media.
Does anyone seriously think that ANY of these other movies will be talked about 5 years or 10 years from now? - as "The Passion of the Christ" surely will be?
I don't think so - because - hear me now - no one is talking about these other movies FIVE DAYS or TEN DAYS after they see them!
The more relevant question is: Is anybody talking about these other films FIVE MINUTES or TEN MINUTES after they see the films - while they are catching a bite to eat shortly after leaving the theater?
The artistic brilliance of "The Passion of the Christ" includes - and this is just from off the top of my head from the last time I saw the movie (this time on DVD) a few months ago:
Moving to another point: some news articles are claiming that Michael Moore removed himself from the documentary category. How can this be? Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 911 - IS a documentary. It is not a movie version of anything. It is a documentary. How does anybody get to move their production from the category it belongs in to a category it doesn't belong in? In any case, this shoots down the argument that the Academy can't award "The Passion of the Christ" the Best Picture award because its characters speak two foreign languages.
To conclude this Network America e-wire: the Hollywood elite are in a real box this year. From an artistic point of view, from an cinematic historical point of view regarding the probable longevity in the public mind, and from the aspect of box office success - then "The Passion of the Christ" is the clear winner (not just a worthy nominee - but the CLEAR winner) for the categories of both Best Picture and Best Director.
One article entitled, "Choosing the Best Film Will be Trickier than Ever" ran in the Daily-Herald based in Provo, Utah. The article noted the following:
"Does Hollywood, already wearing the Mark of Cain for being licentious, immoral and Jewish, want to antagonize the entire fundamentalist Christian community by overlooking its favorite film?"
And Pat Buchanan, guest hosting for Joe Scarborough on MSNBC a month or two ago, made this point (paraphrase): Do the Academy voters hate a really effective movie about the Passion of Jesus Christ so much that they will forego what could be the largest ratings in their history? Buchanan asked how it would be possible to attract more people to watch the Academy Awards worldwide than if both "The Passion of the Christ" and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911" were both nominated for best picture of the year? Such a lineup would probably attract the largest audience ever for the Academy Awards.
But if the Academy snubs "The Passion of the Christ" - I wouldn't be surprised to see, for the first time ever, more protesters on the outside than attendees on the inside - as the cultural war divide continues to widen.
I also wouldn't be surprised if we could all hear a collective world wide laughter if we walk outside our houses at the moment the Oscar for Best Picture is awarded to one of these other comparative turkeys, rather than "The Passion of the Christ."
NOTHING is harder to rebound from for an institution that wants to be taken seriously - than to find itself the object of derision and laughter.
Will the Academy Awards and Oscar himself - "jump the shark" this year?
We'll find out a few hours from when this e-wire is released. You will find that we sent this Network America e-wire out at 11:45 PM California time on January 24, 2005 and it is so time-stamped on the independent website www.topica.com in the Network America section. The Academy Awards for movies released in 2004 are slated to be announced 6 hours from now, at 5:30 AM on January 25, 2005.
End of this e-wire.
Jim Condit Jr.,
Director, Network America Ewire List
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count
Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
The Oscars jumped the shark more than fifteen years ago.
Does this person really want artistic merit measured out by popularity? Then Shrek 2 was the best film of last year.
The Oscars.....yawwwwwwn....Do we really care ?
"Jump the Shark": One of the dumbest phrases to ever gain popular acceptance; primarily because several years after its creation, you still don't ever hear the phrase used without an annoying explanation of where the term came from.
What was the cut-off for you? Driving Miss Daisy, Rain Man or The Last Emperor? :)
So the phrase "jump the shark" has, as it were, jumped the shark? :^)
And the topic of this essay is a prime example. So to speak.
who really cares
"Last Emperor" - Maybe I just started growing up.
How about grilled shark?
TLE remains one of the least seen Oscar winners of all time.
The author's point about commercial success is irrelevant. The Oscars are supposed to be about what are the best in each category, not which are the most popular (that would eb the People's Choice Awards). Of course, "best" is a very subjective term, and the choices reflect heavily on the voters' states of mind and biases.
The only people that pay attention to the Oscars are the Hollyweirdo's themselves.
Well Best Picture winners experience major boosts at the box office and the Oscars are always one of the highest rated TV shows of the year so I don't think that's the case.
Das Boot was 1981 and Ghandi was 1982. And if it was released in the US a year later it was in the Foreign film category. E.T. should have won that year anywya.
OH, and people who have no life.
"How does anybody get to move their production from the category it belongs in to a category it doesn't belong in?"
Sort of like Tupac being nominated at the Grammies for best Rythm and Blues by a dead rapper.
Shrek 2 was way, way better than any of the idiotic movies that were nominated.
I think I'll purchase the DVD of "The Passion" on February 27.
I already have it, but that's a good idea. I think I'll buy another for someone on that day.
I have no intention of watching the Oscars.
Pray for W and Our Troops
Shrek 2 was better then Sideways and The Aviator?
Chris Rock as host? Bob Hope is spinning in his grave.
What does it matter? The Oscars are just a marketing ploy anyway.
I rarely go to the movies - and I never watch their self-promotion programs. Quite frankly .. I don't give a rip who they nominate or who they give the award to.
Nope. It won Best Picture.
It wasn't ignored. It got 3 nominations.
It was ignored for Best Picture and Best Actor. The others were nominal.
What art house type films? And besides the only way a good small film can reach a wider audience is by a being recognized in this manner. You think The Oscars should just do the bidding of studio marketing depts. and hype big budget studio product?
Cinematagraphy is one of the primary arts of the movies. Nothing nominal about it. Music either. In those other cateogries it's just a case where 5 other movies got more votes.
I don't think "Passion of the Christ" was not a particularly well made film so I can't get worked up about it not being nominated. Of course the films that did get nominations are not particularly well made either, but rather tired old formula pictures and a few 'indie' formula pictures.
The only film I can think of off the top of my head that should have definatly gotten on the list was "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." That was genuinely innovative and well constructed.
You have a point. But more people are interested when the pictures nominated are ones that most of us have seen, not the Art Housr type pictures that get very little wide release.
Longer than that for me. I remember the awards right after Saigon fell. Some writer received an Oscar and gushed something like, "Comrades! I have just received word that we won!" I gave up on it then.
How is that the fault of the Oscars in general? If some painter makes an *** of himself do you snub the art world as a whole?
Interesting - its the mobius strip of phrases....
"Eternal Sunshine" was a pretty neat movie- and I liked "Sideways" too.
I dont think you can seperate the artistic and social aspects of the "Passion" - its just a little radioactive for the Hollywood voters- thats just a fact, right or wrong...
Waaaaah Waaaaah Waaaaaahh.......I imagine there will be a million childish whinefests over Passion of the Christ not getting enough nominations posted here for weeks.
Get over it people. The earth is still spinning, and the sun will come up tomorrow, without it getting a Best Pic nom.
Lots of films that make lots of money don't get nominated. It's not like this is the first time.
And frankly there's a point where religion is going to get in the way of objective analysis. People have reached the point where anyone who doesn't worship Passion of the Christ are essentially being labled by definition Atheists, etc.
Yes, and by the way, the term "jump the shark" got its origins from an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie blah, blah, blah....
Certainly better than some of the actual nominees.