The Politi-Felix©: Recalling 2013

Oscar© has announced a slate of candidates he is running for the cinematic election that will be held on March 2, 2014. This date was moved up as there was controversy surrounding the previous date as well as emerging conflicts surrounding the dates of other award elections.

Oscar©’s ballot clearly represents the standard filmic party system, as the choices he has nominated for top honors are unsurprisingly typical. Oscar© has a narrow range of tastes that constrains what he is comfortable nominating and picking, which can be defined as conservative, safe and what he considers “Oscar©-worthy,” which is another way of saying he knows it when he sees it. It sure doesn’t leave room for the risky, experimental and progressive.

As always, there will be plenty of campaigning by each candidate and its team to sway voters to pick them over the other options through such techniques as screeners, promotions, and ads in newspapers and other media forums.

But there are many outsiders who would give the obvious choices a run for their money — if they had the money and notoriety to campaign and if there was a process by which they could petition onto the Oscar© ballot. One could even say that these other candidates wish they could recall those who Oscar© has selected for the awards gala election so that they could run and be selected instead. But, since that isn’t going to happen (no doubt due to legal and political challenges that would be pursued by Oscar©) these candidates must settle for an alternative award offered only right here, which we are calling the Politi-Felix©.

And what a covetous award it is! Instead of a golden statuette vaguely in the form of a naked man holding a sword and standing on a roll of film, the Politi-Felix© is a golden identification card that allows the winner to vote in any election anywhere in Colorado simply by brandishing the Politi-Felix© at any election office (actual residency location is not a limitation).

Although there may be some overlap with Oscar©’s candidate choices, Politi-Felix©’s are based on a different set of factors and issues. What are these criteria? Simply, whatever Politi-Felix© feels most passionately about. And, although Oscar© and others may have forgotten these candidates and the issues they represent from earlier last year, Politi-Felix© sure hasn’t. It has a long memory of the cinematic positions that all of last year’s films have taken and will consider those appropriately for this award election.

And now, without further ado (drum roll!), herewith are the 2013 Politi-Felix©es:

Best Song: “Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis. All Oscar© candidates would be recalled and the Politi-Felix© would be awarded to this snappy number. Not only is it a catchy little ditty that humorously underscores the fluffiness of pop music popularities as well as the frumpiness that music snobs elicit regarding lightweight musical entertainment (a central message of the film), it’s also about a presidential policy (landing a man on the moon) and the resources and collective support required for such massive national efforts, which we (sadly) no longer embark upon in this poisonous partisan political period. Please Mr. Kennedy indeed!

Best Cinematic Recall: Summer Movie Blockbusters. This platform of films is recalled and in their place the Politi-Felix© award goes to the establishment of a constitutional amendment guarantying the right of all filmgoers to quality summer entertainment. Such entertainment can still keep and bear gunplay, explosions, and all the other popcorn flick accoutrement. Please, just no more than 15 per summer.

Best Matthew McConaughey: Oscar© is only recognizing this actor’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club and thereby diminishes his notable work in two other stellar 2013 films — specifically Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street. By overlooking this total effort (including the dramatic physical and character transformations required for each role), Oscar© also fails to acknowledge his miraculous reformation into a serious, credible actor. Not so for Politi-Felix© who not only recalls and rewards all of his 2013 work, but also gives hope to all candidates who would similarly strive to transform themselves to win general elections following their performances to make it through a primary election — or to again seek elective awards hoping that voters will similarly forget prior incarnations of their flawed, failed candidacies.

Best Civil Unions: Oscar© saw fit to snub the outstanding Blue is the Warmest Color as a candidate in the best foreign language film category. Maybe that’s because a graphic yet acutely emotional depiction of love between two people (who just happen to be of the same gender) was too explicit and dangerous for its puritanically conservative predilections (remember the awarding of top honors to Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2004?). Politi-Felix© is not so hesitant and so awards this film this honor, and would further use this candidate and award to impress upon Oscar© the enlightened trend in Colorado and other states of recognizing not only this film, but same sex unions for all those who may seek it.

Best 10 Minutes: Politi-Felix© would recall all of Oscar©’s best actor candidates and replace them with one — Tom Hanks from Captain Phillips, but not his whole performance in that film where he played the stressed out, resourceful captain of a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates, just the last 10 minutes. That’s where he depicts a man being attended to by naval doctors after enduring a terrifying ordeal and where he expertly evokes the palpable, debilitating sense of post-traumatic stress disorder. These 10 minutes alone represented the best acting of 2013, and no doubt capture the experience of those devastated by last year’s catastrophic floods, wildfires and shootings.

Best Wonderment: This award goes to To the Wonder. Oscar© cannot make heads-or-tails of this sort of candidate, which contains an atypical narrative structure that’s more like visual poetry than the standard structure of dramaturgy. Characters simply exist and revel in their existentialism and the reality of each other and their serene and luminous surroundings, hence its shutout for award candidacy in all categories. Politi-Felix© is not scratching his head over this and awards it this high honor if for no other reason than to underscore the tepid, constrained and risk-averse reaction of Oscar© at such cinematic displays of uniqueness and creativity. It might also help if one partook of a certain substance that was recently legalized for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state. That substance — and this award — may help in many other contexts, such as comprehending the wonderment elicited by a certain Canadian city as they buck political complacency and continue to elect and celebrate the unique behaviors and antics of its nontraditional mayor. Toronto, you get a Politi-Felix© award too!

Best Tranzilla: Oscar© loves to shower lots of awards for special effects and other technical achievements. So, you’d think that nearly every such film would be acknowledged somehow. But, missing among his candidate list for major accolades are some films that were stunning visual marvels with their evocation of other worlds, realms and havoc-wreaking. But Politi-Felix© has them covered; he hasn’t ignored these candidates or declared war on them by not touting their virtues. They include Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Elysium and Man of Steel. Their stories may be sparse, their action repetitive, and their acting at times a chore to endure, but Oscar© needn’t cede them any and all recognition. It’s Politi-Felix© to the rescue keeping them from succeeding by bestowing an award that expresses his appreciation for these outlying cinematic voices and candidates.

There, and that didn’t even take five hours to sit through (um, depending on how fast one reads!).

Doug Young is an award winner himself, having received top honors for his columns in the Colorado Press Association’s Annual Better Newspaper Contests.