Sunday, February 24, 2008

Delusions of Grandeur: Clooney Edition

The headline of one of IMDB's big stories du jour reads:

Clooney: "I'm the Hillary Clinton of the Oscars"

And why, pray tell, is that, Mr. Clooney? Here's the full story to explain his reasoning:

"George Clooney has compared his battle for the Best Actor Oscar at the forthcoming Academy Awards to the U.S. presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Clooney is convinced he would be a sure winner if fellow actor Daniel Day-Lewis wasn't in the running for the prize. And he likened their situation to that of Democrat candidates Clinton and Obama - insisting the former first lady would be on a definite course to win the 2008 election if her opponent wasn't Obama. He tells U.S. magazine Time, "For me, it's like being Hillary Clinton. If it weren't for Barack Obama, it would have been a very good year. I thought Daniel Day-Lewis had the best performance of the year." Clooney is nominated for the coveted prize at Sunday's awards for his role in Michael Clayton, while Day-Lewis has been tipped to take the prize after his acclaimed performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood."

Ugh. "Clooney is convinced he would be a sure winner if fellow actor Daniel Day-Lewis wasn't in the running for the prize"? Oh really, is he? Maybe that's true, since Hollywood is under his smarmy spell. He doesn't even deserve to be nominated, but as it stands, he certainly wouldn't be the deserving runner-up. That would be Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah. Clooney wouldn't even be third! Johnny Depp is next in line for Sweeney Todd. Then, it's a toss-up between Viggo Mortensen and Clooney. Personally, I found Mortensen to be a more compelling leading man. So, in my estimation, Clooney would be dead last. And let's not forget the more worthy people that should be in his place, like ridiculously snubbed Emile Hirsch. What an arrogant assessment on his part.

Oh, George Clooney is so political and liberal and great that he even brings up politics in his boasting, as his gaggles of swooning, google-eyed fans would say with a "My hero"-inspired sigh. Please. It couldn't be any more self-important to compare himself and this Oscar race to the biggest presidential election in history. I love his throwaway compliment to Day-Lewis, too. How gracious of him. He should be grateful to even be in the same category as Daniel Day-Lewis.

And you know he's saying this with his usual cocky smugness, so it passes for a joke. But behind every smug remark or joke lies truth. Why else would he even mention it? He's pissed! He seriously believes this nonsense spewing from his mouth. It's totally tasteless, and he has no class at all. Should we feel sorry for him that Day-Lewis gave one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema? Cry me a freaking river. He's lucky that his stupid movie got so many nominations in the first place. All of them, except for Tom Wilkinson's Best Supporting Actor nod, were stolen from more deserving candidates. Yes, even Tilda Swinton, who I completely love and admire, but she's done much better work elsewhere. Jennifer Garner belongs in that category over her by a long shot. Ruby Dee is another story, but I'm just comparing Swinton to Garner.

Anyway, the nominations for Michael Clayton are totally unfounded. He said, in his dumb analogy, that if not for Obama, "it would have been a very good year." How could he not consider getting that many nominations for Michael Clayton having "a very good year"? Ohhhh, I get it...he meant it would have been a very good year for HIM if he could have won the Oscar he believed would have been his had Daniel Day-Lewis not ruined his plan by being such a genius. He shouldn't even be nominated!! He should be thrilled that he was. Nice work, Mr. Ungrateful. Woe is George Clooney. How selfish and conceited can a person possibly be? Way to be a team player, too. Shouldn't he focus on being happy that the project he was a part of got recognition (no matter how unjustly)? Doesn't that alone make it a very good year? It's not only your movie, you know. Other people were actually involved, George, in case you forgot or didn't notice. How about showing some appreciation and gratitude? Was it a good year for them, or doesn't it matter? He thinks Michael Clayton belongs to him, and people seem to agree. It's Clooney this and Clooney that, all the time. No one ever talks about anything or anyone else in relation to Michael Clayton (poor, brilliant Tom Wilkinson - I hope he was nominated genuinely, as he should have been, and not by mere association with Clooney).

The movie only got the nominations because Hollywood is enamored with him. For what reason, I don't know. He's not that good-looking (gasp, I said it), and he's not that talented. Oh yeah, when he pulls himself away from the lovefests at his mirror, he does humanitarian work. Well, la-di-da, kudos to you, Clooney. Big deal. When you make $20 million a picture, you better damn well be giving some of it to charity. Something feels so self-congratulatory about even his seemingly selfless deeds. If Clooney wasn't in Michael Clayton, no one in the world at large would care one iota about it. He should be on his knees thanking Shiva just for the critical and popular attention and praise heaped upon this hackneyed, below-average, no-thrills-attached thriller. That it got Oscar nominations is a crime.

His comments about the Best Actor race are some of the most offensive and outrageous things I've ever heard (or read, actually - if I heard it, I'd probably be ripping up the furniture). I really didn't like Michael Clayton, and I wouldn't be petty enough to change my rating because of him, but his taint is strong, and I downright resent the film and him now. I'm so sick of his ego. I wish someone would wipe that smug smirk off of his face once and for all.

To go for more authenticity, his big line in Michael Clayton should be, "Does it look like I'm self-aggrandizing?" That's rhetorical, of course, because the answer is a resounding "YES!" The only person who loves George Clooney more than the rest of the world is George Clooney. What a pompous ass.

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