March 12, 2014 00:00
By Tulsathit Taptim
It's been over a week since the Academy Awards, so here's hoping the fever has not subsided completely. Too many political stars have emerged over the past few months to let all that talent go to waste. (Now, cue music and imagine Glenn Close speaking t
So, all the Thai Political Oscars winners, take a bow:
Best Supporting Actress: Anchalee Paireerak’s strong debut in “Catch Me If You Can” earned her the nomination. Pojaman what’s-her-surname-now made only a five-minute appearance in “Scream” but that was enough to turn her into a strong contender. Thida Thavornseth was impressive in “Crimson Tide”, and Khattiya “Dear” Sawasdipol in “Beautiful Woman” blew audiences away.
The Oscar, however, goes to Chitpas Bhirombhakdi for her captivating role in “Dynasty”.
Best Supporting Actor: Nominees were in abundance, and what a race. Chalerm Yoobamrung, Surapong Towichukchaikul and Tarit Pengdit were all nominated for their roles in the same movie, “The Wild Bunch”. Abhisit Vejjajiva, a big star in his supporting role in “Oblivion”, was also a favourite. Panthongtae Shinawatra was critically acclaimed in “The Good Son”.
But the award goes to Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who wowed critics both here and abroad in “Changing Lanes”.
Best Actress: When Yingluck Shinawatra was nominated for her role in “A Very Long Engagement”, all other nominees bowed out. Her “thank-you-to-the-Academy” address will make more history, as it will be posted on Facebook instead of being said out loud on the stage.
The only other nomination left for the judges to ponder was also Yingluck. Her role in “The Tourist”, as described by one reviewer, was “as inspiring as it was hilarious, depending on how you view the woman”. It turned out that it didn’t matter much either way because this Yingluck was the first runner-up to that Yingluck (“A Very Long Engagement”) for Best Actress.
Best Actor: Suthep Thaugsuban and Thaksin Shinawatra were both nominated for their starring roles in the same movie, “Catch Me If You Can”. For the first time in awards history, they both won.
(Inside reports said that before they came up with the tie, split-down-the-middle judges quarrelled to the brink of a fist fight. They only reached agreement after all realised that they needed to eat.)
Best Documentary: The Oscar goes to “The Killing Fields”, which features the hardship of farmers who were conned by unscrupulous politicians and then came back to take revenge.
Best Cinematography: “The Lady” takes the award hands down with its depiction of the elegance and grace of a Thai leader overseas, in sharp contrast with what happened to her domestically. (Note: “The Lady” and “The Tourist” have a similar storyline but were produced by different studios.)
Best Comedy: The Oscar goes to “The Revolutionary Roads”, also known as “Let’s stage an uprising against a military-backed government so it will be replaced by a government that supporters of the military-backed government can rebel against, and on and on it goes.”
Best Costume Design: “Popcorn” takes the award.
Best Screenplay: The winner, “Now You See Me” (aka “Third Party”), tells the story of political saboteurs whose bosses remain unknown – as does where they sleep, what they eat and when they will emerge to wreak havoc.
Best Foreign Film: “The Departed”, starring Satish Sehgal and asking a soul-searching question of where an immigrant's allegiance lies, wins the Oscar.
Best Musical Score: It can only be that song, which got stuck in your head like images of your ex. Of course, the Oscar goes to “Fight On” (Suu Pai Yaa Dai Toi), which Suthep sang repeatedly in “Catch Me If You Can”.
The success of “Fight On”, according to music experts, was due to the fact that not only do admirers know all the words and melody by heart, but haters can also sing it subconsciously.
Best Special Effects: A late arrival takes the prize. “Guns and Roses” (not to be confused with the band) claims the award thanks to its compelling technique. The movie tells the story of an Army general who wants to “soften” the military presence in a trouble-plagued city by decorating his soldiers’ bunkers.
Best Picture: The Oscar goes to “12 Years a Slave (and counting)”. Thais of all political “colours” starred in this heart-wrenching story of how a few politicians can hold an entire country hostage.
Most memorable movie quote: Again, the judges were divided down the middle, so we have two winners – “I’ll die defending democracy” and “Just Leave”.
Writer’s note: There. Since art always imitates life, where on Earth provides a better life for art to imitate than Thailand? This year’s list sets us up nicely for next year’s Awards, as the producers of many of the movies are already working on sequels. There’s also an audacious project to combine all of this year’s winners into one epic. The title of that mega-project is being debated, but the favourites are “Catch 22” and “Square One”. Coming a distant third is “Dumb and Dumber”.