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Isabel Swift asks: Are you a member of the Academy? Do you know someone who is?

May 24, 2010 by in category Blogs tagged as , , with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Isabel Swift asks: Are you a member of the Academy? Do you know someone who is?

There needs to be an Oscar for Best Performance by an Animal. Really. OK.  Maybe not every year.  Every other year?  Every five years?  I feel certain that at least once every five years there will be enough Oscar worthy performances by animals for a compelling race.

What has inspired me, you wonder? 

 Is this a frivolous thought?  No. Years —  no DECADES ago, I recognized that the dog in Road Warrior (scroll down for photo of same if you click) delivered an Oscar-worthy performance.

Yes, I know.  It’s not without its challenges.  What about situations like Seabiscuit, with countless horses playing the part.  Inappropriate, I would agree.  

And what about the animal handler(s)? Eh?

Though I certainly would allow “crossdressing” if you could call it that for creatures who don’t normally wear clothes.  For example I believe Lassie was played (for the most part) by a laddie.  But since we’re not giving Best Animal Actor and Actress here, I don’t think we need to open the kimono, so to speak.

My inspiration now is Jenny, the orangutan in Creation, the film about Darwin. Truly an oscar-worthy performance.

Of course, it’s not going to happen.  There will never be an Oscar for Best Animal Performance.  

Not because animals can’t be satisfactory celebrities—sure, they could give endorsements; they’re cute enough, and likely a lot cheaper.  Though it’s going to be hard to find a breed that can (or would even want to) play golf.

And no—with animals there wouldn’t ever be a problem with tarnishing their image.  Hey, monkeys are SUPPOSED to have wild monkey sex!  They’re monkeys! A stallion having sex with countless mares?  All part of the DNA.

No, the sad reason it won’t happen is because it will make the human actors look bad.  If an animal can deliver an Oscar worthy performance, what does it say about us, the humans?  And since it’s the humans that are putting on the show, some great natural performers and performances will go unrecognized.

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