Universal Criticism

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
It’s Oscar season, and today’s classic Arlo & Janis is befitting. Lest you think I, like Arlo, am a hopeless curmudgeon, I will say that this is the best time of year to watch Turner Classic Movies. Every year for the month preceding the Academy Awards, the network airs “31 Days of Oscar,” featuring dozens of films that won or were nominated for an Oscar. This year, Steve Martin will be given an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. This is good, because comedians seldom win outright. They’re just not serious enough. As someone who makes a living as a certain type of comedian, I sympathize. In a promotional clip, I saw Martin express his gratitude and pleasure at the honor, and that is as it should be. However, I thought Peter O’Toole’s reaction was a hoot, too. When told he was going to receive a lifetime-achievement award, he responded that he was “still in the game” and wanted more time to “win the bugger outright.” Incredibly, he never won an Oscar despite being nominated seven times for some truly memorable performances. Of course, he’s no longer in the game, unfortunately. I expect he’ll get a mention as well, next Sunday night.