Grouchy About Oscar

Oh, for Pete’s sake.
The Australian entertainment media went into conniptions hyping Nicole Kidman for the 2004 Oscars, but finally had to take solace in Naomi Watt’s nomination, and a few scant nods for ex-pat tech folk. Bummer, the journalists thought. Many started feeling a little worried that there were no really big Australian names at the ceremony so they could justify an expensive Hollywood junket to their editors. ( Naomi Watts has only a moderate glamour-rating, which will undoubtedly have to be lifted several levels in coming weeks, to keep the party-machine running. Watch Nicole deposed from Australian entertainment royalty for the next year or so, folks.)
Now, the local hacks have found another hook – they’ve latched onto an admission by the father of Keisha Castle-Hughes – formerly a ‘Kiwi nominee’ – that she’s actually, technically, a Western Australian.
(No doubt it was hard for her to uproot herself from all her social connections in Donnybrook at the age of four. In that time, she undoubtedly developed a ‘love for the land’ and ‘strongly identifies with her Australian heritage’.)
I predict a slew of interviews and background pieces throughout the Aussie media, now that this story is out. I’d wager that Ray Martin will lead the charge with a special on ‘Australia’s Best Hope For The Best Actress Oscars’. Naomi might get a mention. Maybe their non-Australian films might cop a mention.
Boy – it’s bad enough that we (as a country) invest so much of our arts identitiy in the allure of the Hollywood Oscar Machine, but to start clawing back tenuous links like this is really, really sad. Keisha, as talented as she is, would not have rated a mention were Nicole to have made the list, and especially if she hadn’t been outed as an Aussie by her publicity-seeking daddy.
No ‘Australian’ films like Star Wars or The Matrix in the list, either – no wonder the entertainment journalists are bored/desparate. At least we don’t have to worry about being tempted to claim Russell Crowe back.