Hey Chris Rock. Shut Your Mouth.

It’s been well documented here on The Movie Blog that I thought the selection of Chris Rock as host of this years Oscars was a HUGE mistake for several reasons. Now the funny man (and yes, I think the man is a very talented comedian and I like his stuff a lot) has given me another reason to dislike his selection.

If you’re going to host the show, then act with some class about it. Don’t start shooting off your mouth, abusing your positions as the show’s host and trying to influence academy voters before the show. Did Billy Crystal do that? No. DId Steve Martin (best host the show has had in decades) do that? No. Did David Letterman do that? No. Did (uggg) Whoopi Goldberg do that? No. But apparently Rock thinks he’s above everyone else. The IMDB reports the following:

Chris Rock is so determined to see fellow comedian Jamie Foxx take an Oscar home at next month’s ceremony, he has vowed to steal one for him if he doesn’t win. While the Academy Award nominated have yet to be announced, Rock, who is hosting the ceremony, is confident Foxx will take the Best Actor trophy home – for his role in Ray Charles biopic Ray – and he’s willing to take action to ensure it. Rock says, “I am rooting for Jamie, and if he doesn’t win, I’m going to talk about it on the show. (If Foxx doesn’t win) I’ll take an Oscar from one of the sound or light people that win and give it to him. Jamie Foxx is not going to walk out of that place without an Oscar.” Foxx is a favorite to scoop the prize, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator – a movie which has failed to impress Rock. He adds, “It’s a weird movie; it’s well made, but a story about a rich guy who gets things done doesn’t excite me. Oooh, he overcame obstacles, like how much money to spend. And he washed his hands a lot.”

So here’s my point. Everyone is entitled to their opinions about the upcoming Oscars… but Rock isn’t just anyone this year… this year he is the master of ceremonies of the show… the host. He’s got a position right now that he needs to show some respect to. He should keep his opinions to himself until the show… then say whatever he wants. With the privilege comes responsibility.

Disrespect. Rock has just thrown a huge pile of disrespect to the guests of the Oscars before they even show up. What about all the other nominees? As MSNBC put it:

Forget for the moment what an insult this is to the other, eventual best actor nominees (Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Don Cheadle are among the usual suspects). Forget for the moment what an insult this is to sound engineers and lighting people, who are apparently unimportant peons in Rock’s world. More than anything, Rock’s comments demonstrate a complete lack of understanding about how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences actually votes.

Chris Rock goes and open his big mouth. Plays movie critic. Yeah, Mr. “Head of State,” Mr. “Lethal Weapon 4,” Mr. “Bad Company,” I’m sure you know what a good movie is.

And no, this post has nothing to do with the fact that I think Leonardo DiCaprio should win best Actor. I would have no problem if Foxx won it… I just think there’s a difference between great acting and great impersonations. Foxx did a marvelous impersonation of Ray Charles, and deserves to be nominated… I just found DiCaprio more captivating and gave a LITTLE bit better of a performance.

Having said that, I don’t really think either of them should win. I thought Tom Cruise in Collateral was BY FAR the best performance of the year over either of those two guys. But oh well… no one listens to me. The most beautiful thing about film is the pure subjectivity of it.

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