Why Robert Downey, Jr. Will Not Win for Best Supporting Actor
I finally saw Tropic Thunder this past weekend on DVD, and my God, it was hilarious. Fantastic, funny, full of Hollywood-stabbing humor, and Tom Cruise completely won back all of my respect with his part as Les Grossman.
SO, that said. Robert Downey, Jr. needs to win for Best Supporting Actor this Sunday when the Oscars are presented. But he will not.
Because this country isn't comfortable with humor that isn't obvious.
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 5, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulane University Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 12, 11:00am
Jokes about poop and farts? Great! Jokes about how women can't drive? Sure! Jokes about in-laws and husbands and wives just getting' on your ding dang nerves? Hilarious! (Not really.)
But any kind of edgy humor that calls us out on our fears and assumptions and prejudices just isn't going to cut it. And that's exactly what Downey did as a white American actor playing an Australian actor who goes into black face to deliver lines about acting "full retard" in a film.
Screw Daniel Day Lewis and his dumb ass left foot and screaming about there will be blood and what have you. Downey? That's some straight up acting, fools.
Not that I'm some humor guru or anything, but I've been criticized right here on this very blog because obvious humor doesn't cut it for me. I have made fun of deaf people and people with addiction issues and so on right here in this space. And people think I'm serious. Why? Because they are stupid. They do not understand that often, when a humor writer or comic actor says something over the top, they are trying to make a point.
When Downey's character talks about how the Oscars will never honor "full retard" acting, he's not making fun of mentally challenged people. He's making fun of the fact that the Academy Awards loves to honor people with mental problems who are also idiot savants because that's all they're comfortable with. (Forrest Gump and his ping pong, Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man counting matches, that crazy Australian dude who played the piano, etc.)
And when Downey's character dons black face to get a role as a black man, he's not endorsing the racist, painful history of black face. He's making fun of method actors (like our Mr. Lewis) AND the way white people tend to co-opt black culture in an attempt to be cool (which never works, not even for Justin Timberlake).
SO. Robert Downey, Jr. will not win Best Supporting Actor because there are too many dumb people on this planet who are not funny and do not get smart humor and who would rather just sit and listen to jokes about poop. And that's why comedic actors are never given their due, and the same boring dramatic actors with their same boring struggles to find love and meaning in life always win the little naked man. And that's wrong. But that's just the way it is. And there's nothing funny about it.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.