Knowing what we know about Spike Lee's constructively critical awards-podium jeremiads, we think the filmmaker doth protest too much this week about his lack of faith in the Academy Awards. Nevertheless, the sadist in us also appreciates his analysis of the vagaries of Oscar justice that we presume will embrace Lee one of these days:
Al Pacino over Denzel? When Al doesn't win for Godfather I, Godfather II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon — they fucked him over at least five times, I know. Then he does Scent of a Woman. Denzel [nominated that year for Malcolm X] already won for Glory: "He's young, he'll be back, he'll be all right. We fucked over Al, we'll give it to him." [Whispering] "Denzel, we'll hook you up, we got you." Training Day! He wins for Training Day. So we don't get it for Malcolm X. It's like the makeup call in basketball. It messes everything up. ...
If you don't get it when you should, it messes everything up. The problem is, you don't get it when you need to get it. And when you get the makeup call, then you're fucking somebody else over and it just keeps going on and on and on. Now I love Marty [Scorsese] — does he think Departed was the best film? Hell, no, he knows that, but would he give it back? Hell, no!
Of course, there are alternatives to Lee's Makeup Rule: the Crash Rule of Hollywood's Conscience Elite concluding Oscar night with its long-rehearsed, autoerotic grand finale; the Three Six Mafia Rule of being the best alternative in a shitty year... We'd love to hear your own rules below. That said, Lee is a Makeup-Rule candidate all the way, positioning himself for that day 10 years from now when his risky collaboration with Diablo Cody, Mo' Batter Blues, results in his best work since 25th Hour.