Are they having a laugh—those august members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?
How else could they nominate Kate Winslet for an Oscar for her performance as a concentration camp guard in the movie The Reader?
It is not that Winslet cannot act. But it was Winslet, on the funny (and lately departed) sitcom Extras who played (?) a self-absorbed star who takes a role in a World War II movie because Nazi flicks score big at awards time.
(Funny, that is, if you like Ricky Gervais and the humor to be found in excruciatingly embarrassing situations. He makes Larry David look tame.)
"I'm doing it because I noticed," Winslet confides to Gervais, that "if you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar.
"I've been nominated four times. Never won," she gripes. "The whole world is going, `Why hasn't Winslet won one?'
"Schindler's bloody List," she says. "The Pianist. Oscars coming out the ...'"
So. To sum up: Gervais and Winslet portray the members of their profession as egotistical prima donnas, insult the Oscars, and ridicule the academy members as easily manipulated sentimentalists—and get rewarded with a "best actress" nomination.
They have to be having a laugh.