15
Jan
16

Why I’m not watching the Oscars again this year

Why I’m not watching the Oscars again this year

Last year with the amazing travesty of the non- nomination for Ava DuVernay director of Selma (it appears the film directed its self) I had, had enough.

I remember very fondly the Oscars of the past going to parties, hosting one or two parties on my own, rooting for your favorite film. Now as a mature theatre practitioner I can no longer really join in with enthusiasm.

This year again seems to be the straight, white boys pat on the back club. We are rewarding business as usual instead of championing new filmmakers and new voices.

Yes several of the films nominated have tackled large issues, The Big Short, Spot Light are good examples, missing from best picture list Carol, Straight out of Compton, Beast of no nation, and The Lobster. Nothing blows up in Carol or The Lobster so I can see why little boys have trouble watching it. Carol also has very little to do with men, and its about two women so I can see also where Hollywood would rather nominate The Danish Girl a film that misrepresents two queer people in a relationship when one decides to transition, (for those who haven’t seen it that isn’t the story they are telling.)

 

I love a good blockbuster don’t get me wrong they inhabit a big part of why we go to the movies, but it isn’t the only voice. We are not rewarding thinking films, original films, we are lifting up the status quo and frankly it’s really boring. We hear complaints about ratings of the Oscars well try giving films that really pushed us, made us think, covered non white issues, weren’t made for the adolescent straight boy of 15-25, and you might be surprised as to who tunes in.

 

Tangerine got nothing. A low budget work filmed on an IPhone has done very well and addresses a trans world with real trans people that’s something we don’t want to see or acknowledge .It also sports an amazing score written for the film. 45 Years deals with an older couple addresses their love and emotions and realize that even people in there 60s and 70s still have an emotional and erotic life, one nomination for best actress.

 

The actor nominations were a little odd; Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs not Macbeth, apparently Stalone was the only actor worth mentioning in Creed, Missing Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. Everyone seems to be claiming its DeCaprio’s year, well I hope not because he leaves me cold. I know many who find him appealing I just don’t see it. He plays one note and not very well. Matt Damon’s behavior off screen has unfortunately soured me on anything he is doing on screen.

 

I am a massive Cate Blanchett fan but the film is really about Rooney Mara character so the nomination should have either been the other way around, or put them both up for best actress. Lilly Tomlin in Grandma anyone?

 

As far as design goes Furry Road, Star Wars, were feasts, but so was Crimson Peak, and Macbeth.

Huge strides have been made in the last few years with digital capture and the actors face and body being used as a base to animate character. When do we start to acknowledge the work of Andy Serkis and the people working within the special effects world trying to bring a more three dimensional authentic character to the screen?

 

Documentaries lets talk about the ones we didn’t want to touch, the ones we should all be hearing about, Going Clear the documentary about Scientology and The Hunting Ground a documentary about rape on our college campus, The Mask you live in a documentary about how boys struggle with the narrow view of masculinity in American culture.

So in short the work that is up is mostly white men saving us from something or braving the wilderness or what ever. They say it’s a cowboy town and the last few years have been proof of that. For me this year I will be cheering for digital awards and design as I have friends working in these fields. But I will read the results online rather than tune in to a show, and an award that has again missed the mark.

 

My list of a few films to see from last year

Carol

Tangerine

Macbeth

45 Years

Straight out of Compton

The Lobster

Suffragette

The second Mother

Ex Machina

Dope

Mad Max Furry Road

The Dark Horse

What we do in the Shadows

Beast of no nation

Documentaries

Going Clear

Hunting Ground

The Mask you live in

Deep Web

The True Cost

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