The Oscars Rant

Since I published my own Oscars nominations at the end of December, I felt obliged to comment on the real nominations that came out earlier today. Especially since there’s been quite a few shocking (and very disappointing) choices. Why am I even surprised?

There has been only one truly amazing twist – and that is the nomination of Marion Cotillard for her role in Belgian drama Two Days, One Night. There has been almost no doubt about Jennifer Aniston getting nominated for her role in Cake (one of the most awful films I had the privilege of seeing lately), which is why I was completely (positively!) surprised about Academy’s decision to nominate Cotillard instead.

However, all the other surprises were nothing but disappointing. Outraging even.

Nominations for Best Actor? When the hell did Bradley Cooper enter the game? Every other nomination was expected – but Bradley Cooper getting nominated over Jake Gyllenhaal is just ridiculous. Or over Ralph Fiennes. Or David Oyelowo (his exclusion is probably the most infuriating) for his outstanding performance in Selma. Any other nomination would make more sense. But as it seems, Bradley is a new favourite of the Academy – much like Jennifer Lawrence, who also gets nominated for every crap movie that she does (with or without David O. Russell).

There were no surprise nominations for the Actor in a Supporting Role – although it wouldn’t really matter if there were, since it seems a pretty done deal that J. K. Simmons will win for his role in Whiplash. Also, no real surprises (except maybe Laura Dern’s nomination) among Actresses in a Supporting Role. Meryl Streep’s nomination for Into the Woods is beyond me though, but she obviously gets nominated for everything she does just for the fact that she’s Meryl Streep.

I don’t think I have to point out the problem that everyone nominated in the Best Leading and Supporting Actor/Actress category is white. Way to go, Hollywood. David Oyelowo was actually the only black actor who had a (however remote) chance of being nominated and this fact alone tells us pretty much everything about the limited opportunities and almost non-existing good roles for African-Americans and Latino minorities in Hollywood.

The nominations for Best Screenplays are, once again, boys club only. Gillian Flynn, who had every chance of being nominated for her brilliant adaptation of Gone Girl, wasn’t nominated. The same goes for Best Directors – there hasn’t been one female director nominated. Not even Ava DuVernay. I guess Selma was a bit too much for the (again, almost all white) Academy members who are selecting the nominees.

A Los Angeles Times study found that academy voters are markedly less diverse than the moviegoing public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%. They have a median age of 62 – people younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership. (Horn, Sperling and Smith)

It was amazing to see Ida getting nominated for best cinematography (it more than deserves the win!). However, I don’t understand how it’s possible for Selma’s cinematographer, Bradford Young, not getting nominated. He did an amazing job (the photography in the film is truly breathtaking) and not to mention that he would be the first black nominee ever in Best Cinematography category. The nomination for Cinematography is once again for white guys only (yes, there’s also no women nominated in this category, surprise surprise).

As for the editing, the Oscar should go to Whiplash or Boyhood. It’s very refreshing to see at least one woman being nominated here (and for Boyhood, nonetheless).

There you go. Rant concluded.

List of references:

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11 thoughts on “The Oscars Rant”

  1. U, tole sem hotu tud jaz komentirat, a lahko kr tle mal zaspamam 🙂 …
    Mislim, da je akademija večno ujeta med svojimi težnjami, da bi izpadli liberalno in progresivno in dejstvom da so pač stari beli prdci, ki se raje držijo preverjenih imen – kar potem privede do takih odločitev da nagrajujejo filme kot so npr. Crash, al pa Dallas Buyers Club. Lani je 12 Years of Slave očitno še mel dovolj priznanih imen, da jim je ratalo zmagat, Selma letos žal ne (sicer še nisem gledal filma tko da kej več ne morm rečt), al pa niso uspel dovolj “zlobirat” (kar je dost žalostno, ampak se dogaja). Tudi Marion Cotillard najbrž ne bi bila nominirana, če ne bi bila nagrajena že enkrat prej. Vseeno pa mislim da je ta problem z (ne)raznolikostjo pri nominacijah bolj kot ne samo odraz neraznolikosti v filmski industriji na splošno kot pa posledica tega, da so pač povečini stari beli prdci. Nekje sem bral članek o fotografiji, oz. o “female cinematographers” in sem zasledil, da jih je med top 250 najbolj donosnih filmov samo 3% žensk (letos recimo – Cake, Tracks). S tem je pol logično, da med nominacijami ne bo neke hude raznolikosti. Tukaj pol nima tolk veze, tud če spremenimo celo sestavo Akademije (čeprav bi jo seveda mogl, teli podatki so dejansko še hujš kot sem mislil), ampak bi ta problem mogl reševat drugje.

    No vseeno pa ne vem kaj jim je dogajal da so totalno ignoriral Gone Girl, vsaj za glasbeno podlago in scenarij bi se mogu najt prostor, al pa recimo da Whiplash ni uspel dobit nominacije za režijo, je pa zato med scenariji, ki je vsaj za moje pojme dost velika slabost filma… American Sniper pa sicer še nisem gledal, ampak mam feeling, da to je pa tisti del akademije, ki se pali na neko kao domoljubje, kar nekako dvomim, da si zasluži tolk nominacij.

    Zanimivo pa je, da tud če se strinjamo da oskarji niso neko merilo “odličnosti” (v bistvu že zarad tega, ker so to ameriške nagrade in bolj kot ne ignorirajo večino sveta), vseeno vsako leto spremljamo in smo celo navdušeni, če jim uspe kak preblisk (recimo letos nominacije Ide pri fotografiji!). Jebiga, še vedno so dost relevantni, pomojem tud zato ker premorejo dost okusa, da je večina nominacij vsaj gledljivih. In pol to primerjajmo s kakimi Grammyji…

    Ok, to je to, sorry za spam v slovenščini 🙂

    1. Itak, se strinjam, problem še zdaleč ni zgolj v Akademiji, ampak v Hollywoodu nasploh (Akademija je na nek način zgolj odraz sestave celotne filmske industrije). Je pa vseeno žalostno, da še kadar se kakšni ženski uspe prebit in sodelovat pri kakšnem dobrem filmu, jo Akademija skoraj brez izjeme ignorira (ne rečem, da bi jih mogli nagrajevat samo zato, ker so ženske, ampak dejstvo je, da je scenarij za Gone Girl dosti boljši od večine ostalih nominiranih. Isto velja za režijo Selme, kjer je bil pa itak v igri dvojni dealbreaker, da je režirala ženska, ki je povrhu še črnka).

      Jaz sem drugače že zdavnaj obupala nad Oskarji, ampak ker ljudje večinoma še vedno padajo na to, koliko oskarjev kateri film pobere (kot da je to neka determinanta za dober film), se mi zdi vredno opozarjat, kako v bistvu te nominacije in nagrade ne pomenijo kaj dosti – sploh ker so dobri filmi večinoma spregledani zaradi konzervativnih in prastarih žirantov (in seveda zaradi omejenosti na ameriško produkcijo).

      Tudi jaz še nisem gledala American Sniperja, ampak si mislim, da gre spet za neko patriotsko sranje. Seriously, lahko bi uvedli posebno kategorijo za Best Patriotic Picture, če jim to res toliko pomeni.

      Tako da ja, se definitivno strinjam z vsem, kar si napisal. Ampak to, da so od vseh filmov, ki so jih v zadnjih petih letih producirali večji studii, ženske režirale samo 4,7%, je že tema za drug post. 🙂

  2. I gave up on The Academy Awards many years ago because of the politics. Reading your post it seems that sadly, although not surprisingly, nothing has changed.

  3. Good post!

    At the risk of starting an international incident, it does seem that the best way to get the Academy’s approval is to have the word “American” in your film title – American Beauty, American Hustle, American Sniper…(Okay there is American Pie but humour me 😉 ).

    They do seem to have a habit of recognising non-American films or actors one year then going the other way the next, as if to redress the balance.

    A precedent has been set however – about 20 years ago in the Best Actress category, the nominees were made up of four Brits and one American. Guess who won? Yup….

    Unfortunately we Brits tend to follow suit with the BAFTAs (even though our show comes first) and reward the same films, suggesting there is a more populist pandering going on with the voting instead of rewarding on merit.

    As I say I might just be a bit too cynical for my own good, but as someone else suggested earlier, it seems the Academy is keen to not upset the wrong people than the right people politically, if you catch my drift! 😉

    1. Thank you! And I agree with you completely – the Academy seems to be very fond of all the films with some sort of patriotic message (or at least with a patriotic title – with the exception of American Pie 🙂 ).

      And considering that they always nominate the most “safe”, conservative and ideologically acceptable films, they’re definitely trying not to upset certain people.

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