The Problem With The Oscars Is…

So I’ve had a few issues with the Oscar nominations this year, the reasons of which I’ll outline further on. They mainly focus on the lack of diversity and the predictability of the awards which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy them! In fact despite living in the UK I always try if possible to watch them live or at least get a live stream to see the results live, I am a little worried that post-university, job-working me won’t able to this year, but that’s another matter.

Okay so the first issue, the one that everyone’s been talking about…MAD MAX HAS 10 NOMINATIONS?! How has that happened, don’t get me wrong I understand that George Millar has been influential and the film technically is great for a blockbuster, but I’m not sure it’s really Oscar-worthy on that basis. Tom Hardy (although brilliant in whatever he does) has hardly any lines and the plot is just one long car chase which gets very tedious after the first hour. Though for me the highlight has to be the flame guitar-wielding guy as part of the villain’s entourage, now that was good! However with the abundance of great cinema we have had this year not sure it merits that many nominations, especially as another topic of controversy could have perhaps been avoided if there had been some replacements in the categories.

So the big controversy of this year’s Oscars has been the lack of black actors nominations across all four categories, as well as snubs for Best Film and other high profile awards. Whilst I agree you shouldn’t just nominate someone because they are black, it highlights not so much an issue with the nominations as it does with the lack of good roles for black actors. However I believe that there were a few missed opportunities this year:

  • Straight Outta Compton: probably one of my favourite films of the whole year, if you haven’t seen it check it out, even if you don’t like rap music! The acting was outstanding and any of the young male leads could have been nominated in lead or supporting actor and it definitely wouldn’t have been amiss in the Best Film category. Interestingly the only category it was nominated for was Best Screenplay…which was written by a white guy…go figure.
  • Idris Elba: snobbery from the Oscars towards Netflix, not a reflection on his talent or ethnicity in my opinion.
  • Will Smith: had anybody seriously heard of his film? Not sure that he deserves to be making such a fuss about a lack of nomination considering the competition this year.
  • Samuel L. Jackson for the Hateful 8: good performance in one of his first consistent lead roles in a Tarantino film but again too political and controversial to merit a nod:

Also Chris Rock hosting is going to be possibly the funniest and one of the most political Oscars, depending how much they let him get away with.

Another thing about the Oscars that I have found is that they are so predictable! I did a predictions list back in July last year and incredibly managed to get most of them right (bar Spotlight and Big Short as I hadn’t heard of them then). Is this a testament to either too much Oscar hype or so-called ‘Oscar bait’ movies, not talking about anyone..*cough* The Danish Girl *cough*. But seriously it would make people far more interested if there was actually some competition and a wider range of films considered in the Oscar pool of nominations.

Speaking of which two snubs I personally was annoyed with (though mainly for my love of these people), Johnny Depp for Black Mass and Quentin Tarantino for Hateful 8. The former had such a transformation in this film and I seriously thought it might be the first time the Oscars would take him seriously, e.g.what we thought would happen to Michael Keaton. But sadly I think the film flew under the radar and was a bit too run of the mill to make an impact. Secondly, Tarantino…well that’s just politics but I won’t go there…

Two final points: sad to see lack of recognition of Legend, the Tom Hardy starring biopic of the Kray Twins, seriously underrated this awards season, probably too British, too violent and Americans wouldn’t understand the accent.

And..I didn’t like the Revenant…waiting for the hate for that one. Technically one of the most beautiful and best films ever made but the story was so dull…DiCaprio was wasted and if he wins it’s a pity Oscar which has been a long time coming!

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