Like every year, the Oscars bring excitement mixed with anxiety in the hearts of concerned audience. Although nowadays I watch the awards with greater skepticism and distance than ever, I can’t stop but wonder- what the fuck is wrong with the Academy?!
I know, I know…moaning about disappointing winners while our favourites are left with just a mere mention that will forever remind them of the failure in trailers for movies that rely only on big names, is nothing new really, however, it has been ages since my hope was ultimately lost and since I last agreed with the Academy’s choices. Although I have already written a large post about the general disappointment with the Oscars, I have realised these are not the winners and losers who bother me most this year. While ignorantly ranting about lack of award for David Fincher and way to many statuettes given to the King’s Speech, I missed the most crucial aspect of the Awards. The nominations.
You can’t deny it. It has been going on for ages now. The nominations suck. No…the nominations suck BIG TIME. Not only are they now introduced by stars so young and bright that their lack of recognition somehow deprives the ceremony of its prestigious status, but moreover, they are just pure rubbish. I am not sure what method is used by the Academy to pick the nominees, but this method must be worse than picking random names from a hat. It almost feels like the Academy is choosing the year’s biggest disappointments to represent the cinema. Les Miserables? Lincoln? Beast of the Southern Wild? I agree all these were suppose to be great movies, but if you’ve seen any of them, you’d know they look much better in the trailer than they do in their unbearable length. Of course there are cliches the Academy has been following since its existence, however, 3 hours is not a reason good enough to nominate a film in ten different categories. Also, is it just me or has the acting gone downhill in general in the recent years, because if we compare this year’s nominees with the nominees from…let’s say 2010, then we might as well end this little tea party and start nominating high school plays. I’m not saying that Bradley Cooper is a bad actor, but his performance in the Silver Linings Playbook is nowhere close to Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of “the Wrestler” or Sean Penn’s “Milk”. I like Anne Hathaway, but one performance doesn’t make another Meryl Streep, so it’s a slap in the face to nominate both her and Jennifer Lawrence when in the previous years the same category was occupied by Kate Winslet (for ‘The Reader”) and Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”). Ladies and gentlemen, this is all rubbish!
Unfortunately, nominating disappointing films doesn’t mean that there are no great films that should compete against each other. Somehow while choosing Beast of the Southern Wild and Lincoln, the Academy forgot about Cloud Atlas- the most cinematic film of the year. While watching Django Unchained, magically its members managed to miss two amazing performances (Samuel L. Jackson and OF COURSE Leonardo DiCaprio) and when going through documentaries, they forgot about the existence of the Imposter and the Queen of Versailles. Can somebody tell me how this can possibly be? And while you’re on it, how about explaining the reasons behind these 12 Academy’s Total Fuck-Ups that I listed below? There’s no sane person who wouldn’t see this madness…no sane person…
12.The Queen of Versailles
The Queen of Versailles is definitely one of the most underrated movies of 2012, but I still had hoped for it to be rewarded with nomination in Best Documentary category. It fits the bill perfectly by following extremely rich couple whose life changes dramatically after the economic crisis. It is warm, heart-touching and unbelievable, and yet- the Academy managed to miss it.
Let’s just shortly speak about the unspeakable- Lincoln isn’t a good movie. It is an extremely boring history lesson filled with facts and lacking human factor. And yet, Lincoln is Oscar’s favourite- the Academy nominated it in the majority of the main categories including the Best Film and the Actor in the Leading Role. Wonder why? Lincoln is the safest movie to nominate- it has Daniel Day Lewis, it is directed by Steven Spielberg and it discusses one of the most important moments of the history of the USA. And who cares if all of this failed? Oscar it is.
10. Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is nominated for cinematography (absolutely amazing) and production design (basically the same thing). And yet, somehow the Academy forgot about it when they were picking films for Best Editing category. Yes, the film which recreates the editing giving it a completely unique shape isn’t nominated for editing. Because?…
9. Mads Mikkelsen
I understand Oscars are American awards and foreign films are given a separate category. However, if Emanuelle Riva got the Best Actress nomination (and I keep my fingers crossed for her to win), I believe Mads Mikkelsen deserves it no less. For anything he did- just give him some recognition, for god’s sake!
8. Cabin in the Woods
This nomination would definitely be quite controversial and the Academy seems to hate surprises, so no wonder they stayed quiet when Cabin in the Woods revealed its incredibly original script. Who fits better in the Original Screenplay category? I’m happy with Moonrise Kingdom appearance there, but Cabin in the Woods could spice things up even more.
7. Holy Motors
Just like the Cabin in the Woods, Holy Motors is nothing like any other film. The lack of recognition it got from the Academy has been a topic of discussion since the official announcement, and I feel no different about it.
6. The Master
Nominated in acting categories, apparently the Master cannot hold its position next to Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Or at least, this is what the Academy believes
5. The Hunt
Although (like usually) the Foreign Film category brings together the best films the Oscars have to offer, I can’t understand why the Hunt (Jagten) isn’t there while another film from the same country might possibly get the award itself. The only way to explain my disappointment would be to show you how ingenious the Hunt is, so if you don’t plan on staying up late next Monday- I recommend you see it.
4. The Imposter
The Imposter is the best documentary of 2012…and it will not have any Oscars…
3. Quentin Tarantino
Like every year, Quentin Tarantino will leave the Academy awardless. This time simply because he isn’t even nominated in Best Director category. I’m not sure how it works, but I’ve always felt that if one can make a three hour long movie feel like it was 90 minutes one, he managed to make this movie absolutely engaging. That was the case with Django Unchained- a sort of contrapoint for Lincoln. Why isn’t Tarantino nominated when Django Unchained received the recognition in other categories (including the Screenplay) is one of the Academy’s biggest secret. But it’s nothing compared to…
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
I’m not going to die until DiCaprio finally gets his deserved Oscar.
1. Cloud Atlas
I remember laughing about Cloud Atlas getting all the Oscars and making the ceremony boring because of that…until the nominations were announced. The most cinematic experience of 2012 did not receive one nomination. It is the failure of criticism not to recognise the genius of Cloud Atlas (surprisingly-or not, it’s the Matrix story all over again). Shame on you, Academy! Shame on you!