You Only Like White People And Boring-ness
The 2016 nominations were announced and it was filled with everything you’d expect: Tom Hanks; movies you’ve never heard of and a whole ton of white folks. So let’s break it down.
Best Picture Nominees
Bridge of Spies: Steven Spielberg; Tom Hanks; Cold War; No one cares. As @arrpeebee said, ‘I feel like I knew this movie existed? But it’s Tom Hanks so, like Pacino and DeNiro before him, he’s gotten to the point that everything he’s in will get nominated whether it’s deserving or not.’
Brooklyn: A story we’ve seen over and over and over again, is it well acted? Sure. Is it from a new or different perspective? Not really. No.
Mad Max: Fury Road: The only nominee I can get behind one hundred percent. Brilliantly acted, brutally shot, an amazing movie but one that blows the Academy’s wad on Sci-Fi apparently.
Room: The second movie that I think is deserving. A dark story of kidnapping, rape and preserving innocence it is upsetting, unsettling and moving in turns.
Spotlight: The story of the investigation into the Vatican’s decades long cover up of molestation and abuse charges, a good film, but not necessarily a great one.
The Big Short: The rare Academy nom for a comedy, it covers the 2000s financial collapse and those who figured out what was going on and decided to make a profit from it. Again, a good movie, not a great one.
This list is the whitest, boringest thing I’ve seen since the last time the Academy decided to nominate things. You mean to tell me that Beasts of No Nation, Creed, The Force Awakens, Straight Outta Compton, Concussion and Ex-Machina were less worthy of nominations than any of the above? Really? I doubt it. But the problem is all of those movies are either about or feature people of color in the lead roles and are therefore unworthy of the Academy’s attention.
Best Actor and Actress
Already covered by Webster so instead I’ll list all the actors who should’ve been nominated in no particular order:
Given the keys to the kingdom these two put in star making turns, revitalized a franchise and brought much needed diversity and pure unadulterated joy to a galaxy far, far way.
As we said in the podcast this is the role that, if there were any doubt, proves that Oscar Isaac is a chameleon able to inhabit the body of any character given to him fully and completely. Before his turn as dashing resistance pilot Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens, Isaac gave us Nathan: sexy, sensual and sinister he is a force to be reckoned with.
Imperator Furiosa is the guardian angel we all want: breathtaking, vicious, loving and kind. She is the bright, fiery heart of Mad Max: Fury Road and Theron’s performance is nuanced and fierce.
Continuing his streak of being awesome in everything and giving raw, flawless performances Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation is terrifying. A monster wrapped in human skin his Commandant is a nightmare come to life.
This relationship in Creed could’ve been nothing more than window dressing in the hands of lesser actors. Instead Jordan and Thompson give us two fully realized human beings who are in love, not just with each other, but with the possibilities that life has for them, while well aware of just what kind of world they’re living in.
As an outsider trying to find out what exactly is happening to players in the NFL, Smith gives one of his best performances ever as the man who refused to back down in the face of a brutal smear campaign and financial pressure placed on him from Roger Goodell.
There is none, except the ongoing, institutionalized racism and sexism of the Oscars in particular and Hollywood in general. When people of color get constantly erased from history and film, when women are told repeatedly that they can’t carry a film despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary this mess needs to stop. It may seem trivial but it’s not. This nonsense has an effect outside of the theater as the head of the Academy should well know. Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ prevaricating over this issue has been disgusting and infuriating and the best way to shut it down is to vote with your dollars. To put it simply? Don’t watch the Oscars. Don’t yell and scream, no matter how much you want to. Simply walk away and keep doing so. Take your money to films where you are represented and to directors who give a damn about your voice.