The Oscar nominations came out last month and with it started the oft repeated saga of people denouncing the whole process of selection of nominees and the usual ruckus created about individuals or movie snubs. We almost feel pity for the Academy during such times and hope that the movie going audience cut them some slack. We feel pity, but, ‘almost’. Because there are some snubs which just cannot be overlooked. Add to that the whole debate about the Oscars shunning people of colour and it becomes more and more ugly. But that debate is for another time.
Everyone has there Top 5 list ready when it comes to Oscar snubs and we try to list our’s here. Our Top 5, in no particular order are as under:
- ARGO (Direction): So apparently, the movie which won best picture, directed itself to Oscar folklore! Ben Affleck’s story is itself a classic underdog one. The man who faced a bit of professional downturn at the turn of the century, returned as a surprisingly nuanced director. Gone Baby Gone and The Town established his credentials and when Argo came out, it was the movie which catapulted him to serious contention among the Hollywood biggies. Argo did well at the box office and the Golden Globe win for Affleck meant it was a sure shot contender for a few awards at the Oscars, but alas! Affleck did not even get nominated. Silver Lining Playbook over Argo for direction…ummm…we are still figuring this out.
- American Psycho (Acting): Christian Bale has been mesmerizing us with his acting chops since eternity. He got his first nomination in the acting category for The Fighter, but he earned it for American Psycho. American Psycho, which has since reached cult status among the loyal Hollywood followers, did not even get any nomination! The movie deemed to be the new Fight Club was overlooked almost brutally. Bale’s performance of the creepy banker in this thriller-horror dark comedy made him an instant star, but apparently not in the eyes of the Academy.
- Borat (Picture): Ok, we all know how comedy has been treated over the years. We also realize that the Academy steers clear of a slightly controversial topic packaged as mainstream comedy. But let’s accept it, this weird character from the fictional (or was it?) country called Kazakhstan tickled our funny bones. Sasha Baron Cohen has since then carved a niche for himself in the comedy space by doing slightly odd and quirky characters which border on the risqué. We do not expect a windfall, but this out of the ordinary movie deserved some recognition. But that’s what we feel.
- Selma (Acting & Direction): Selma brought to the big screen the real life story of the indomitable Martin Luther King Jr. and specially the march for voting rights in 1965. A powerful performance by David Oweloyo and sturdy direction by Ava Duvarney made it one of the most talked about movies of the year and a lot of bytes were given to the likelihood of Ava getting the award for Best Director, which would have been a first for a woman of colour. David’s vivid portrayal of the civil rights leader also garnered decent traction during the build up to the Oscars. It was this snub that gave rise to the mass outcry for recognizing more performance and content with variety.
- The Dark Knight & Wall-E: These snubs were noteworthy because they prompted the Academy to increase the number of nominees for best picture from 5 to 8. Both these movies were not only commercially and critically acclaimed, but were also remarkable for having powerful stories. Wall-E was nominated for best animation movie, no doubt, but the movie was as good as any of the nominees in terms of story, direction or characters. Pixar has revolutionised the animation field by broadening the horizons and with stories which resonate with the young and the old alike.
The Dark Knight not getting nominated is an enigma in itself. A movie which can represent the whole decade in a showdown for best movies by decades, returned with just a few nominations and a posthumous award for Heath Ledger. Christopher Nolan is the new Leonardo DiCaprio? Let us just put the seed of this thought in your mind.
We, as movie fanatics, can only crib and write in forums like this but there are some changes needed in the processes which govern these award shows. Diversity and more recognition to variety are the starting steps that we feel need to be taken soon. With a few days left for the Awards to be announced, we can only wait and watch. Your move Academy!
Disclaimer: The images used in this post are the sole property of the makers of the respective films and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever.