The Academy Themselves (or white, god-fearing, Republican, middle aged actors)
Most of the voters are actors, which is probably why there is so much bias towards genre at the Oscars. ET: not bad, Raiders of the Lost Ark: meh. Ghandi and Chariots of Fire? Best f*cking film of the year. Yeah, cos people definitely still talk about those films.
Sci fis rarely receive the attention they deserve usually ending up with ‘best visual effects for a tree’. And even then they aren’t guaranteed to get a nomination, like this year the King’s Speech was nominated for ‘best sound mixing’. The Academy genuinely came out of seeing the King’s Speech saying:
”Woah! What a movie! And what about that sound mixing? Way better than that confusing art ‘film’ Black Swan, that’s already got best actress so we can ignore that.”
In the very same year, the most visually beautiful American film of the year ‘Tron: Legacy’ was left off the Visual Effects list. A sci fi rejected in the field it excels more than any other. Another guy, Kevin O’Connell, has been nominated 19 times for Best Sound Editing and has created some of the most imaginative soundscapes ever in sci fi film, but has lost 19 times to movies like period drama Amadeus.
There are few genres which encapsulate the root essence of cinema as entertainment, as escapism, as extraordinary – it’s about time the Academy ditched their prehistoric literary oppression of science fiction.
Behind the Scenes: if there’s a category for costume design, why not…Best Stuntwork Best Scene Best Title Design Best Casting Best Trailer
While you’re at it, why not nominate motion capture actors? Or are they not traditional enough for a film award? But then again, perhaps it’s slightly paradoxical of me to claim the Oscars are corrupt and ignorant and then demand more.
Best Director: they shit on ambition
The greatest living American director Martin Scorsese finally received an Oscar for The Departed after 6 nominations which he should’ve won for Goodfellas, The King of Comedy, Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
Scorsese, Spielberg and Lucas all looked up to a man named Brian De Palma, one of the most influential and stylistic American directors of all time, but, to the Academy, he doesn’t exist.
The most famous directors to be ignored by the Oscars are Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, because to the Academy they’re good, but not good enough. They’re no Tom Hooper, they’re no Ron Howard, they’re no Mel Gibson.
Most recently Christopher Nolan failed to pick up even a nomination for his stunningly directed film Inception. Instead, the Academy was so overwhelmed by the competence of Tom Hooper and his ability to make no impact whatsoever.
Best Screenplay & Editing 2011
Inception was also snubbed in the Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing categories. Granted, it was nominated for the former category, but Nolan’s multi layered labyrinthine script that gains more on 2nd & 3rd watches was clearly not as original or as good as The King’s Speech. Yes, a screenplay adapted from an unused play based on real events was definitely eligible for ‘Best Original Screenplay’. And how original was that King’s speech?
But the worst crime in recent Academy history has to be the exclusion of Inception’s editor Lee Smith in Best Editing. Was there a more intelligently crafted sequence than the entire ‘van-off-the-bridge’ bit all year? Clearly the Academy were far more impressed by the way The King’s Speech uses the ‘montage’ to show ‘character progression’, innovation at it’s most ambitious.
Visual Effects: they dismiss innovation
The Visual Effects Oscar has been around since 1964, but it’s most exciting artist, Ray Harryhausen, was ignored completely other than a special honorary Oscar (the ‘we’re sorry…’ one). Harryhausen pioneered visual effects, practically inventing the idea that a character could be in the same frame as a monster, or a giant gorilla, or Medusa and paved the way for the next generation of animatronics and CGI. Without Harryhausen, audiences would never have come to expect visual effects in a blockbuster movie; arguably the Oscars wouldn’t even have films to nominate in the category without him.
Eligibility: American cinema is the only cinema
The Oscars are a celebration of American cinema, by which I mean it’s an excuse for the most famous sex objects in L.A. to all be in the same place at the same time. Foreign films rarely ever receive nominations in categories other than ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ because the Academy seems to think that the best thing about foreign films is that they’re foreign, they can bung 4 of them into one neat little category and get on with the ‘proper’ awards. More than this, for a film to be eligible for nominations, it must be shown theatrically in a theatre in L.A. for at least 7 days.[To be eligible, films must be] advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles County qualifying run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry.
Which basically means whore your actors to photo shoots, millions of interviews and pay $500,000 for an ad in Variety. Some producers cannot afford this, so they’re class-ists too.
It seems for a foreign movie to win more than one Oscar it’d have to be, oh I don’t know, a holocaust film?
Holocaust movies & racism
Believe it or not (do believe it, cos it’s true) but 2011 was the first year for nearly 50 years that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on a Holocaust related movie. Technical achievement has been, and always will be, ignored in the event of a really “eye opening” Holocaust movie. Take Charlie Kaufman, who crafted perhaps the smartest screenplay of all time Adaptation, a story that tore down the idea of a ‘story’, which ignored every lesson told in any screenwriting class and then complied by them in a stunning ‘third act’ that highlighted the immorality and cheap entertainment of the modern Hollywood blockbuster. But it was no ‘The Pianist’. Yep, The Pianist beat what any screenwriter will tell you is the smartest film of the decade. Maybe it’s just me, but the dialogue in The Pianist at times seemed a little repetitive:
Mother: 20 zloty…
That’s all we have left, 20 zolty.
What can I buy with 20 zloty?
I am sick of cooking potatoes, potatoes, potatoes.
Didn’t even name his mother. So Holocaust movies that show what the Jews experienced are always great. But the Academy seem to treat any socially relevant modern film like a dog being shown a magic trick. I can imagine voting day.
Academy Member 1: What’s up for best picture?
Academy Member 2: Well, there’s a substantive narrative on racial tensions and how they can poison the minds of the youth, regardless of colour.
Academy Member 1: *yawns* I see. Anything else?
Academy Member 2: Shakespeare in Lo-
Academy Member 1: Shakespeare.
I vote for Shakespeare.
Again and again and again, I’d vote for Shakespeare in Love a hundred times over and it definitely has nothing to do with the producers spending $2,700 per academy member at that lovely banquet they had.
Just kidding folks, American History X wasn’t even nominated. Did nobody at all notice that Shakespeare In Love was basically Romeo and Juliet, only they changed…well pretty much nothing, it was Romeo and fucking Juliet! Only this time Romeo fucked Gwyneth Paltrow and they lived happily ever cunter. I mean after. Never mind that Saving Private Ryan made every other war film ever made look like Punch and Judy.
Politics: when Michael Moore claimed Bush was a ‘falsely elected president’ in his acceptance speech (which he was), the entire fucking building started booing and he was forced to get off the stage. He even brought on his fellow nominees with him, something that no one else had ever done. Lest to say, the documentary maestro will never be nominated again. It’s enough to shake your jewellery at.
More Racism: Do The Right Thing is perhaps the most potent American film about race and is widely considered the beginning of Black Cinema outside of Africa. The same year, Driving Miss Daisy was released in which Morgan Freeman spends most of the time taking shit from an old racist white lady. Do The Right Thing was an explosion in radical energy with it’s sweltering cinematography; Driving Miss Daisy had the pace of an injured snail race. Daisy got Best Picture for promoting the message ‘rise above it black people, just take the moral higher ground. Let’s just acknowledge that there’s racism in America, but do nothing about it.’ And, after all, racism was a contemporary issue on people’s minds but it was only because Do The Right Thing was released that it was on their minds in the first fucking place! Oh, and it wasn’t even nominated.
Pixar: aren’t good enough for Best Picture
Musicals: we’ll be the judge of when you make a good one (Moulin Rouge was too soon, but Chicago was juuuust right)
Horror: are you joking? Those aren’t real movies, are they?
Documentaries: ‘We’re gonna be honest…we don’t know anything about documentaries. but it’s okay because no one else really cares.’
Nominations: Even when they get the nominations right, they get the next part wrong:
The English Patient>Fargo
Dances with Wolves>Goodfellas
Kramer vs. Kramer>Apocalypse Now
Chariots of Fire>Raiders of the Lost Ark
Forrest Gump>Pulp Fiction
A Beautiful Mind>every f*cking thing
The King’s Speech>Inception/Black Swan
So there you have it. To summarise, 99% of the greatest films ever made have zero Oscar nominations, and if any films do it’s entirely coincidental and insignificant. In no way does an Oscar represent cinematic achievement, ambition, innovation or excellence. Rather it is a statue, made out of veneer gold to counter it’s cheap significance, given to someone for making a bunch of ignorant, unappreciative Hollywood execs clap their hands like the monkeys gaping at a pile of bananas they are.
And don’t get me started on the BAFTAs.
More anti-Oscar stuff: