Sunday, 26 February 2017

Rant No. 10 Oscar Nominations

Ah, the Oscars. The pinnacle of the film awards season, and the ceremony which makes the public ask ‘what are these films?’. Your favourite superhero and action films, while good in their own right, are banished to the technical categories unless particularly groundbreaking (The Lord of the Rings is a prime example), destined to be big audience pleasers, but not take home the gold at the end of the day.

And that’s fine. Really, it is, because it allows some riskier and ‘different’ films to finally have their time in the Spotlight. I don’t like to use the word ‘indie’, it makes the films seem a bit pretentious if you ask me, but they are certainly different to your mainstream affair, tackling niche subjects, which hit closer to home for some people than others.

These films, such as 12 Years A Slave and this year’s Moonlight, are difficult films to watch, but carry messages which are sorely needed in this day and age or reminders to not copy our forefather's mistakes.

That’s not to say for a film to make the cut for an Oscar it needs to be sad and dreary (but not melodramatic and sentimental, that’s an entirely different ball game), as La La Land has shown us this year. With 14 nominations (joint highest with Titanic and All About Eve), it’s a musical romantic-dramedy about life in Hollywood (see my review here) and it’s by no means sad or dreary, quite the opposite in fact. It’s entertaining, fun and doesn’t carry a particularly strong warning to generations to come (besides to follow your dreams).

Its values are very similar in fact to the Hollywood blockbusters that parade around our screens now. What sets it apart and makes it Oscar worthy (besides that it’s about Hollywood) is the carefulness put into the detail of the film. It takes its time with each shot, making sure you understand what it’s trying to say before grabbing your attention with another set piece instead of throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks. And that’s really what makes films Oscar worthy - a singular vision and message.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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