quite disappointed by what the academy chose for their winners. Seems a little fixed to me. Like it was Kate Winslet’s turn or something.
I would like to elaborate on this for my blog post this week. Some people agreed with what I said and others would rather me not take a stab at the very highly regarded (if not biggest, annual) ceremony in the world. I know it has probably been said before, but I am not on my own in thinking that it’s probably true. This statistic alone it enough to make me wonder: 8 out of the 9 categories that Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for, it won. Slumdog Millionaire was an awesome film, with a very unique way of telling its story, and with quite a unique story, it deserved to have some sort of recognition. But, out of the literally hundreds of films that are released each year globally, was Slumdog Millionaire the best at 8 of those categories? I seriously doubt that. Also, as a quick note here, if the Oscars are fixed, how comes they don’t share the winners out? For example Frost/Nixon in my opinion is a must see for people of my generation (and hence Oscar worthy). They weren’t around at the time that the events described in the film, and as far as historical documentaries go, this one is spot on, and almost essential for anyone interested in world politics (e.g. the recent historical American election). As it turns out Frost/Nixon didn’t win anything.
My personal favourite film of last year was The Dark Knight. Rarely are we presented with blockbuster films that have not just amazing visual affects but an amazing storyline associated with it. It was even compared to the Godfather II film, which is a widely critically acclaimed movie – think about that for a second – a super hero movie has been compared to be of a similar standard as Godfather II. That’s some feat by any film’s standard. Yet, the only academy awards that were given were the obligatory Best Supporting Actor award to Heath Ledger (which he deserved anyway) and for Sound Editing. I think it’s more the fact I was expecting a bit more for the film, and is probably biased, but there is no way that Slumdog is really better than the Dark Knight in all of those categories. Here is an article that is quite interesting and shares my thoughts.
I’ve also read similar articles online about why animated films like WALL-E are only entered into (or rather are only expected to win) one category. WALL-E was one of the best films of last year, yet it’s only ever expected to win its Best Animated Film category because it’s animated, rather than for it’s content (which seems like it’s being awarded for technical achievement). It upsets me because I believe that most PIXAR films (with the exception of Finding Nemo – sorry but that film sucks) have always got a message that is higher than most people actually pick up on. WALL-E in particular was taking a nod at a) the obesity problem of the western world, b) global warming, c) the fact that we have no real effective waste management set up anywhere on the earth. Yes, the particular events of WALL-E haven’t been realised yet, but PIXAR have projected what might happen. I like this. It’s original, it’s fresh, incredibly creative and deserves credit, but Slumdog took it all.
Moving on to Kate Winslet – well that’s a bit shallow for me to say, because I haven’t seen either Revolutionary Road or The Reader (but my parents tell me that The Reader is hardly her story – it follows a male through a life story rather than her – she seems more of a support actress), but I have seen her other performances – notably her role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where she was completely different to the likes of Titanic, in which she played another (probably Oscar-worthy) role. It really feels like the Academy have awarded her not necessarily for her outstanding performance in the roles she acted for but rather because it was her turn to win an Oscar. And that makes the whole ceremony farcical. (I tried to find a very unconvincing gushing interview from Kate speaking to BBC Breakfast News but I can’t find it).
The only winner that made me think that maybe they weren’t fixed was the fact that Sean Penn won the Oscar for best actor over Mickey Rourke for his amazing performance in The Wrestler. Unfortunately, and I hate to be pessimistic, but I think that might have been his last shot at Academy Acclamation.
It summary, I think Oscars are losing their worth just by the pure corruptness that seems not only apparent to me, but to other people too. I guess what you should take away from this is to never judge a film by it’s poster, ignore reviews until you’ve seen the film so you have chance to make up your own mind about it, and then see which news/review coroporations are taking back handers to promote films. Reviews can have a degrading affect on a films success that might otherwise be a film you might enjoy – and what’s more important? What people think of the things that you’re into, or your own self pleasure? I know what mine is.