Why Does the Academy Snub My Oscar Picks?

oscars 2014

While I don’t feel completely adequate to write a full response to the Oscar Academy nominations, for reasons none other than the fact that I didn’t go to the movies enough this past year, I do feel like speaking very briefly about the snubs.

You know why? They were some of the only films I saw last year and I thought they were excellent!

I’m talking about Enough Said (come on, not even a posthumous award for James Gandolfini? Julia Louis-Dreyfus was SO good and writer/director Niclole Holofcener ROCKS.)  The Butler (Oprah wasn’t great, but the film felt important), Saving Mr. Banks (Emma Thompson deserved a nomination!), Blue Jasmine (granted, it did score nominations for both leading actresses and Original Screenplay), The Book Thief (Geoffrey Rush was excellent, as was the film and I loved the score, for which composer John Williams was nominated).

Clearly I’m doing something wrong and the Academy is trying to tell me something.

Has Hollywood had enough of Holocaust films? Honest films about women and motherhood? Gritty, realistic films about the civil rights movement (well, The Butler moved my husband and educated him about a period in American history he had little knowledge of)? Women having nervous breakdowns (or was that a clear Woody Allen snub because the Academy knows Woody Allen would never set foot on the stage to accept his award)? A film about one of the most important studio moguls to ever live (or does the Academy acknowledge that Walt Disney was a misogynist, homophobic, racist snob?)

Unfortunately, these are the types of films I go to!

What haven’t I seen? American Hustle, Nebraska, Gravity, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave - the films with the most nominations. A few of these don’t appeal to me in the slightest, most particularly Gravity and Wolf of Wall Street. I am dying to see Philomena (I think it’s no longer playing where I live) , 12 Years a Slave and Her.

There was one film that I did see On Demand and absolutely hated: Before Midnight nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Couldn’t they have given that award to a film that deserved it?  I, and several others, fell asleep during it.

People are going crazy about Tom Hanks not being nominated in the Best Actor category for his role as a captain of a hijacked ship in Captain Phillips and Jonah Hill’s nod in the Best Supporting Actor field for his work in The Wolf of Wall Street surprised many. I can’t speak to either (didn’t see either film), but Tom Hanks has won plenty and Jonah Hill? Why does the Academy like him so much?  Maybe I’ll have to see the film to understand (though I am kind of avoiding it like the plague) but he has never impressed me before.

The one film I did see more than once was Frozen, which was brilliant and I hope takes home the prize for best animated film. When I saw it for the second time, I wished I could be sitting in another cinema watching Philomena, but my daughter was determined to see it again and quite often my days are tied to what my kids want to do. However, the truth is I LOVED that film.  I found it inspirational. I can’t get the tunes out of my head.

It also boasts female director in Jennifer Lee.  Speaking of female directors, according to Women and Hollywood, there are no women-directed films in the Best Picture or Best Foreign-Language Film categories this year and only two of the nine Best Picture nominees feature female protagonists (Gravity and Philomena). We need more awards to go to women so that more women make the movies we want to see.

Am I rattling on? So the bottom line is that Hollywood is letting me know that I am seeing all the wrong films.  It’s my tough luck that I’m not interested in greed and people floating in outer space.  I’m not discounting the important films about slavery, AIDS and adoption that were nominated but I am discounting that other important films were overlooked.

How do you feel about the nominations and do you have as much as work as I have in front of you?  I need to get to the cinema.


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