@Copacetic:Agreed. The film industry occupies a peculiar place in our
culture, at the nexus of art, commerce, celebrity, politics, and gossip. The
Academy Awards are nominally about artistic excellence, but the general public
seems more concerned about the lowest-common-denominator product than artistic
merit and must be accommodated. Business and money trumps art. Why else do the
newspapers every Monday publish the previous weekend's box office take and
not critical reviews? Why has the majority of the population not seen any of
the Best Picture nominees (preferring superheroes and fluffy rom coms)? The
political Right derides Hollywood as a liberal cesspool, but the major
studios' business model is decidedly conservative and uncreative, spinning
endless sequels (though we were thankfully spared the first 56 installments of
the Passenger franchise, getting only Passenger 57). In such a context,
politics is inevitably going to be a factor in awards, for better or worse (e.g.
Cate Blanchett was far enough removed from Woody Allen's child abuse
allegations to win, but Blue Jasmine could never have won best film, director,
or screenplay even though it might have deserved them on the merits).
@ Lagomorph:Politics is fine for movie subjects. But should be
avoided as a determinant in making movie awards. Excellence, not politics should
be the main consideration at that point.
Copacetic: "Hollywood should leave politics to the people in Washington DC
and get back to doing what they do best... making movies with artistry and
technology advances within the industry."Then I assume you
won't be seeing "Persecuted" when it comes out (and didn't see
"Expelled" or "Atlas Shrugged" or either "Red Dawn").
Actually, politics and good storytelling are not mutually exclusive. We
certainly make grand sport of electoral politics and, well, Shakespeare did okay
with Julius Caesar and the kings (Richard, John, Lear, etc.). Film is just
another medium for telling stories.Now, let's nitpick the
choices..."12 Years" was definitely worthy, although I was
fond of "Nebraska" (and loved the score, which was not nominated)."Helium" was a sweet and tender and heartwarming story, but
"Aquel No Era Yo" told a more gripping story and was heartwarming in its
own way. (Catch 'em both at the Tower)"Her" was a
clever idea stretched to feature length, but the screenplay wasn't up to
the competition.And remember, "de gustibus non disputandum"
(or, roughly, there's no arguing taste).
Gravity is a much better and more entertaining film on multiple levels. As the
article points out, Hollywood is back to being political activists by trying to
"atone" for previously not giving what they consider to be enough
"attention to the subject of slavery". Then they elevate the subject
even more by absurdly proclaiming the 12 million illegal immigrants in our
country are slaves. By all means, let's let's let the race
card determine which films are the best. (Sarcasm)Hollywood should
leave politics to the people in Washington DC and get back to doing what they do
best... making movies with artistry and technology advances within the industry.
Entertainment value is (or at least should be) Hollywoods biggest concern.
Liberal federal court judges have already taken up the torch for recent
political activism in their stead. It's ridiculous that some in
our society have to use every conceivable platform they can find to promote
their political agendas.
Does this increase racism or reduce it?
It had to be 12 Years a Slave. It is a powerful film, but I don't know if
I could see it again. It's pretty hard to watch. Still, I would recommend
that everyone see it. It's a very important story for all of us to know.