Sunday, 25 January 2015

oscars 2015

Awards season is always a total buzz for me, and I always intend to watch as many of the nominated films as possible before the trophies are handed out. However, it looks like I might be boycotting some of this year's Oscar nominees - currently being nicknamed 'The White Oscars', and for good reason. I thought I was hallucinating when I realised the entirety of the finalists - Leading and Supporting - were all white. David Oyelowo's inspiring performance of Martin Luther King in Selma, released at such a poignant time with the riots in America, was somehow overlooked for Leading Actor.
And what does it say about society that Oyelowo was ignored, and American Sniper picked up multiple nominations including best actor for Bradley Cooper, a film that is arguably enforcing the perpetual villainising of Islam? I thought blatant racial bias could be contained to mainstream media, but Clint Eastwood has aided in its trickling through into the highest critically acclaimed films of the year. Jimmy Fallon puts it perfectly: 'An Oscar nominee is like a snowflake: each one is different, and they’re all white.' We need to stop kidding ourselves about diversity in film. Last year was a refreshing change thanks to films like 12 Years A Slave, but it really looks like we've regressed.

Along with American Sniper, also up for Best Picture are The Imitation Game and The Theory Of Everything, proving that the Academy is mad for true story dramas - as long as they're about misunderstood white men. Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne are both at loggerheads to claim the title of Sensitive British Genius with their respective performances of Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking. As proud as I am of Eddie for his constantly rising credibility as an actor after Les Mis, I can't help feeling that the Oscars are too focused on their beloved realism, resulting in some incredible films have been left out, such as the tense and dramatic Interstellar. And it goes without saying how disappointed I am that none of the female led movies are up for best picture. Reese Witherspoon has proved her worth as an independent and capable actress in Wild; likewise the phenomenal Julianne Moore promises to move and inspire the audience, starring in Still Alice. I'm upset but unsurprised at these snubs for Best Picture.

Moore has already picked up a Golden Globe for her performance as Alice Howland

And I can't end this without saying how outraged I am that Billy Boyd's The Last Goodbye wasn't included for Best Original Song. I cried all the way through the credits because of how beautiful it was, such a wonderful send off to the Hobbit trilogy and to the Lord of the Rings franchise in general. They've picked up a nomination for Sound, but as with the other categories, I've been left feeling bit empty.

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