Monday, January 25, 2016

Let's appreciate movies that are nominated

I recently read a column regarding Oscar films and why are they always movies that no one has heard of or movies that succeed at the box office. All I wanted to do when reading the column was punch the person who wrote it. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not always in favor of what movies the Academy nominates, but I will always appreciate the attention I hope it brings to films that are crafted with incredible detail and skill.

Now, would you ever see a movie called "Room" about a girl who gets kidnapped and has a boy living in one room for most of his life? Probably not. Or, if you aren't a movie snob, you might have never even heard of it. Without the attention and creed of the Oscars, how are movies of that stature going to get made? I think the importance of the Oscars is more important as we continue in an age where the box office decides if you have a successful film.

Now, do I base if I'm going to see a movie because it was nominated? Yes, maybe. But that's just how I operate. I love the film industry in my naive way of never having worked in it and unaware of how complicated and competitive it is; so for me I love trying to see all the movies nominated for best picture. Would I have seen "Hurt Locker" if it hadn't been nominated? Nope. I hated it, but I am glad I saw it. I'm glad I was exposed to a movie that told a story on a specific topic I had no knowledge of prior to seeing the movie. 

I'm also not an idiot, and realize that people wish "Star Wars" or "Straight Outta Compton" or any superhero movie made should get more nominations. And I always argue the merit of each film. Granted, it is difficult for someone who has not studied film or have much knowledge of what a quality film means for them not to realize they've seen something masterful. Heck, I don't even know all the time if I've seen something considered a work of art. I'm not going to pretend I understand all the things that go into it (art design, art production, costumes, makeup, editing).

What I will argue is that the Academy is already, albeit slowly, taking in consideration films that are not just released in November/December but summer blockbusters. Look at "Mad Max." That's a very exciting, action-packed movie that I do believe should have gotten nominated. I also think nominating something like "Brooklyn," which does have a simple plot, but is so enriched with character development and in the journey that I'm glad the Academy drew my attention to it. If it didn't, who knows if I would have seen it (and loved it.)

Let's embrace the quiet films and the loud ones. Let's also remember that movies are supposed to help us escape and explore and learn and if a movie helps us do one of those things then how can you say it was a bad movie? "Sisters" was goofy, crazy and nuts and I loved every second of it. Should it have been nominated because I liked it better than I liked something that did get nominated? Of course not. I just want to thank the Oscars for bringing attention to movies that would otherwise not have as much noise as others.

And if you haven't done it yet, "Spotlight," "Brooklyn," and "The Big Short" have been some of my favorite movies of the year. I have three left to go on the best picture list ("The Revenant," "Room," and "Bridge of Spies.") and I look forward to accomplishing seeing all of them. But also see movies like "Carol" or "Anomalisa" because we are lucky to have an organization that brings to light these movies that are powerfully loud and quiet movies.

Until next time, live long and prosper. (And remember go to the movies, and not just to see "Star Wars" for the fifth time.)

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