– By Stephen Harper
Well it’s that time of year again, folks. When the luvvies of Hollywood rub shoulders, smile from ear to ear and praise each other’s work, when secretly they probably don’t care one tiny bit, as winning is all that counts and there’s no prize for second place!
Yes, it’s Oscars season, and even though the nominations have only just been announced, it’s not rocket science to predict that La La Land is going to walk away with almost every gold statue. Forgive me for being cynical, but it’s basically a foregone conclusion, isn’t it?
Now it’s not that I don’t believe it doesn’t deserve the accolade – the film is a wonderful achievement. The cinematography is phenomenal and I’m a huge fan of Gosling and Stone as well, but is it truly the best of the best? I believe the secret ingredient it has going for it above all the other contenders is it’s about the industry, and there’s nothing the Academy love more. In recent years we’ve seen Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman win numerous awards at the Oscars because it wasn’t just a terrific movie, but it was about the industry as well.
I’ve spoken in the past of my frustration at no horror movie competing for the big prizes at awards ceremonies, mainly because no horror movie has been good enough in a long time and because the Academy wouldn’t allow it. Could you imagine? They mixed things up a tad last year with the inclusion of Mad Max: Fury Road. It did shock me a bit with its nomination. Whether I thought it was a good movie or not is irrelevant, it’s that the Academy either believed it was really one of the best movies of 2016 or it was trying to send out a statement regarding their conservative ways?
This brings me to this year, and the nomination of Arrival and its director Denis Villeneuve. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s basically the Sci-Fi film Christopher Nolan wish he’d made. This is a movie that is so technically brilliant in every way, with a leading performance from Amy Adams and if she doesn’t claim top honours it is a total injustice. This isn’t me having a Kanye West rant and storming the stage and saying the eventual winner doesn’t deserve it if she does miss out, but seriously, c’mon!?
Villeneuve is quickly becoming one of the most innovative, creative and daring directors of our time, with a body of work that is already brilliant. Arrival only cements his brilliance. Everything he has ever produced so far, everything he has ever learned and studied comes to fruition with Arrival, it’s that good. The question is – do I believe it’ll miss out on the really top honours to La La Land?….damn right I do.
Growing up I’ve always loved the Oscars, to a degree I still do. I love a true celebration of film as I’m a true lover of film, but every year I’m growing more and more frustrated. When you can almost predict who’s going to win because you know how the judges vote, well then the fizz is wearing extremely thin.
On the flip side I could be wrong about all of this, meaning this whole article has been a total waste of time… I’ve got a sneaky feeling I won’t be though!