The staggering variety of films nominated for the Oscars this year cannot take away from the fact that a lot of the content seen to be Oscar-worthy is plainly a concession to tokenism. Otherwise why would the all-Black comicbook spectacle Black Panther be nominated for Best Picture? It’s like nominating Simmba for a Filmfare’s Best Picture just to pepper the list with populism.
The ‘Black’ element recurs in the other Best Picture nomination , BlackKklansman. A grossly overrated racist drama, and I do mean racist. The film’s selfrighteous tone of black-power aggression makes all the White characters look nerdy, moronic and downright uneducated. It’s of course wonderful to see racism being inverted on its head. But the daringflipflop doesn’t make this an outstanding film and certainly not Oscar-worthy.
The Oscar nod for the wonderful Viggo Mortensen as a racist White chauffeur to a Black snob in Green Book is richly deserved . It must have come as a huge relief for the actor who was threatened with boycotted for using the “N” word for the Black African at a promotional event for the film.
The call for Mortensen’s boycott was simply ludicrous. Both Green Book and BlackkKlansman are set during a time when Black Africans were referred openly to by the ‘N’ word. When Mortensen drew attention to that culture of racism by using the same word he was held guilty of racism.
Cinema referring to class-gender-race differences rule the Oscar nominations. Netflix’s Roma about a Mexican house-helps slender yet strong relationship with her employees, gets an Oscar nod for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. This is again an exaggeratedly effusive response to a politically correct cinema showing the househelp as the pillar of strength and sustenance.
Yalitza Aparacio who plays the lead in Roma gets an Oscar nomination… for what reason, I can’t say. Being natural before the camera comes from her complete ignorance about the craft of acting. Besides that there is little to suggest greatness in her performance. Even Glenn Close, another Best Actress nominee, comes across as limp and inadequate in The Wifewhere she plays the neglected shortchanged wife of a Nobel winning author whose books she ghost writes.
Obliterating Bradley Cooper’s name from the Best Director’s nominations is simply unforgivable. In his maiden attempt at direction in A Star Is Born Cooper brought a kind of unhurried grace to the love that grows between an alcoholic selfdestructive singing superstar and his protégée. Does this snub mean remakes are not considered artistic enough whilecomicbook spinoffs are?
The Oscar nominations hold no real surprises. If we look at the Best Picture nominations they scream for our attention with their political correctness: three films about black heroes, one film about an alcoholic musician, a bio-pic about a gay rock musician(and really, Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody made the otherwise mediocre flawed bio-pic, the Sanju from Hollywood, tolerable), and a semi-fictional account of a housekeeper keeping the family together.
Where are films about normal people in normal situations in this list? Is crisis the only criteria for Oscar worthiness?