Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oscars 2015: Regarding the Snubbing of Selma

Hello, Bloggers, I figured that I would not only discuss another Topic Of The Day about the Oscars, but another Topic Of The Day regarding the film Selma. Since this year's nominations received its fair share of criticism because Selma didn't get recognized across the board. So, I figured I'd share my own thoughts as to why that is.

Now, I am sure that the Academy was labeled racist because of the snubbing of Selma, but I might have another reason why it was for the most part ignored: Maybe they just didn't like the movie. Voters are like us because they seem to have their own acquired tastes and it seems there are other films they just happened to like more than Selma. I thought Selma was a great movie, but even that film doesn't crack my personal ballot. Does that make me racist? No. It just means there are other films I liked more. It's kind of like how if someone doesn't like an LGBT film, it doesn't automatically mean that person is homophobic. But because I am not a member of the Academy,  I don't have to be bullied into being politically correct by nominating Selma like how voters would have been labeled racist if they didn't give 12 Years A Slave Best Picture and some admitted they didn't even see 12 Years A Slave. I was glad that 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture but simply because I thought it was the best film in the BP lineup and not because I'd label them racist if they didn't vote for it.

There was also quite a bit of hoopla because Ava DuVernay didn't get nominated for Best Director. But I think it is only because they wanted history to be made. So, when they tried to tell voters "Nominate her because she is a black woman!" and it didn't go their way,  people then go up in arms about how the Best Director is an all-boys club. Now, Ava DuVernay getting nominated would've been a huge deal, but I don't want to see the Academy make history just to make history because if that happened regardless of the quality of the film itself, then that prevents a better directorial vision from being recognized. I am not saying DuVernay did a terrible job directing the film. I am just proving a point. So, while I would love to see that kind of history be made, I would rather see it happen if the film and direction are worthy of that kind of praise and not simply just to make history. Plus, I think the reason that Best Director is an all boys club is because a. It has always been like that and b. some of the best films directed by females were thrown under a bus, In particular, you had Jennifer Kent, who created the monster movie/character study The Babadook, and Gillian Robespierre, who created the abortion rom-com Obvious Child, which broke rom-com conventions and isn't judgmental about its subject matter.

Lastly, I think another reason that Selma didn't get recognized as much as I people hoped is this: Don't you guys think we've seen enough racism movies for once? We already had 12 Years A Slave, 42, The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The Help, Django Unchained, and Lincoln. I feel that with all these films and Selma, we are becoming constantly beaten over the head with how bad racism is. Well, DUH! But shouldn't you guys be relieved that they are recognizing the unconventional by nominating films like Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel across the board and that darker, edgy fare (which they usually shy away from) like Foxcatcher is getting some major love? Those kinds of films normally wouldn't get as much love, but I think this year, they might be showing that they have minds of their own and don't want to be pushed into recognizing something just to seem politically correct. I am honestly more disgusted with audiences than the Academy because while I may disagree with who they nominate and vote for on occasion, it is even more upsetting when we feel the need to curse at them just for having an opinion like the rest of us. This is why some people make their own personal ballots to say who they would nominate and not to right the Academy's wrongs. Just remember that old saying "Everyone's a critic."

So, I think that Selma didn't get recognized as much as people hoped mainly because of personal taste and because it is kind of a "been there, done that". I get why many are upset by the snubbing of Selma, but they can either make their own ballots and focus on what actual nominations made them happy or cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.