Tuesday, January 24, 2017
AAAAAAAND, WE'RE BACK!
Welcome back for another year of exciting Oscars nominees! Aside from the fact that I have already seen the majority of the nominated films this year, I'm overall very pleased with the cream that rose to the top. A whopping 63 movies garnered nominations in all of the categories, which is the largest number since I began the blog, and this year, only 33 days to squeeze all of the reviews into my daily posts! This means that there will be a handful of categories that will have to be reviewed all in one post, so that I don't drive you (or myself) crazy.
At the same time, the Best Picture nominees are interesting because of the 9 nominated, six of them have received nominations in 6 or more categories. So if you see just the 9 best picture nominees, you'll be seeing a large portion of the nominations in many of the categories. For those of you with limited time, that's good news. For me, having already seen all of the nominees in the majority of the categories, it makes my next 33 days a little bit easier. In fact, this year marks my lowest "unseen on the day of announcements" number yet - I have not seen the documentaries or any of the three short subject categories (that happens every year, and short subjects I knock out in a couple of visits to the theatres showing them), and beyond that, I have not seen 4 films. So my early predictions of what might be nominated were pretty spot on.
I feel obligated to comment on the #OscarsSoWhite question, with more people of color having been nominated this year. One could argue that the added diversity of the Oscars voting membership is responsible for the increase. I maintain that the Oscars is not the place where the controversy is appropriately placed. The question at hand is, are diverse stories being told through film? Acting categories only represent 4 of the 24 categories. Barry Jenkins has become the first African American to be nominated for Best Picture (as a producer), Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. That's a breakthrough. The Adapted Screenplay category has nominated 4 of 5 films with people of color as their leads. That's a breakthrough. We must think beyond the acting category when we question whose stories are being told, and who is being hired to tell them.
One final note: This year, I'll be trying something new and I hope you'll join me. In addition to the daily blog (don't forget to subscribe, share on social media, and comment!), I'm going to try a podcast in which I invite people who have seen all of the nominees in various categories to join me in conversation about the 3-5 films up for consideration. When I have the first one finished, I'll post. Please let me know what you think!
See you tomorrow, when we begin with the first of the Best Picture nominees, Arrival!