The more I watch the Oscars and give into the hype each year, the more bored I become. The more predictable everything is and one day, I really hope, I’m just not going to participate in the farce at all. But we’ll see how that goes; I usually always give in to the circus of it all.
Let’s begin firstly with the obvious. Sooooo many white people. Like woah, they just kept churning them out didn’t they?! I obviously got my ‘google-on’ immediately and found this extremely interesting article that you can read here, all about how there hasn’t been such a white washed Oscars since 1998.
Now, lets get more specific and talk about the amount of white men that were taking up all the room. There’s a growing trend at the Oscars surrounding female-directed films being nominated for Best Picture, but their director being snubbed. This year that trope was given to ‘Selma’; Ava DuVernay directed this biopic detailing Martin Luther King’s visit to Selma, Alabama and it was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. So why the director snub? I found this little list here which shows how often this formula comes into play.
Right. Now that I have those annoyances out of my system, I can move onto my biggest gripe. All of the Best Picture nominees follow a particular narrative form- ‘man struggles, grows and finds himself.’ I think that pretty much sums it up in the most basic manner. Like seriously, every, single, one. Now what I mean by this narrative form is that all the films feature a male main character (almost always a white man, the only exception coming from Selma), who struggles to find himself and to deal with this personal growth that he’s battling, only to eventually overcome said obstacles and become a form of hero.
I touched on this subject slightly within my last post discussing the ‘Ant-Man’ trailer, and how it’s overdone and if I have to watch another one of those stories I might pull all of my hair out. Seriously, HOW many different men can I watch go through personal struggles? Surely we’ve exhausted every possible alternative outcome and way that this can be done.
In it’s most SIMPLE forms we have:
‘American Sniper’- man doesn’t like killing people, it fucks with his head and he has a bad time of it. ‘Birdman’- tired actor who used to be a superhero, has existential crisis, has a bad time of it. ‘The Theory of Everything’- man becomes disabled, overcomes his issues, has a bad time of it. ‘Whiplash’- man gets a tutor, tutor is mean, pupil has a bad time of it.
Okaaaay, I could go on but do you see my point? I am not at all demeaning or lessening the struggles of these men, and the things that they have been through, but just why so many men? Y’know Academy, women go through struggles too, we don’t just help the men go through all of their shit and then fade into the background once they’re all happy with themselves again. Now, a lot of people will probably argue ‘ahh but most of these films are based on real events and real people who were male, so maybe if women did more amazing stuff then they’d get cool films made about them too’. Well… no, it doesn’t work like that. Cos even when they do, they just get snub snub snubbed I’m afraid.
‘Cake’, ‘Wild’, ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Still Alice’ are all films which feature female leads. They’re all white I’m afraid but I chose them as being the most likely to have been considered by the Oscars, so I had to think like an old white man. Ew. Any/all of these films could have been nominated. Hell, there were only 8 out of 10 films nominated for Best Picture this year, they could have just added two in for the hell of it. But no, as well as non-whites, non-males also got snubbed this Oscars season and frankly it’s becoming extremely repetitive and boring.