Oscar season is upon us, with the official list of nominees having just been released and the 86th annual awards show airing on March 2.
I stopped watching the Academy Awards ceremony a few years ago, when my love for movies finally failed to outweigh my loathing for the politics of movies.
Still, it is always interesting to see the list of nominees, to see if one’s predictions are correct.
The only movie I bothered predicting would be nominated for the Best Picture award was 12 Years a Slave (and it has been). I predicted this just by reading the synopsis before the movie came out, before I even watched the trailer.
Steve Sailer has his own witty take on the film: “’12 Years a Slave’ is hailed by critics as a long-awaited breakthrough that finally dares to mention the subject of slavery after decades of the entertainment industry being controlled by the South.” That’s certainly how Hollywood sees it.
A drama about slavery? About a black man wronged by whites? Oscar gold. (Of course the movie won’t show any of the white slaves that were mentioned in the book upon which it is based.)
Granted, the movie may very well be a good one–I’ll never know because I’m not going to contribute to its financial success by watching it–but whether it was good or not doesn’t matter; it would have been nominated regardless.
It doesn’t matter that the main character of the story, Solomon Northrup, was likely a con-man whose scam backfired and got him sold back into slavery in the first place; in Hollywood’s eyes, he was a chocolate cherub.
Although I will not be watching the ceremony, I desperately hope 12 Years a Slave wins the Best Picture award. The last thing I want to hear is black people whining that the movie didn’t win because the Academy be racis’, because Amurrica be racis’, because errthang be racis’.
We already got a small taste of that nasty game when Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, who self-importantly played Patsy, a young slave in the movie, failed to win the Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress. She was nominated, but Julia Roberts took home the prize instead (for her role in August: Osage County, and not for the little-known work she did in 12 Years, in which she did voice-over for the horses who refused to neigh on cue).
It was declared racist that white woman Roberts beat black woman Nyong’o. Roberts is old and white; Nyong’o is young and black, and her role was important! Listen to Nyong’o tell it herself. She talks about how she had to sleep on her stomach because of the whippings-scars makeup on her back:
I had trouble sleeping the whole time I was doing [the movie], but that night I got even less sleep. But it occurred to me while I was weeping–
–in the night that my discomfort was temporary and Patsy’s wasn’t and it still makes me cry. I had been given this privilege to bring her back to life and it just quieted my soul and prepared me for the next day’s work.
Gag. Just skip the ceremony and give the movie the award already so we don’t have to hear any more of this crap, at least until the next slavery movie comes out.