Snubbed? Predictable? Surprising? All of the above.
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Much like the dreaded walk of shame after a stupendous night of drinking, I look warily at my pile of 2012 movie tickets scattered around my desk, knowing full well that I paid for movies like Battleship, The Raven, Cloud Atlas (deal with it), and Cosmopolis (x2 for my poor sister). But while they were crummy movies, that didn’t make my year any worse—every walk of shame walked is a badge earned. What makes me feel like I threw the year (and my money) away is when you experience a film that creates a feeling of awe that envelops you, to the point where you feel like you’ve just witnessed something that changes how you feel about a subject or how you think about life even… and then find out that a couple of suits also experienced those films, didn’t think much of them, and then tossed them aside like a crusty sock. That’s what gets me down.
Getting to the point of all this, I’m not so much surprised with this year’s list of nominees as I am somewhat disappointed. I’m happy to say that I do feel each of the films in their respective categories earned those nominations (except for some Best Foreign Language entries, but I’ll get to those in a bit). There’s a well-balanced feeling of anticipation when one really is left wondering who will win, because unlike most years, many of this year’s nominations honestly contain a lot of subjects that can be considered fair game.
With that, let’s move onto arguably the most devastating snubs. Starting off basic, there was still a spot left in the Best Picture category, and yet The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Avengers all sat on the sidelines… I have enough rants to get out, so I won’t even start on those, but the fact is still absolute bull. Now, I hate saying this, but Argo is a film I remember feeling mesmerized by while watching, but in the end didn’t really remember much of. Perhaps that’s what was going through the Academy’s minds when Ben Affleck got snubbed for a Best Director nom—it’s a fantastic movie, and I am shocked, but there are only so many spots for the award… what can you do? I suppose the same can be said for Looper getting left out of Best Original Screenplay, which I’m honestly more upset by, but looking at the list, once again I have a difficult time looking for something to take and make room for what is now doomed to be a very underrated sci-fi drama.
I hated Cloud Atlas probably for the same reasons a lot of people hate Tree of Life, which I actually enjoyed (not loved, but enjoyed). I felt like I wasted my time; I didn’t learn anything, I certainly didn’t feel anything, and the scope of its ideas were just too big for what the movie was trying to accomplish. All of that said, at the very least, it’s a fairly beautiful-looking movie (even if half of the makeup jobs were horrific), and there’s a reason the Best Original Song and Score categories exist.
Moving on to what will probably be less-heard snub choices, these are the ones that really broke my heart. Best Actor for Jack Black in Bernie—he became Bernie Tiede, a role that he was born to play in that delightfully morbid sleeper of an indie darling. Then there is the lack of Best Foreign Language spots for the insane trip that is Holy Motors and the absolutely heart-wrenching Rust and Bone—and on that note, nothing for Marion Cotillard in the Best Actress category for what was clearly a physically exhausting role.
The spots for Foreign Language are even more infuriating though because films like Chile’s No and Canada’s War Witch are taking up spots. Both films cover extremely important political topics in their respective countries… save for War Witch, which takes place in Africa (go Canada?). But while War Witch wasn’t by any means bad, it is a bit forgettable—if you’ve seen the movie, I’m a terrible person in saying that, but the fact remains that my life is completely unaffected from having seen it. Then we have No, one of the most overrated films I sat through this year. Look, I’m Chilean, I know what’s what, and I know the film managed to humourously cover what at the time was a tough struggle for Chile to pull through—that said, it’s a crap film. It’s found footage pretending to be something more by giving us a completely flat, dull, pointless lead with bullshit problems—there’s making a docu-drama, and there’s not deciding (nor caring about) what the hell kind of movie you want to make.
Now that I’ve gotten all of that out of my system, take some time to check out these films and the nominees if you haven’t already. At the end of the day, all of this is opinion—they’re opinions of mine that aren’t going to change, but that doesn’t have to make them your opinions. Get mad or get stoked, because regardless the Oscars will still be occurring on Sunday, February 24.