In many ways 2011 has had a belligerent start, with shocking events in the news leading to fear and suspicion amongst the planet’s populace. Perhaps then it’s something of a relief that, by contrast, this year’s Oscar nominees are nothing short of reliably predictable.
While that may upset some of you, the nominations for the award ceremony to be held on February 27th are an indication of the state of the film industry and lack of quality it is producing these days. The old Hollywood guard seems to continue grabbing the headlines and plaudits, pushing out bloated, big production extravaganza’s that rely heavily on eye candy with little to offer in the way of plot or dialogue; while just a layer beneath that the rest of the film industry scraps away for a leg up to the top echelon, soul contracted to Satan for all eternity.
Yes, the Oscar nominations for 2011 were delivered in the usual no-frills fashion at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills by Academy President Tom Sherak, but his announcements brought nothing in the way of shocks or surprises – except perhaps with one exception.
Christopher Nolan has been forging a reputation as a serious, intelligent film maker and his latest offering, Inception, backed up by the excellent reinvention of Batman in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as portrayed by the wooden Christian Bale (his rigidity suits the Batman role – don’t fret); adds strength to an incredibly impressive CV. His omission from Best Director is an odd call, given that film was applauded for its direction.
And onto the predictables.
While the Coen Brothers always seem to entertain, is a remake of an already classic western really worthy of an Oscar? True Grit is an all time classic, Clint Eastwood portrayed the central character flawlessly, so why remake it? Remakes cheapen the film industry and it’s a shame that the Coen Brothers have stooped so low.
The King’s Speech and The Social Network are also in line for Oscars which is fair enough I suppose, although enough people spend their lives tinkering about with Facebook, I have to ask if a film about it is really necessary.
Elsewhere it’s great to see Josh Fox’s homemade documentary Gasland up for an award. The subject matter is something which could ultimately affect us all, as big corporations plunder the countryside and water supplies in the name of extracting natural gas – a process called fracking – and this endorsement by the Academy Awards can only help to spread his good message further.
As per usual the Oscars will be broadcast in flamboyant fashion and we’ll get to see the final outcome on February 27th, hopefully they can even muster a few surprises.
Please share your thoughts on the Oscar nominations by leaving a comment.
images: collider.com, obsessedwithfilm.com