Bob’s Rant on Oscar Selections

I waited a couple of days to cool down.  Not because I wasn’t nominated but because I still can’t figure out the formula the Academy of Arts and Science uses to nominate films and performers in each category.

They are allowed to nominate ten features for BEST PICTURE.  This year’s nominees include; “Call me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,”  “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”  Notice anything? There are only nine nominees.  You couldn’t find a tenth?  Seriously?  Are we judging films by their artistic content or is this politics?  What possible reason could you give for not adding a tenth film?  It couldn’t be you didn’t want the award show to run long, it already does that every year?  Could it be that “The Greatest Showman” portrayed a racist in a positive light?  I could make an argument for at least two nominated films to not be included and an argument for at least five to be at least included as the tenth best picture.  Someone told me, “Maybe there were several tied for tenth.”  THEN PICK ONE!!!  You’re allowed ten!  “I, Tonya” received nominations for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney. Not tenth place?  How about “Molly’s Game.”  Wonderful script (yes, nominated), well performed and Aaron Sorkin’s directing debut fell on blind eyes and ears.

“Roman J. Israel, ESQ,” is another film.  Another great performance by Denzel Washington in what isn’t the tenth Best Feature by this year’s Academy standards.  Let’s not forget, “All the Money in the World.”  They had to fire Kevin Spacey and re-shoot with Christopher Plummer (who was nominated).  Making a film twice should at least wind up in tenth place.  Don’t you think?  I don’t even want to get into the omission of “Wonder Wheel.”  Rehashed drama from thirty years ago should have no effect on the performance by Kate Winslet.  Woody Allen’s writing was top notch and the camera work as good, if not better, than at least two of the current nominees.

Another beef.  Nominated films should have been able to be seen by the general public in more than one theater in Los Angeles and New York.  Growing up watching the Oscars I rooted for the movie stars and films that I, as general Q. public, were able to go to the theaters and see.  Who actually got to see Daniel Day Lewis’ performance in “Phantom Thread”?  Cast and crew screenings shouldn’t count.  I still haven’t had a chance to see “The Florida Project” AND I LIVE IN FLORIDA! If the producer’s or distributors can’t open in eight to ten major cities in the U.S. give them an Independent Film Award nomination and move on.

We used to have Oscar Parties to watch and guess the winners.  We’ve all done it rooting for your favorite film of the year and favorite performance.  But over the past ten to fifteen years what used to be called Oscar Buzz has died down because the top Oscar Nominees have already won a dozen awards making the Oscars a ho hum, after thought.  How can we guess who wins the Oscars if we haven’t been able to see the movies?  Guessing is based on previous results at other award shows and not from going to the movies.

In a few weeks I will rant about who I believe should win the Oscar’s in the major categories.  In the meantime, I will see where some of these nominees are hiding.

See you at the movies.

Bob

Bob Cook
Film Director