I originally did not plan to write anything about the Oscars, but I have found a trend of articles, tweets, and posts about people disappointed about what was and what wasn’t nominated, so I’m not going to comment on the specifics. I have watched quite a few movies this summer, but I’m going to be honest. Most of them were among the cavalcade of nerdy films that were released. I’m not surprised that any of the films that I saw this year were nominated for much of anything. A lot of cinephiles wouldn’t even consider most of the comic book/sci-fi movies that came out this year as Oscar worthy.
For example, Rise of the Planet of the Apes even though it’s a sequel/reboot of a well known sci-fi series was a great character story. It was not only wonderfully performed by Andy Serkis, but the film itself was very heartbreaking and touching. Why wasn’t it listed as Best Picture material? Two reasons: reboot and science fiction. Occasionally a science fiction movie will make it to the nominees (Inception and District 9 as of late), but they are original ideas. I do realize that Rise hass completely original characters (even though Caesar is mentioned in the other films) and story, but the fact it is based in a pre-existing world I’m sure many wouldn’t even think about.
Even so there were so many moments this summer where I was in the theater watching one of my nerdy movies on the edge of my seat and felt the entire theater holding their breaths collectively (there was a moment in Rise that this happened, but I don’t want to blow it for those who haven’t seen it yet). I’ve never experienced something even close to that with some of the past nominations. Usually it’s the normal heart wrenching sob moments that were most likely put in the film to become Oscar worthy.
I enjoy the Oscars. For a movie buff and a nerd it does bring to light some really good movies that I wouldn’t normally see (for me it’s most of the nominees this year). I do like the pomp and circumstance of award night. I know it’s ridiculous and doesn’t encapsulate the true cinematic greatness of the year, but it’s close. There have been too many times in the last couple years where I have strongly disagreed with the awards that are handed out. I then have to remind myself that it’s all opinion. The Oscars are prom night. There may be someone more deserving of the crown, but the theatrics that surround the night are enjoyable anyway.
This year for the awards show I have a plan. Get together with some friends, share some good food, and have a few drinks. Razz the outfits, heckle the acceptance speeches, and discuss the movies (good or bad) that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year, because that is what watching movies is really about. Entertainment.