Bringing up the Main Issue I Have with the Academy Awards While I Still Have Some Sanity and Oscar Buzz

Oscar 2017-18 Prediction:

War for the Planet of the Apes Nominations:

  • Best Picture (will lose to another independent art-house film, just like its predecessor did.)
  • Best Director: Matt Reeves (will receive a nomination for Best Director but will lose to someone else)
  • Best Actor: Andy Serkis (who should receive a Life Achievement Award and should, by this point, receive an Oscar for Best Actor, because motion capture is acting, whether the purists wish to believe this or not, Serkis’ performance is flawless, nearing the intricate nature of Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”)
  • Best Score: Michael Giacchino (the man is the new John Williams)
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Visual Effects: “Dawn” lost to “Interstellar”, respectively (2014 was a hard, game-changing year)

Oscar buzz is beginning to settle in, and personally, I find it fantastic news that Variety came out with a list of films they believed could be nominated for Best Picture, one of those was “War for the Planet of the Apes”, my favorite movie from the summer. A daring and phenomenal film that deals with humanity, honor, bravery, courage, forgiveness, and hope, above all else. Once again, Serkis shines as Caesar, the visual effects has been heralded as some of the best in years, and the music is tear jerking (especially the finale).

None of this, however, I believe, will come true. The reason is due to Hollywood and its utter disdain for three very important things that this film has:

  1. CGI heavy films winning Best Picture (what this means is films that are predominately CGI, they mostly gain the technical awards, i.e. Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, etc.)
  2. Heavy use of Motion Capture. Notice how many films have been nominated and have won Best Picture.  There is only one (1). Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
  3. It’s a franchise film. Most franchises do not do well with Best Picture, the only exception would be The Godfather series (but since they are strictly a trilogy, they cannot be considered a franchise, as you do not see much merchandise or other collateral that is not film related associated with those) and perhaps, to a sense Blade Runner and Terminator (those they excel with visual effects, even if the later has become lack-luster).

Notice the trends in what has won Best Picture in the last five years: most of them have been films that did not get a lot of marketing or attention in the public eye (only after they became known by film critics that is). It is interesting, I think, that La La Land is a more difficult movie to find than Moonlight, but La La Land made more money and had a larger audience than the most recent Best Picture winner, which is now everywhere. Now, Moonlight, a film I have not seen, is probably a phenomenal film and probably “deserved it”. While it sounds conspiratorial to suggest, the Best Picture nominee is bought. Essentially, the film with the most money given to the Academy, wins.

A problem with the Academy has been this: the Best Picture is almost never the Best Picture. While in some cases, like 2010, the Best Picture really was “The King’s Speech” (I hate “The Social Network” for no real reason other than it was shoved down my throat and heralded as “a perfect film” (the same reason why I don’t like “Pulp Fiction”)), 2016 offered a different case of issues. Again, while I have not seen the Best Picture winner, the Best Picture should have been, by popular demand, “La La Land”, but similar to the election system in the United States, that logic is flawed, I know this, perhaps it is a bias I have toward musicals.

Regardless, the main problem with the Academy at the moment is its lack of will to redefine on what a film actually is and what is considered worthy of such an arbitrary award. I am writing this to get it out before everyone else does and so that I do not have to talk about it later. The Academy has failed me too numerous times to mention because they do not see any real value in awarding good work, but simply see more in awarding work that is, much like the progressive left in the United States, politically correct.

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