2015 Academy Award Picks

2015 Academy Award Picks

“And the Oscar goes to…” Roughly 40 million viewers will tune in this coming Sunday evening to hear those words and, more importantly, the name or title that follows. In terms of viewers, The Academy Awards may not be the Super Bowl, but they are the crowning jewel of popular media, drawing twice as many viewers as the Golden Globes or the Grammys and nearly three times as many viewers as the Emmys. Many of those viewers will already have their ballots filled out in hopes of winning a friendly wager, or simply bragging rights, among friends or co-workers. I am one of those viewers. So, here I present my thoughts and predictions for this year’s Oscars. Read more

“And the Oscar doesn’t go to…”: Academy Award Controversy

“And the Oscar doesn’t go to…”: Academy Award Controversy

Every Oscar year has controversy and one of this year’s centers around Selma. The film focuses on a major event in the Civil Rights movement, the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights. The film received only two nominations, one for Best Original Song for “Glory” by John Legend and Common and…one for Best Picture. Had the film only been nominated for best song, there may actually have been no controversy. But it was nominated for Best Picture with no nod to its director, Ava DuVernay, its screenplay, co-written by DuVernay and Paul Webb, or any of its performances, particularly the lead performance by David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. Is this really the same actor who played the snooty, money grubbing, corporate jerk in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and the “can we trust him” detective in Jack Reacher (2012)? Read more

Why I Watch the Academy Awards

Why I Watch the Academy Awards

With the Academy Awards/Oscars just one week away, I am beginning my yearly ritual of asking myself why I actually watch them year after year. This is the time of year when many critics and bloggers dedicate a post to why they don’t watch and go into detail about why. The reason most often given is that the films that have been nominated are not actually the “best” films and performances of the year. When this criticism is launched, the critic generally discusses the various films, usually foreign and/or low-budget and/or independent and/or arty, that should have been nominated instead. The problem with these posts is that very few, if any, of these supposed better films have been seen by a wide enough audience. They show at festivals that not everyone can attend or only in “select cities.” Another problem is that the critics that compile these alternate lists rarely agree. Read more