The nominees for best picture are:
The Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budhapest Hotel
Allow me to some up all these movies for you in one simple log line: Men go out and do some hard stuff. That is literally the plot of each one of these movies. Maybe not so much Boyhood because, frankly, that film had absolutely no plot whatsoever.
So, to reiterate, the best movies that Hollywood could offer up this year all revolve around the lives, actions, and experiences of mostly white men. The women in all of these movies function more as props than they do characters. They play the love interests, the stand-by-my-man girls, the daughters, the wives, the manic pixie dream girls, the women that get to stand beside genius but have no genius of their own.
How many years do I have to sit through this misogynist crap? Where are my movies that have female characters that are equal, if not greater than, the sum of their male counterparts? Do I just have to keep watching G.I. Jane for the rest of my life? I don’t even like military movies!
Speaking of military movies, let’s talk about the possibility of American Sniper winning over my number one draft pick, Selma; two movies that have brought about very powerful reactions for their portrayals of historic events. The truth of it is, these movies are both unprecedented in the way that they are made. On the one hand you have an unapologetic and mildly racist view of the Iraq war that shows a more high-stakes emotional version of what some soldiers endure. On the other hand you have an unforgiving portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not just as an icon but as a man. Both films are helmed by excellent directors and both films are aesthetically pleasing in their cinematography style. So who wins?
Interesting that American Sniper and Selma were released on the same day, Selma got better ratings, but made 20% of what American Sniper did I don’t know. What I do know is that American Sniper winning an Oscar is going to validate the idea that Americans praise violence. There’s no way around that sentiment. To give this film an Oscar is to say that there will be more films like it down the line and that more people will give more money to watch white men hunt and kill people of color. If any of the other movies actually win, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Unless it’s Grand Budapest Hotel, I’m not a fan.