Stevee at Cinematic Paradox has started a blogathon on films that are being overlooked this awards season, or films that won't be nominated for Oscars they deserve. The subject, in her own words, is: "Making a Case for Movies that Probably Won't Get Any Awards Recognition this year". So, let's jump in.
Best Picture Oscar nomination:
In a polarizing year for movies, the new film from the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer is a prime example of a movie with divided response. Critics have praised, ridiculed, and excused it, but the hate has been far more popular than the love. For instance, this film was recently named the worst film of 2012 by Time magazine. And that's fair enough.
For me, it's a sprawling epic filled with solid performances, ingenious use of multiple genres, technical brilliance, and a score that still gives me chills. It could be a film in which anyone can find something to embrace, but it's been presented by some critics as a film that no one should even see. For cryin' out loud, shouldn't the film be given a chance?
Granted, this is a very ambitious film. It's nearly three hours long, features six intercut storylines, and, thus, has continuous shifts in genre and tone. In addition, the main actors play several roles of different races. While it might sound like a challenging film, it's really just a lengthy one that asks only the courage of the audience to follow along. Though, most people don't want to sit through a three-hour film that isn't The Lord of the Rings.
In addition, the film isn't without its controversy. Some find the film's depiction of race offensive. Specifically, the portrayal of Asian characters by Caucasian actors. In the context of the narrative, this decision is completely justified, as many of the actors must play multiple roles to establish the characters' connection across time and space. Not everyone feels this way though.
Let's face it: this film is probably not winning any Oscars. At best, it's a contender for nominations in Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Visual Effects. But where is Best Picture? Sadly, nowhere.
And where were audiences? Again, nowhere. When its theatrical run concludes, it could very well be under $100 million grossed worldwide. In this case, that's a flop! Mismarketing, a bloated running time, the material itself, or the potentially fading stars of its cast could have factored into its failure at the box office, but why should that knock it out of Oscar contention?
Oscar has recognized ambitious and controversial films before, and I suspect they will in the future. This is the group that stood behind controversial (at the time) films like Citizen Kane, Midnight Cowboy, and A Clockwork Orange. Meanwhile, ambitious projects such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and even last year's The Tree of Life have been nominated at the very least.
So I ask: Why can't the Academy honor the Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer's ambitious, controversial film this year?
|"Our film isn't on the nominees list, dear boy."|