Friday, 24 February 2012

Are the Oscars® Over Before They've Even Started?

Speculation has begun over which film will take Best Picture at this Sunday's Oscar® ceremony. Here are the nominees:

The Artist
War Horse
Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Extremely Loud
The Descendants

Many people believe that The Artist is the clear frontrunner to win and while it may not be everyone's film of 2011, it's certainly the best film out of that list. What other film has managed to charm both critics and audiences alike? None. All of the films on this year's Best Picture list are adequate - apart from War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - both of which I have heard are horrendous and have no desire to see. They're all perfectly good, watcheable films - if you like that sort of thing. But not one of them blew my socks off. The Artist did.

Yet, having won so many awards already, it seems too easy to give The Artist Best Picture. Because let's face it - people love an underdog. And for a while, The Artist was. It was a little known film with a cast people hadn't seen before, a director whose name people couldn't pronounce and it was all in black and white! In an era of spectacle at the cinema, few would have thought it would do well. Then Harvey Weinstein got his hands on it and BOOM! The Artist became a global sensation.

But if it is time for The Artist to step down as king, who could take its place and grab the gong? Drive? We Need to Talk About Kevin? No - they didn't even make the shortlist. Arguably because of their controversial subject matter but maybe the powers that be just didn't like them.

At the 2011 Academy Awards, the list was a great one. It had a mix of genres, of styles and tastes. And each one offered something great.The films from last year were: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter's Bone. There's something for everyone in that list! There were front runners of course but any one of those films could have taken the crown. This year, it feels more like choosing the best of a bad bunch.

Will the American's love of baseball mean Moneyball takes it? Or perhaps their adoration for Martin Scorsese will persuade them to award Hugo with Best Picture. The cast did a brilliant job in The Help but will it win Best Picture? Unlikely.

Most of the major awards seem to be so unbearably predictable it almost seems unnecessary to have a ceremony at all. It might just be easier to give The Artist and Meryl Streep their awards by post and throw everyone a big party where they can speak for longer than 40 seconds and sob into a glass of wine, not a mini statue. It will most probably offer up something a little more controversial...

Will I still be checking out the highlights when I wake up on Monday morning? Of course I will. I can't wait to see what Billy Crystal has in store and what the ladies behind Bridesmaids make of their chance to present. I just wish the awards themselves got me as excited.

So who do you want to win Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Award Ceremony? Let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I find myself agreeing with everything you say. But I guess that's not so unusual? Anyway I think The Artist should get best picture. It had a good story. It had good performances and a great one from Jean Dujardin. It made me laugh and cry and not least it had Uggie! As to best actress, in my opinion, it should go to Tilda Swinton. Her performance in Kevin was a tour de force.