We’re less than 48 hours away from the Academy Awards, and our votes were due about 36 hours ago. So the worker bees at Price Waterhouse are clearly tallying away our votes.
This year proves to be a very unusual one. There truly is no very clear frontrunner in the best picture category. The other high profile awards that have been handed out in recent months – whether it be from the PGA (producers guild), WGA (writers guild), DGA (directors guild), SAG (screen actors guild), and the key film critics associations – have been all over the map. They were mostly split among four movies – THE REVENANT, THE BIG SHORT, THE MARTIAN, and SPOTLIGHT.
What’s striking to me is that the kinds of films nominated too are extremely diverse. It’s difficult to even consider them in the same category. On the one hand, you have two movies that are extremely intimate and nuanced – the two-character drama shot largely in one room, ROOM, and an intimate, delicate story about an Irish girl’s awakening in America, BROOKLYN. On the other, you have a wild, futuristic journey through the desert in MAD MAX, and a savage period piece about survival in the THE REVENANT.
(This schizophrenia seems to reflect a general mood that has prevailed in this country. Just look at our Presidential nominees. It’s as if we are two completely separate countries. But that’s another story for antoher day.)
I of course won’t say what I voted for in any category – and I do get to vote in every one – but I am sure my votes will not exactly coincide with the actual winners. I vote completely according to my true beliefs, and I don’t vote at all if I haven’t seen all the films in each category.
I am also not your typical Academy member. First of all, I’m female. Secondly I’m Asian. Women occupy 23% of the membership. And Asians occupy only 2%. So Asian women must be all of %. I know one other Asian woman , the elderly actress Lisa Lu who played a mom in our JOY LUCK CLUB. Recently, due to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, they recruited another actress named Jodi Long. I literally cannot name a single other Asian woman in the Academy.
The #OscarsSoWhite campaign has placed the Academy under siege since the nominations came out. Not a day goes by when it’s not in the news. The response from the Academy has been shockingly swift (some say too swift): the rules are now that any voting member must have been active in the business some time in the past ten years. Some say this is ageism.
I could argue both sides, but I hate to argue.
What do you all think? Did they do the right thing?
And how long will it take before a Chinese film gets nominated? All I can say is that the choice of film has got to be the right one! I wish someone would ask me before putting up totally inappropriate titles.