28 Feb 2016

Oscars 2016: On Great Films & #OSCARSSOWHITE

Chris Rock has the tricky task of hosting Oscars 2016 even as "all white Oscars" debate rages on
Ahoy, we Indians crazy about Oscars too! We who go awe at all things Hollywood, smirk and mock all Indian film attempts at aping Hollywood budgets and scale, even if it is a good attempt. We so excited about it, we even called Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008) our very own. Our enthusiasm justified in deserving statues awarded to AR Rahman, Gulzar and Resul Pookutty. Not justified in many other ways, but hey, it was about the joy, not righteousness.

Great Films, Now a Rare Phenomena
Only, as a passionate movie-goer I must say, the sheen has gone off the Academy Awards for over a decade now. Why so? For, beyond the glamour, glitz, hosts and attempts at humour, it was the quality of the films nominated that kept us die-hard movie goers at it. Just check out the 1995 Best Picture Oscar nominations: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Shawshank Redemption and Quiz Show. I don't know of the last mention, but the first four nominations are movies still worth watching, 20 years on, irrespective of whether they won an Oscar or not! Now, can you say that about the 2016 Best Picture Oscar Nominations, or of those from the past one decade?

A class picture of the 2016 Oscars Nominees

On #OSCARSSOWHITE
Controversy is the most ambiguous of the English language words. It certainly doesn't stand for clarity and conclusion, instead it is about never-ending noise and never-proven allegations. Such has been the state of this year's #OSCARSSOWHITE.
Yes, they made it a hashtag. The issue - no black actors have been nominated for the Academy Awards 2016. Finally, nominees are (believed) to be selected on merit, so is the hue and cry on no black nominations a shallow accusation? There is no glaring exclusion on the grounds of color discrimination or is there? Will Smith didn't get nominated for Concussion, nor did any black artist from the Creed cast or that of Straight Outta Compton. Over 7000 Academy members chose the nominees, the dilemma therefore is, there is no one to accuse. That is why the #OSCARSSOWHITE cry won't die an easy death.

Know how the Oscar nominees are chosen at this link, know more about how the Oscar winners are chosen at this link

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