Every year, before the Oscar Ceremony takes place, I make a point to have watched all movies that are nominated for Best Picture. I made it a law, and called it the Rule Of BPNRV (“Best Picture Nominee; Required Viewing”).
The Rule was passed in 2009, and I kept up with it every year.
This year, it was considerably difficult to follow the Rule. While the main reason was that I was a little too busy doing stuff the past 4 weeks (more about that in an upcoming blog post), there was another important reason.
I simply couldn’t be bothered to watch most of the movies.
Although all nominees are important movies (and no doubt very fine pieces of work), there was only one that I was actually really interested in…and it ended up being a little disappointing.
I’m not asking for (or expecting) Star Wars, Back To The Future or Saw. There’s a time and a place for movies like that, and the Oscars aren’t about that. But out of the 9 nominees, only La La Land was a “pure entertainment” pick.
None of these movies has the same appeal that classics such as The Godfather, Rocky, The Silence of the Lambs, Titanic, Forrest Gump, The Hurt Locker, Whiplash had. Not even close. I doubt we’ll even remember any of the 2016 nominees in 5-10 years from now (as in “describe the story in 1-2 sentences“).
Although I wasn’t fully successful following The Rule this year, I did end up watching only two of them (so far at least), and what I saw, wasn’t my cup of tea. La La Land is totally not my kind of thing. I expected much more from Arrival.
Of course, once I’ve watched all 9 nominations, I’ll say that I really enjoyed some of them (so give me a few days and I’ll be happy to eat my words). But as of now, before watching them, it feels more like a chore to watch a notorious despression-fest such as Manchester By The Sea or a heavy drama like Fences.
Again, I know we live in a time where important movies are, well, important. But really, movies are also about escapism, and if that’s only the case with 1 out of 9 movies, the Oscars might take things a little too seriously here.
For the record, here are the movies I’m talking about:
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hell Or High Water
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
- Manchester By The Sea