I used to think that the Oscars were a tragedy, but now I realize that they’re a comedy. A comedy that’s trying way too hard while also trying not hard enough. There were many nominations I disagree with, but I’ll start out with the elephant in the room: “Joker” receiving 11 nominations.
This isn’t my first time writing about the “Joker” for The Globe. Last time I wrote about why I disagreed with the director, Todd Philips, saying that it’s impossible to make comedies anymore. In that article I said that I thought that “Joker” was a very good movie and that Joaquin Phoenix was incredible in it. But let’s be honest, ultimately “Joker” is a Martin Scorsese movie for an audience that’s never watched a Martin Scorsese movie. It has a mediocre script that only ever worked because of the stellar performance of the lead actor. Did Phoenix deserve his nomination for Best Actor: absolutely. He, and I cannot emphasize this enough, was incredible. But at the same time “Joker” getting 11 nominations while “Taxi Driver,” the movie that it’s essentially ripping off, only received four nominations and “The King of Comedy,” the movie that it’s literally ripping off received zero nominations. This exemplifies what’s wrong with the Oscars: they’re so detached from reality that they might as well be a man on a ten strip of LSD at Bonnaroo.
Have you ever seen the movie “How Green Was My Valley?” It’s a movie that’s only ever remembered for winning Best Picture over “Citizen Kane.” Now, I don’t know how much you know about “Citizen Kane,” but a lot of people think that it’s a really good movie.
The Oscars is really just a money game, who can play the game gets the nomination. In the past decade, A24 has gone from a modest studio making indie films to creating and producing some of the highest quality and most talked about films released. Since they don’t play the Oscar’s game, no nomination for Adam Sandler, who delivered one of the best performances of the past year. “Uncut Gems” as a whole was snubbed, it at least deserved a nomination for Best Editing, the cuts in that movie perfectly build up the tension as Howard (Sandler) just keeps placing bets.
The last film snubbed: “Knives Out.” Rian Johnson has done nothing but continue to perfect his craft of writing and directing, whether it’s some of the best episodes of “Breaking Bad,” the best looking “Star Wars” movie, or now his take on the stereotypical murder mystery, Johnson always delivers. “Knives Out” received only one nomination: Best Original Screenplay. In my opinion, the film deserved noms for cinematography and directing.
Lastly, I have not yet seen “Little Women,” however, based off of how many nominations the film received in other categories, it is surprising to me that Greta Gerwig, someone who’s been nominated for Best Director before, did not receive a nomination this year. In my lifetime, the Oscars have only nominated three women for Best Director, and only one of them have won. Whether that’s a reflection of the Oscars or Hollywood in general, one can come to their own conclusion. Either way, the awards need to find a new solution to celebrate the contributions of female directors, and as a whole celebrate more than just the same eight movies every year.