Entertainment

An idiot’s guide to the Oscars

Share Bookmark Print Rating

 

By  Derrick Nomujuni

Posted  Friday, March 14   2014 at  20:32
SHARE THIS STORY

Well, award season seems to have come to a close, and while most of the talk is about Lupita Nyong’o, it has dawned on me that many people remain oblivious to most of the movies that dominated the ceremony. While talking to some of my friends, I learnt that most Ugandans think that in order for a film to bag an Oscar, it has to have a snooze fest.

Do I agree with this notion? Well no, but you cannot help but wonder if this notion holds some salt. Truth is most of the movies that win, though remarkable in their own right, rarely have that broad mass appeal.

For instance, I don’t know how many people had heard of Philomena, Blue Jasmine, Her or Dallas Buyer’s Club before this year’s awards. It makes you wonder why films like Thor, Iron man 3 or Man of steel that happened to sell the most tickets at the box office did not make the cut.

What does it take to win?
For starters, you can try not being Leonardo Di Caprio (4 nominations, no wins) and try being Meryl Streep or Daniel Day Lewis (3 wins a piece) More to this, a study by the La Times found that 94 per cent of the academy voters are Caucasian, of which 77 per cent are male, with an average age of 62.

This may explain why at some point, people believed that in order to win Best Actress, you had to be hot and go naked, take Halle Berry, Kate Winslet- the list is long, trust me.

History has also shown that the academy tends to favour certain roles and storylines. For instance, True stories/biopics tend to win the day more often than not and in this year was no exception.

A host of movies that dominated the nominations were based on a true story for instance, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Philomena and eventual winner, 12 Years A Slave.

The film being cast during a certain time period in the past seems to increase you odds of winning and this year’s best picture seemed to follow suit by being about slavery. This may be the reason most Ugandans cannot stand these movies.

Past winners and nominees like Argo, Lincoln, Iron Lady, and The Last Emperor, seem to support this notion.

You also seem to score big points if the time period in question is especially Nazi Germany, case in point The Pianist, The Reader, Shindler’s List, to mention but a few.

To a point that Kate Winslet once remarked that the only way she would win Best Actress is if she starred in a holocaust film. This is rather ironic because she did win Best Actress for guess what? Starring in a holocaust film. However, the academy has not awarded a holocaust film the big prizes in a while but watch this space.

Playing a person with a disability seems to help one’s cause for the individual accolades. For example, Tom Hanks playing retard in Forest Gump or Dustin Hoffman, who played a young autistic man in Rain Man. Then there was Daniel Day Lewis as a cripple in My Left Foot, as well as Jamie Fox being blind in Ray.

Going ugly or changing your appearance is another perk an artist may want to use. This year’s Best actor, Mathew McCougnahey, lost more than 20Kgs for his role as an HIV-positive patient. Charlize Theron (the first woman from Africa to win an Oscar. And no, Lupita Nyong’o is not the first African to bag the statue) put on a considerable amount of weight, coupled with heavy layers of make-up to tone down her looks for her award winning performance in Monster.

Whatever your opinion is about what film deserves what and what doesn’t, always keep in mind that some opinions are more important than others.

Well, award season seems to have come to a close, and while most of the talk is about Lupita Nyong’o, it has dawned on me that many people remain oblivious to most of the movies that dominated the ceremony. While talking to some of my friends, I learnt that most Ugandans think that in order for a film to bag an Oscar, it has to have a snooze fest.

Do I agree with this notion? Well no, but you cannot help but wonder if this notion holds some salt. Truth is most of the movies that win, though remarkable in their own right, rarely have that broad mass appeal.

1 | 2 Next Page»