Contrary reactions to 2017 Oscar nominations
The 2017 Oscar award nominees have been announced, and film buffs are reacting to them in contrastingly instructive ways. Our predominant reaction is one of frustration and regret because the Best Picture nominees, with the exception of “La La Land,” have yet to be shown on local screens.
This affirms our downbeat view that, while the Philippine market is prized by global producers for the big grosses it generates for their blockbusters, local film lovers are poorly served when it comes to the efficient and prompt release of quality films.
The feeling could be that, many of those exceptional movies don’t make enough money to bother showing here before the awards season, and are thus held back until they generate enough buzz and honors to be “worth” releasing.
That’s a cynical view that local film lovers should protest, instead of taking passively and helplessly as “just the way things are.” We should insist on our right to get to watch the best of world cinema, starting this season with the Oscars’ nominated films.
Thus, “Fences,” “Arrival,” “Lion,” “Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water” and “Hidden Figures” should be screened here before the Oscar awards on Feb. 26.
Other film buffs are bothered by some perceived omissions, like the “snubs” they feel some worthy films and artists have experienced by not being nominated for awards.
They include Amy Adams, Hugh Grant and Taraji P. Henson in the acting categories, “Sully” and “The Birth of a Nation” for best picture, Denzel Washington for directing, Pharell Williams for musical scoring and “Finding Dory 2” for best animated feature.
On the other hand, Mel Gibson is a big “surprise” nominee for direction (for “Hacksaw Ridge”), after a long decade of being persona non grata in Hollywood, due to his infamous rants and meltdowns.
Gibson has finally gotten his act together again with his new war drama, so the film capital has been “forced” to open its long-folded arms to him once more.
We trust that Gibson is grateful for the second or nth chance, and has kissed the self-destructive chapter in his personal and professional life a permanent goodbye!
Also being hailed is the big difference in the number of “artists of color” nominated for awards. Last year, it was a shocking shut-out, with nobody making the grade, reinforcing the view and grievance that Hollywood is still racist.
This year, however, a bumper crop of six black actors are in the running for awards—Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga and Denzel Washington.
In addition, Indian actor Dev Patel clinched a nomination. But, Latino talents were up in arms because they were snubbed, this time around.
Well, if they raise a ruckus, Hollywood could be “shamed” into giving them their due—next year!