As the #Oscarssowhite movement and the ongoing discussion of diversity in Hollywood continues, we as a moviegoing community are forced to consider the ramifications of representation: which stories get told, and why. Indeed, more people are talking about the Oscar nods this year than ever before. What’s been recognized — and more importantly, those who the Academy has failed to recognize — have been subject to a great deal of scrutiny within the critical community in particular (much of it has also spilled out onto the Twitter-sphere, but that’s to be expected). Among these voices is Mark Kermode, the British film critic who takes a good, hard look at this year’s nominations in a new episode of “Kermode Uncut.”
“Business as usual” is how Kermode described this year’s nominations and in many respects, he’s sadly right. While a handful of the major nominations are somewhat surprising — mainly Lenny Abrahamson’s galvanizing “Room” and George Miller’s wildly transgressive “Mad Max: Fury Road” in the Best Picture category — a good chunk of what the Academy decided to honor is dispiriting to say the least. The omission of Idris Elba from the Best Supporting Actor category for his terrifying turn in “Beasts of No Nation” is probably the most obvious example that Kermode cites, though I’d also agree that Paul Dano also got the snub for his career-redefining work in the Brian Wilson biopic “Love And Mercy.”
Kermode himself has some interesting opinions: turns out, he was a massive fan of last year’s underseen “Girlhood” and laments that director Celine Sciamma wasn’t properly acknowledged for her work. He also praised Lily Tomlin’s turn in “Grandma” (we all know how the Academy feels about recognizing great work in comedy) and even went so far as to speculate that either “Inside Out” or “Anomalisa” should’ve had a shot for a Best Picture nomination.
Kermode’s video is fascinating, and should provide ample fuel to the fire of the still-raging discussion on diversity, representation and the necessity of awards. Which Oscar movies are you not seeing represented here? Watch Kermode’s video below and sound off in the comments section.