I don’t know about you all. However, 2017 was for me the year that I went back to the movie theaters. It was partly because I lived within walking distance of the movie theater that has 4D. It was also partly because my son is now nine years old and we can watch something more than Despicable Me movies. Although, that was one of the movies we did catch last year.
Of all the movies I caught last year (and don’t get me wrong it was not that many although more than recent years), I was the most excited and enthused by wonder Woman. Imagine my surprise when Wonder Woman doesn’t receive a single Oscars nomination. That movie pumped me up. That movie kept me glued to the screen. It was fun and exciting. Of course, why would the Oscars nominate anything that had those characteristics? They must, more often than not, nominate movies that no one watched and that will not appear on any future 100 best movies list. I say this as a lover of film. I don’t mean movies. I mean film. I got accepted into film school. I was looking forward to teaching film theory (mostly focused on the auteur theory and screwball comedies as well as film noir). I love films. Well-made films.
I also love films that are silly, popular and can rev you up. We need not have an either/or relationship with pop culture. Wonder Woman was also symbolic of the year in which it was released. It was very much part of the zeitgeist. That alone does not qualify it for an Oscar. But maybe a nomination. If it can’t be for best actress (she was alright but not great so I am ok on that snub) maybe for cinematography? I am excited that Blade Runner 2049 was nominated for cinematography. Film Noir! Of the nine films nominated for best picture, how many have you seen or plan to?
“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
I must admit a few do seem to be high quality films. Dunkirk and the Shape of Water are ones that I will eventually see. Get Out is intriguing in that it is a horror film. Go figure! I will watch the Oscars as I always do but I have no real film to root for. And I really want to root for something. That’s why we watch award shows. Otherwise, what’s the point? It most certainly is not for the speeches.
I personally feel like television has better quality offerings these days than the cinema, especially if you include Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Have you caught Black Lightning yet?” How different a superhero show is that?
But back to Wonder Woman. Maybe the Oscars can create a new category for “just really cool film that may have something bigger going for it”. I personally had a lot invested in Wonder Woman. 2017 was a tough year and I felt that movie was a fun way of just reminding us that we can be kind-hearted and still fight a good fight. Perhaps that is the only accolade I need to give that film as I know I will undoubtedly catch the sequel. And I don’t say that about many films out there.