This year's Academy Awards has been criticised quite a bit for being too obvious and condescending at times. To the industry, this is not new. The Academy has been a recipient of criticism of far brutal nature in the past. When racism and sexism was a regular practice and exploitation was normal.
But recent accusations have affected half of the industry leaving them crippled. Such has been the effect that the nomination list of the 2019 Oscars has somehow been interpreted as the Academy trying to be condescending.
It all started with the nomination of Black Panther, a proper commercial movie from the Marvel Universe that had the cast and storyline revolve around African people. Culturally, the movie had also shown Wakanda, which loosely can be interpreted as Hollywood's interpretation of how an African village is, and that interpretation has been appreciated by a lot. Now, along with Black Panther, there was Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, BlacKkKlansman, Vice, Green Book, A Star is Born and Roma.
The diversity of the list would put a smile on any veteran activist's face. But if they nominate films just for the sake of diversity and equality, and make them win too, they think they can clean their hands and separate themselves from the ongoing allegations, then such condescending acts must be called out and dealt with properly. This is not the time for empathy, accountability and acceptance should be the order of the day.
By choosing "Green Book" as the best picture of the year, somehow the academy out fooled themselves. Green Book did not enjoy much critical success, The New York Times headlined their review of 'Green Book' as "A Road Trip Through Land of Cliches."
And what were those clichéd factor? The title of the movie was the period when African-Americans travelling by themselves in North America equal to risking their own life. And it shows how a black man and white man gel together and become buddy's while travelling together in those times.
As Karl Quinn from The Sydney Morning Herald puts it, "Green Book is a perfect fit for an Oscars that oozed diversity from its every pore but with far less righteous anger than in recent years. It was as if everyone had concluded that in 2019 enough ground has been won that the campaigning of #OscarsSoWhite and #TimesUp et al could be shelved – for now at least."
But was this the most diverse films? Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' talks about the ethnic and economic inequality in Mexico. 'The Favourite' showed a woman trying to head a war-torn England thereby talking about Female sexuality. Vice, which portrayed the corruption that makes fun of all the moral values at the very top of the political chain.
And last but not the least, 'BlacKkKlansman' the movie that showed what being a black in America meant at a time, by showing a black man spying on the Ku Klux Klan. Bradley Cooper's "A Star is Born" romance and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' showed a gay man become the most popular star in America during the '70s.
Sure, Vice's political plot was a bit tiresome, Roma's stigma with Netflix and subtitles came in the way, superheroes movies are inferior for an Oscar nomination. But, when a film like the Green Book, sells agenda's, without addressing how the problem helped develop a genuine hatred. And by doing so tries to numb your brains to the understanding of something deep, then the implications are deeper than you can imagine.
This has been a strategy for the Oscars for quite some year and this subtle behaviour must be called out and held accountable.