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Looking for meaning through film. A compilation of film reviews and opinions.

For several years now, there has been a growing frustration towards the Academy Awards. This frustration stems from the simple fact that the Oscars continuously are unrepresentative of the current film-landscape. Not only do they ignore genres like comedy and horror which have featured outstanding and interesting films, but also seem adamant to an insulting degree in their rejection of diversity. The same tired and redundant excuses are given each year: “there aren’t any people of colour nominated because there are no films featuring them.” Bullshit. They only nominate films featuring people of colour when such films became impossible to ignore like Precious or 12 Years A Slave. But God forbid your film is something a bit more low-key like Tangerine, Dear White People or Dope and you will be swiftly ignored. Hell, even Straight Out of Compton and Selma, two critical and commercial successes were ignored. You will see that this year, Moonlight and Fences will receive some nominations and the Oscars will point to them and state: “Look! We do care about diversity!” But the sad reality is that the Academy Awards does not care about representation. Just because once every couple of years they remember to nominate black people is not indicative of an organization that cares about diversity, because if they actually did then it would happen every year.

I can hear some people saying that it doesn’t matter, that the Academy Awards are nothing but superficial shit and that we shouldn’t bother criticizing them. I disagree wholeheartedly. The Oscars do matter and they matter because whether you want to admit or not, films and in turn Hollywood are massively influential. People dream and work hard to get into that business not just for the money or fame, but also to express their artistry. Art is incredibly important, it reveals who we are and what we want to be. When we fail to show and, more importantly, recognize the insurmountable array of art from intrinsically diverse groups of people then we all lose. When we don’t see people like us recognized and awarded in this so-called superficial award show, it sends a very clear message: my Latino experience has no merit. The Oscars, unfortunately, place more value to every facet of the white experience and only see a bit of merit to the Latino, Black or Asian experience when it is drenched in utter tragedy, and even then recognition it’s still an long shot. This is a dangerously regressive practice that needs to be criticized, maligned and fought against until we see actual change.

The headline of this article sucks. I’m sadden to the core that only in an ideal world diversity is recognized by the Academy Awards. It should not be this way. Maybe it’s naive, but I believe that we are better than this. At least we should strive to be better than this instead of feeding the growing apathy that will certainly lead to our demise.

So it is now I present the 2017 Academy Award Nominees of an "ideal" world:

BEST PICTURE:

Moonlight
Moonlight
  • Arrival.
  • Hidden Figures.
  • Jackie.
  • Loving.
  • Moana.
  • Moonlight.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • Silence.
  • The Girl On The Train.
  • Zootopia.

BEST DIRECTOR:

Arrival
Arrival
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight.
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster.
  • Pablo Larraín, Jackie.
  • Martin Scorsese, Silence.
  • Denis Villeneuve, Arrival.

BEST ACTRESS:

The Girl On The Train
The Girl On The Train
  • Amy Adams, Arrival.
  • Emily Blunt, The Girl On The Train.
  • Ruth Negga, Loving.
  • Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures.
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie.

BEST ACTOR:

Silence
Silence
  • Gang Chen, Old Stone.
  • Andrew Garfield, Silence.
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic.
  • Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool.
  • Denzel Washington, Fences.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Fences
Fences
  • Viola Davis, Fences.
  • Naomi Harris, Moonlight.
  • Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures.
  • Senia Nanua, The Girl With All The Gifts.
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Moonlight
Moonlight
  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight.
  • Jovan Adepo, Fences.
  • Issey Ogata, Silence.
  • Dev Patel, Lion.
  • Ashton Sanders, Moonlight.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Lobster
The Lobster
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land.
  • Efthymus Filippou & Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster.
  • Jim Jarmusch, Patterson.
  • Noah Oppenheim, Jackie.
  • Matthew Whitttet, Girl Asleep.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Fences
Fences
  • Mike Carey, The Girl With All The Gifts.
  • Eric Heisserer, Arrival.
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight.
  • Theodore Melfi & Allison Schroeder, Hidden Figures.
  • August Wilson, Fences.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Neruda
Neruda
  • Arrival.
  • Girl Asleep.
  • Moonlight.
  • Neruda.
  • The Witch.

BEST EDITING:

Silence
Silence
  • Jackie.
  • Moonlight.
  • The Girl On The Train.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • Silence.

BEST ART DIRECTION:

Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures
  • Arrival.
  • Girl Asleep.
  • Hidden Figures.
  • Jackie.
  • Silence.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Jackie
Jackie
  • Hidden Figures.
  • Jackie.
  • Kubo And The Two Strings.
  • Nocturnal Animals.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

BEST SOUND MIXING:

La La Land
La La Land
  • Arrival.
  • Captain America: Civil War.
  • La La Land.
  • Moana.
  • The Girl On The Train.

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Train To Busan
Train To Busan
  • Arrival.
  • Moana.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • The Girl On The Train.
  • Train To Busan.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Captain America: Civil War.
  • Doctor Strange.
  • The Jungle Book.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • Star Trek Beyond.

BEST MAKEUP:

Deadpool
Deadpool
  • Deadpool.
  • Loving.
  • Moonlight.
  • Nocturnal Animals.
  • The Girl On The Train.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Moana
Moana
  • “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Moana.
  • “You’re Welcome” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Moana.
  • “Try Everything” by Sia, Tor Erik Hermansen & Mikkel Storleer Erkisen, Zootopia.
  • “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison & Dario Marianelli, Kubo And The Two Strings.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

The Witch
The Witch
  • Nicholas Britelli, Moonlight.
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arrival.
  • Mark Korven, The Witch.
  • Mica Levi, Jackie.
  • Mark Mancina, Moana.

BEST DOCUMENTARY:

The Ivory Game
The Ivory Game
  • Gleason.
  • I’m Not Your Negro.
  • OJ: Made In America.
  • The Ivory Game.
  • 13th.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Toni Erdmann
Toni Erdmann
  • Neruda.
  • Old Stone.
  • The Salesman.
  • The Wailing.
  • Toni Erdmann.

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

Your Name
Your Name
  • Finding Dory.
  • Kubo And The Two Strings.
  • Moana.
  • Your Name.
  • Zootopia.

The nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards will be announced soon. I doubt the actual nominees will reflect what I have here, but I hope this is the year they begin to rectify their mistakes/snubs. I won't hold my breath for that though since it seems exceedingly likely that La La Land will sweep. At any case, what are your thoughts on the Oscars? Do you care about their continual rejection of diversity?

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