Monday, 25 January 2016


Well, it's that time of the year again when stories get awarded for being outstanding, interesting and generally well executed. That's the theory anyway. In practise though, the lore says that its all about who you know, how many friends you have in the academy and of course, what race you happened to be born.
Take, +Gabourey Sidibe for example. She did that movie Precious which so traumatised me I couldn't watch it more than once. She made you feel so depressed. And then to meet the woman behind the actress and to find out what a jolly person she actually is...I mean, in that movie she was depressed 24/7; she came from a very disadvantaged background; perpetually abused...all of which were foreign concepts to the actress. She carried it off so well though. She carried it off perfectly. The movie only got noticed by the academy though, because +Oprah Winffrey  did her #blackgirlmagic (Oprah's really not about the blackgirlmagic though) and got it noticed.

Being noticed is one thing.
Actually winning something is a whole different ballgame.
So when Sandra Bullock walked up the stage to accept her +Oscars for best Actress, I inclined my head to the right and went, "Hmmm. Maybe they know something I don't?"
So I went and bought the Blind Side and watched it to see why Sandra deserved that award more than Gabby. It was a good movie, lots of tear jerker moments. Though I gotta admit that the huge dude sleeping in a laundromat is what got the tears flowing (where was his nomination by the way? - the way the movie was advertised you'd think Sandra +Sandra Bullock was all by herself). He made me sad; he was so huge but so helpless. The dichotomy was depressing and it made me think of all those real life...hims...out there hopeless and helpless and resigned to just get the worst deal ever out of life. #blacklivesmatter. Sandra's performance though, while just as good as Sandra always is, wasn't that impressive. Was it because she dyed her hair platinum blonde? Or had a Southern accent? Or had been in the game for years? Even Sandra wasn't too sure why she got it.

So anyway, last year there was an all white selection in the acting categories. This is in spite of Oprah's movie +Selma Movie  being released, and the fact that it was even about oppressed black people - the very type of movie with black people the Oscars like. This year...well this year there was a selection to choose from. +Kevin Hart had some excellent comedies, +Straight Outta Compton wasn't just excellent acting, it was educational, historic and gave one a greater appreciation of just what rap music started out as. Also HIV awareness, SUPERB music, autobiographies...and it made money on the box office. Still...all they got was best screenplay for the - caucasian - writers. Oookay then.

Can we talk about +Idris Elba for a goddamn minute and his just phenomenal body of work? +Leonardo Di Caprio is definitely the best actor of his generation; but Idris can go toe to toe with him on acting chops. They both have a way of disappearing into their characters so that you're 100% drawn into the story without being distracted by the man playing him. And +Beasts of No Nation was just as traumatising as Precious if not more so. It had me googling child soldiers desperately hoping that if those things really happened to children, it was in the past, not the present. That Ghanian kid, Abraham Attah also required a best actor nomination and we all know it. He's just from the wrong continent and the wrong colour. If you're talking about movies that evoke emotion in your breast, it doesn't get more emotional than Beasts. That was to me, the biggest indication that whatever the criteria is for choosing these guys it is BADLY FLAWED.

People are talking about +Concussion  but I haven't seen it so I can't comment on +Will Smith's performance but if he managed to transform himself into a convincing Nigerian mon...
We'll never know I guess because we don't have access to the criteria by which they choose these people. What indications we do have suggest that it's all dependent on how many friends you have among voters, how much you kiss ass and other political reasons. The sad part about all this is even if Leo wins this year, his victory will be overshadowed by the #Oscarssowhite controversy and the question that arises about whether the winners are deserving or just popular. It reduces the prestige and significance of the award itself.
I have seen some wilful blindness online. Some attempt to reduce the issue to just sour grapes on Will and Jada's parts. It's disheartening. However I have done my bit; I can sleep at night knowing that I didn't shut up and say nothing; do nothing. Over to you rest of the world.

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