Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, January 22, 2016



Normally, when the Academy announces their nominees, January becomes a happy month for the entertainment press. Columnists giddily predict winners while insiders laud dark horse candidates. Not so in 2016. This year, media coverage has been dominated by the lopsided ethnicity of the actors involved. For the second year in a row, all twenty nominees are white. Across Hollywood, celebs are protesting. Will & Jada Pinkett Smith are boycotting. Whoopi Goldberg had a meltdown on The View. Even Trump weighed in! After conducting copious research, we here at the DUNER BLOG agree. This is no "Cry-bullying" issue. To illustrate our point, here are four egregious Oscar Snubs:

#1. Straight Outta Compton: Best Picture. The surprise movie hit of the summer succeeded on all cylinders. Smartly directed, Gary Gray combined heartfelt acting with artful storytelling. In short, the film humanized the scary world of gangsta rap...not an easy accomplishment! Audiences responded: It grossed $170 million in the US alone. Critics agreed: It scored an 88% on the Rotten Tomatoes site. This is eight spots higher than the Vegas favorite to win Best Picture, the lengthy Western epic The Revenant. Looks like the Academy blew it.

#2. Michael B. Jordan: Best Actor. Most moviegoers groaned when another Rocky flick hit theaters during Christmas. Further examination proved them wrong. The movie Creed worked because it relegated Sly Stone to the role of reluctant trainer. Instead, screenwriters put the focus of the film on the upcoming new boxer, the son of Apollo Creed. Michael B. Jordan shined in the role, turning in a stellar, truly heartfelt performance. The National Society of Film Critics gave him the 'Best Actor' award, but the Academy didn't even nominate him!

#3. Jason Mitchell: Best Supporting Actor. Spoiler alert! At the end of Straight Outta Compton, the crazy life of a professional rapper catches up with one of the members of NWA. When Easy-E dies at the end of the movie, there was not a dry eye in the theater...everyone cried! You don't accomplish this with sub-par acting. Jason Mitchell's portrayal of the anonymous inner-city youth instantly turned into a national celebrity was riveting. Yet it is easy to understand why the role failed the wow the Academy. 85% of them are white and most likely would be afraid to even go into the Cinaplex to see it!

#4. Whiz Khalifa:   Perhaps the most glaring omission of all comes in a lesser category: Best Original Song. But...if Academy voters were turned off by old-school gangstas like NWA...they must be horrified of Whiz. He always snarls and his body is covered with menacing tattoos. Nonetheless, the song was #1 for twelve weeks on the Pop Charts. Furious 7 was one of the year's biggest movies. Instead, songs from obscure films (Racing Extinction? The Hunting Ground?) get the nod.

But don't worry, Oscars. At least you're not as off-base as the GRAMMY AWARDS!!

No comments:

Post a Comment