March 3, 2014

Some thoughts on the 2014 Oscars.

This may come as a surprise, but even though I consider myself a dedicated movie buff, I do not actually pay that close attention to the Oscars. Many like to call the Oscars "the Superbowl" for movie buffs. However, I pay more attention to the actual Superbowl, then I do the Oscars, in the sense that I actually sit down and watch the Superbowl each year (even though I never actually watch a football game the rest of the year), whereas I have never watched the Oscars telecast. Never ever. I understand there's a red carpet involved and people walk on it, and such and that statues get involved at some point.

Also, given how busy I was this past year, I have not actually seen any of the nominees for best picture. I was able to catch a few movies on the big screen Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Lone Ranger, and one or two others whose titles escape me. I have recently purchased copes of and plan on watching Dallas Buyers Club, Blue is the Warmest Color, and pre-ordered Philomena so expect reviews of those in the coming weeks.

However, a quick glance at the Oscar winners raised a few eyebrows for me. 12 Years a Slave winning best picture was not a surprise. Steve McQueens' Hunger fell into the ambitious but flawed category and in the end, he showed enough promise to make me very interested in whatever films he made afterwards. I do have questions about Shame as I question the concept of sex addiction itself, but I have to reserve any judgement until if and when I manage to see it.

The more problematic win was for Jared Leto's performance. I have not seen it so I cannot comment on the performance itself, but I will say that it is high time that producers started casting transgender performers in transgender roles. I won't say that doing so is the equivalent to blackface (the LGBTQ community does a little too much appropriation of the Black Civil Rights Movement as it stands) but gosh darn it, if there aren't too many parallels between the two, to let the practice go without comment.

Seriously it's high time Hollywood started casting roles appropriately. In spite of the Academy's longtime habit of rewarding them, the world does not need another able bodied, cis-gendered, white male playing a disabled person, a transgender/transexual person, or a person of color.

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