So the big nominations are now out…the Golden Globes a distant memory already. The Oscar noms are reasonably predictable…but I am seething that Director, Ridley Scott was ignored. THE MARTIAN is a near perfect film and that is largely down to the direction. Apart from his obvious skill as a Director, Ridley Scott has contributed more to the success and importantly the credibility of our industry, than few I can think of. I am happy that favourite Matt Damon picked up a Golden Globe for acting, he deserves it and the film got a Best Picture award, but as a Comedy? Not sure about that…maybe the powers that be did not want to pit THE MARTIAN against THE REVENANT, another amazing film.. Sorry too that Quentin Tarantino was ignored for an Academy directing nomination…he is a force to be reckoned with and understands film and its necessary ingredients for success so well. I was disappointed that Samuel L.Jackson was ignored for his performance in THE HATEFUL EIGHT...which I found hugely entertaining. Happy that MAD MAX -FURY ROAD has been recognised…it deserves it. Friends had said “but there’s no story”, but there is a story and very importantly, George Miller gave us the empathy, humanity between the two main characters played by Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron….. without that the film would have been meaningless.
The most difficult category acting wise for me is always best supporting actor, there are so many performances that could/ should be considered, but it is generally up to a film’s marketing department ‘shouting its wares’ the loudest that gets the attention. ROOM is an interesting film, but it really rides on the two main performances from Brie Larsen and Joseph Tremblay, an extraordinary young actor, who surely deserved a nomination. For my money the film would not have succeeded without these two and would have remained just a nice little indie picture with a good story. One of my favourites this year was THE END OF THE TOUR and I would like to have seen Jason Segel acknowledged for his terrific performance as David Foster Wallace. Ditto LOVE AND MERCY with interesting actors John Cusack and Paul Dano playing the tortured Beach Boy Brian Wilson….and finally I loved YOUTH with Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, neither of whom ever disappoints…and both ignored this year. Too little marketing again? And on that note Rachel Weisz gave one of the best supporting female performances in YOUTH and was overlooked. So my view stands…pitting talent against talent is only good as entertainment value, like watching cage fighting or similar. Of course old friends Hollywood and MONEY raise their ugly heads again…winning
awards means more money at the box office and elevates the monetary value of talent.
The standard of acting is very good now all over the media…television has raised its bar amazingly and the quality of production all round is much higher than ever…what real competition will do for us and I am glad to see that even PBS is now producing its own drama MERCY STREET as opposed to just doing documentaries and guess who one of the Producers is… folks? RIDLEY SCOTT!!