It's Oscar time again and as usual, the movie blogosphere is buzzing with either outrage, disdain or joy over what got nominated and what is expected to win. For every blog that says a certain film (Hugo/The Artist/The Tree Of Life/(your choice)) is a masterpiece and a wonderful advancement in cinematic art, there's another that says (Hugo/The Artist/The Tree Of Life/ (your choice)) is bland, pretentious junk and a symbol of how corrupt the entire process is.
I'm kind of taken aback by all this. I've only seen a few of the Best Picture nominees so far and I'd be perfectly fine with The Descendants or The Artist taking the award. Maybe they weren't the absolute best films of the year but they're both good pieces of work. I'm also tickled by the thought of a silent black and white film possibly winning the top Oscar in the year 2012, a time when noise, gadgetry and bombast rule the theatres.
The truth is that I just haven't seen enough 2011 movies for me to stand on a mountaintop and make thunderous pronouncements about what should have been nominated. I have yet to see Drive, Melancholia, Hugo, A Dangerous Method, Take Shelter, Midnight In Paris or Carnage and We Have To Talk About Kevin hasn't even played in this area yet. There's also one film almost no writer I've read has mentioned that I have a feeling could be the most moving of the lot. I should be seeing that one over the weekend.
If you watch a lot of movies, your opinion on the best of any given year is always subject to change because something always turns up after the fact. There have been plenty of times when I've seen a film a few years after its release and been completely gobsmacked. Often it's a film that got no critical attention when it originally came out, much less awards. My prime example of this is always A Map Of The World, a 1999 film that starred Sigourney Weaver as a school nurse falsely accused of molesting a student. The movie was powerful and Weaver was flat-out amazing. She deserved a Best Actress Oscar nomination at the very least yet I've never seen a single word written about the film anywhere. Given that, it's hard for me to get excited about Albert Brooks getting snubbed for Drive. At least someone noticed he was snubbed.