Saturday, April 8, 2017

Change Up

Prelude

As usual, like millions of other people I watched the 2017 Red Carpet Pre-Game Show of the Academy Awards. It's the event before the actual awards are presented. I enjoy seeing the actors looking debonair and especially the actresses wearing their luxurious wardrobes, glittering jewellery and lavish hairstyles. I didn't stay awake for the entire awards show so I missed a large segment of some of the presentations including the Best Picture. When I did find out what movie had prevailed, I was very confused.

We are creatures of habit. If you're like me you have a regular routine when you awaken in the morning...mine and yours are probably like clockwork. I sit in front of the television with a black cup of coffee and a plastic bottle of tap water and view the sports highlights from the previous day and/or night. A while later I will proceed to our computer. Because I was very curious and eager about the Best Picture winner I googled the Academy Awards before reading my regular websites.

Considering "La, La Land" was nominated for 14 awards (the most ever) I thought the film would've had an excellent possibility of winning Best Picture. When I did read the winner I was surprised and truly puzzled..."Moonlight" had won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

My E.A. (Executive Assistant) and I had a dry spell last year watching movies at the theatre. In fact we didn't see any of the films that were nominated for Best Picture. Five will get you ten "Moonlight" is a superb and outstanding motion picture but the reason I'm perplexed is I've always been under the assumption when a movie wins Best Picture it should also be victorious in other categories such as Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing and especially Director.

I'm certainly not a Hollywood expert but wouldn't you conclude if a movie wins Best Picture it should also win Best Director. I find it extremely difficult to understand how a film can win Best Picture but not Best Director. It bewilders me even more when a director will win for his/her achievement for directing but not triumph for their movie as "La, La Land" director Damien Chazelle experienced. It's happened before but very, very seldom...it's extremely uncommon. Take a look at a high majority of Best Picture winners over the years and you will see the director and other technical categories as award winners for that film.

During the Red Carpet Pre-Game Show one of the hosts mentioned the Academy (the full name is the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences) changed the rules this year because they wanted more diversity within the categories, specifically Best Picture and acting. The way I decode that is, not necessarily the best will win.

You may remember the controversial 2016 Academy Awards. The Afro-Americans were vastly upset and angry because they felt their achievements were misrepresented and had a lack of nominations. So, in 2017, the Academy Awards had a switch over. Three movies about Afro-American lives were nominated for Best Picture, two Afro-American males were nominated for Best Actor and three Afro-American females were nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

I'm by no means a racist. I've always been a firm believer, hire the best and if the product or service is good people will come...maybe I still live in that perfect world of mine.

Personally, I think the diversity idea and concern is unnecessary. There's plenty of gifted, talented and accomplished Afro-American male and female actors...Denzel Washington is one of the best. Spike Lee is supreme in his field of directing...two of my favourite movies of his are "Inside Man" 2006 and "Oldboy" 2013.

The movie "Hidden Figures" was nominated for Best Picture in 2017. It's based on a true story about three Afro-American female mathematicians working for N.A.S.A. (National Aeronautics Space Administration) in 1961. Octavio Spencer (who portrayed one of the women and was also a nominee for Best Supporting Actress) stated in a Red Carpet Pre-Game Show interview the movie is a true story and should be known.

I agree, 100% whole heartedly with Ms. Spencer. It's an important part of history...just not Afro-American history but American history as a whole. The movie illustrates a genuine and factual account how these ladies contributed to the United States space program during a time of racial discrimination and tension. A fantastic spectacle of patriotism and loyalty but is the movie worthy of a Best Picture nomination?

Epilogue

Don't you find it odd we don't see diversity in professional sports. It sounds to me Hollywood is spinning into a portion of a whirlwind. They have certainly succeeded with their mandate of more diversity, at least for these Academy Awards. I just wonder if the movie "Titanic" 1997 would have won Best Picture if it was released in 2016.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project

Puritan will return with "The Green Bubble Will Never Burst"

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