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Academy Awards Best Picture 2016


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That was just one example. I could have used a lot of names.

I don't care how many names you care to use. There's a reason blacks are only a small minority of top ranked models, actors and actresses, and it's not because Hollywood liberals hate black people. It's the focus groups and the narrow band of moviegoers the studios aim their major pictures at.

The studios only care about money. If they thought more people would go see Black stars there'd be more black stars.

Edited by Argus
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Agreed, the cinematography was top notch in The Revenant.

But I thought the movie was average, in part because Leo was miscast in this role. He just is not 'tough enough', he is not the kind of hardbitten man that would first be in that situation in the first place, then to survive. Not believable. Tom Hardy would have been, barely.

The lead character survived things that were simply not survivable, and I don't mean a bear attack. I mean floating down rivers in midwinter, and then managing not to freeze to death despite having no dry clothes or a fire in very cold temperatures. I have lived in those climates and worked in some really remote places. A person would last about 5 minutes tops in the water before being unconmscious. Your limit without heat on exiting would be 15 minutes perhaps. Not Leo, who must have had the body fat of a walrus to survive that. I guess that is not his fault, but that of writers and producers huddled around a heated pool in Beverly Hills trying to imagine what it is actually like in cold weather.

One Award I really liked was for Supporting Actor Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies. Pretty ordinary movie, except for his subtle and powerful turn.

Let's not forget dramatic license in storytelling and on-screen presentations. They do these things for entertainment's sake, not for realism.
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Agree that this was a below average year for the movies nominated, though pretty decent in general for movies released that did not make the Oscar list.

I saw all eight of the Nominees, and I thought all of them were pretty good, none of them are worse than average, but none of them are going to make all time great lists either. I agree Ex Machina was worthy of a nomination, but Straight Out of Compton was kind of pointless for me and a movie that could have been much better than it was in the end.

I thought Straight Outta Compton did an excellent job of demonstrating how their lives shaped the music without being overbearing about the racism and other barriers they faced. It was also thorough on all of the rap industry giants who came from NWA. This was really a biopic not on just Easy E, but a part of hip hop that no longer exists since Kanye completely changed the industry.

It's a story worth telling that not a lot of people would know, especially considering the backlash to "Fuck the Police" when it was popular. They only showed a snippet of the news, but the criticism was constant without ever really getting into their side that shows the pain and frustration of dealing with racist cops their whole lives. Which brings us to why now? Well, it's a historical film and as historical films tend to go, they're produced when contemporary times could relate most to their themes.

Anyway, Straight Outta Compton was one of the best films this year, imho. At least a bunch of its white crew was nominated for writing, even if it didn't win.

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Way to crap on those people's jobs.

I'm not crapping on peoples' jobs. I'm crapping on the Academy voters and voting process.

Your post reminds me of the people who have absolutely no interest in the credits that roll at the end of a film. They don't even know what a Foley artist or studio is. Or how hard sound and lighting can be on location. Or even the hundreds of animators needed for their CGI cartoon experience.

I always stay in my seat.....reading them till the very end. Somebody's parents would appreciate that.

I do sometimes sit through the credits... usually because I'm hoping for a post-credits "Easter egg" (the one in Deadpool was well worth the wait...)

And I fully do realize that there are an awful lot of people who are employed in making a film, any film. Even an Adam Sandler crap-fest has people working behind the scenes, doing their best in thankless jobs. And I appreciate that without their efforts, there wouldn't be a film to watch. I really do.

Astronauts don't get into space without the efforts of a huge team of people who work behind the scenes to make it possible. An actor doesn't make it to my screen without a similarly large effort from people who don't get recognition for their work. And in principle I think it's great that there's awards to acknowledge the efforts of at least some of them.

But the Academy sound voters know something about sound.

The nominees selected by "sound voters", a group of industry professionals who actually know something about sound.

But once the nominees are selected, there are no longer "sound voters", there are just voters. All eligible voters vote on all the categories.

Do you think that many of the elderly old cranks of the Academy watched "The Force Awakens" or "Fury Road" at all? Of those who did, do you think they were doing so with an eye towards deciding the better sound editing and so-on?

I think that only the tremendously gullible would believe that. Politics goes into all the awards... including these ones.

-k

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I don't care how many names you care to use. There's a reason blacks are only a small minority of top ranked models, actors and actresses, and it's not because Hollywood liberals hate black people. It's the focus groups and the narrow band of moviegoers the studios aim their major pictures at.

The studios only care about money. If they thought more people would go see Black stars there'd be more black stars.

"Hollywood liberals"... while a lot of the people in front of the camera are very liberal, the people in the studio offices who make decisions tend to be old, white, and often have very set-in-stone preconceptions of what audiences will watch.

-k

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There's a reason blacks are only a small minority of top ranked models, actors and actresses, and it's not because Hollywood liberals hate black people. It's the focus groups and the narrow band of moviegoers the studios aim their major pictures at.

The studios only care about money. If they thought more people would go see Black stars there'd be more black stars.

True, but high profile protests of this sort of discrimination changes the perception of decision makers. Audiences are now demanding more realistic casts. Well, race and gender realistic at least; we still want to see abnormally beautiful people on screen. Producers will respond to what audiences are demanding because, as you said, they care about money.

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I'm not crapping on peoples' jobs. I'm crapping on the Academy voters and voting process.

I just feel like you're suggesting these technical awards are useless, when imo they're more important than any of the other categories. Actors and directors are recognized all the time. They're the faces of the productions they work on. These people behind the scenes only ever get recognized at the Oscars. I wish people gave these other awards far more notice, but instead the Oscars end up being about fawning over celebrities and what fashion designer has clothed them. I see no reason to believe that these technical awards are consolation prizes, any more than Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar was a pity win. The nominations are chosen by their respective branches. Cinematographers are choosing the nominees for cinematography, costume designers for costume design, hairstylists and make-up artists for hair and costume design. So I get that the Academy at large, when they vote for the winners of the categories, may have ulterior motives, but just to be nominated means you've impressed the active and life members of the categories for which you were nominated. I think that says a lot.
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True, but high profile protests of this sort of discrimination changes the perception of decision makers. Audiences are now demanding more realistic casts. Well, race and gender realistic at least; we still want to see abnormally beautiful people on screen. Producers will respond to what audiences are demanding because, as you said, they care about money.

It's not just realistic casts. One of the bigger more obvious issues is that white people have been cast as people of colour forever. Even current films cast white people as people of colour, take Aloha for example. Emma Stone played a woman named Allison Ng. Emma Stone is the whitest of white girls. Ng was not white.

Here's the hypocrisy. There's very little controversy over that. It's hardly noticed by the public, except for a handful of people who might raise a stink. Marvel decides to make a black Spiderman though and it's a huge sh** storm. People are whining and crying about how they're ruining franchises and disrespecting stories, etc. But you don't get that same kind of reaction when a white person plays a person of colour or an able-bodied person plays a person with a disability, or a straight actor plays a gay character, or a cisgender actor plays a transgender character.

Edited by cybercoma
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"Hollywood liberals"... while a lot of the people in front of the camera are very liberal, the people in the studio offices who make decisions tend to be old, white, and often have very set-in-stone preconceptions of what audiences will watch.

-k

You're making presumptions which don't follow logical analyses. You KNOW full well that as soon as someone comes out with a particular type of movie there's a rush to imitate it. The same goes for a particular star. Other studios will try and bring out their own similar action star, romantic star, or whatever. There's not a lot of originality in Hollywood, I grant you, but if their analyses of what movies made money showed that having bald, chubby albino dwarfs in the lead role would put butts in the seat then they'd be searching out the world for chubby bald albinos.

There have been more than enough movies with Black stars for them to have analysed the audience very carefully. Too many blacks in a movie turns off all but black audiences. They figure it's a 'black' movie and go see something else. That's true overseas not just in America. I doubt Asian audiences don't want to see black stars.

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My daughter and her family live next door to a member of the Academy. He has a long history in movie and video production and he and his partner are continually working in all parts of the world. They are all close friends. My daughter and family look after their houses and cars when they are out of town.

Every year, the neighbor receives a copy, each on its own disk, of all of the films on which he is to vote. That includes Best Picture. She describes how weeks before the films are released, my daughter, son in law and my two grandchildren are invited to the neighbors to watch the nominated films and (jokingly) asked for their views. I have asked to "borrow" these on occasion but the person who receives the disks are sworn to not let them out of their possession on penalty of being removed as a judge.

During the one short conversation that I have had with the judge, he stated that he believed the judging process to be absolutely impartial with professionals judging their peers. He indicated that he has seen no discrimination within the film industry and creativity and art are the priority. He and his partner did note that there appear to be a greater percentage of gay people working in the industry than in the general population but did not feel that influenced any judging.

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I thought voters had to come from their own category, except best picture where everyone gets to vote. Eg, only actors get to vote in the acting categories etc.

I believe you are correct. The judge to whom I refer is a director and votes on Best Picture, Best Director and two other categories which I cannot remember.

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Let's not forget dramatic license in storytelling and on-screen presentations. They do these things for entertainment's sake, not for realism.

and I agree that it was an entertaining movie. It reminded me just a bit though of movies like The Mission, or Brazil, or anything by Terence Malick- where the visual appeal overwhelms the story. There was a time when I loved Innaritu, then a period when he really annoyed me with his annoying and cliched out-of-sequence editing. But he has had a couple of very solid outings lately, so he is back on the shortish list of 'watch the movie because of the director'.

But Leo was all wrong for that role. He is a good actor, and has made a lot of money for a lot of people in Hollywood, not least of whom is himself. We must never forget that Hollywood recognizes that, often.

How else can you explain nominations for Cate Blanchette in an absolute snoozer of a movie called Carol, or Jennifer Lawrence in the poorly written/directed Joy? But Decaprios metrosexual persona just does not work for this immensely hardassed tough guy survivor role.

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I thought voters had to come from their own category, except best picture where everyone gets to vote. Eg, only actors get to vote in the acting categories etc.

They vote for the nominees, but the winner is a vote by the entire Academy.
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and I agree that it was an entertaining movie. It reminded me just a bit though of movies like The Mission, or Brazil, or anything by Terence Malick- where the visual appeal overwhelms the story. There was a time when I loved Innaritu, then a period when he really annoyed me with his annoying and cliched out-of-sequence editing. But he has had a couple of very solid outings lately, so he is back on the shortish list of 'watch the movie because of the director'.

But Leo was all wrong for that role. He is a good actor, and has made a lot of money for a lot of people in Hollywood, not least of whom is himself. We must never forget that Hollywood recognizes that, often.

How else can you explain nominations for Cate Blanchette in an absolute snoozer of a movie called Carol, or Jennifer Lawrence in the poorly written/directed Joy? But Decaprios metrosexual persona just does not work for this immensely hardassed tough guy survivor role.

I couldn't agree with you more. But I see the problem as DiCaprio's skill as an actor. Were he more deft at his craft, he would make you forget his off screen personality. Since he doesn't accomplish this well, that speaks to his chops as an actor. I don't care for his performances usually because I find his delivery to often be cliché and not the least bit surprising. He was excellent in Wolf of Wall Street though. That was the role,that should have won him the Oscar, but a better performance out did him that year. Tough break. Edited by cybercoma
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True, but high profile protests of this sort of discrimination changes the perception of decision makers. Audiences are now demanding more realistic casts. Well, race and gender realistic at least; we still want to see abnormally beautiful people on screen. Producers will respond to what audiences are demanding because, as you said, they care about money.

This is where Hollywood is in denial. Moviegoers are Latino, black, women, and baby boomers also. When they don't make movies for these demographics they are leaving money on the table. Soon enough they will figure this out.

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I could argue about our exposure to what is considered beautiful, but for argument's sake, I won't.

So what you're saying is that the industry isn't 'any more racist as the rest of the country' (as quoted below), but blacks aren't offered as many good roles because their features aren't as attractive as white movie stars.

Good on you for at least trying to find a 'reason' for the racism, but there are lots of articles that show that blacks do get a lot of roles, but a disproportionate number of nominations.

Here is a good read about all the good movies that were overlooked:

http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/oscar-nominations-2016-diversity-white-1201674903/

To add insult to injury, white people involved in these movies do get the nominations. SNL did a parody of this last month (which was aired again Saturday) where white actors with small speaking parts were getting nominations even though black actors performed dramatic scenes in which the small speaking role garnered a nomination.

Thing is, the numbers don't add it. It can't be a coincidence and it's not about beauty ideals.

It's about the academy being compromised of mainly old white people.

So, what would be the solution?

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The problem I see for black actors and/or movies is not so much the optics of seeing a black person on film as Argus suggests, it's generally the subject matter of those movies.

When it comes to comedy, I don't care for the Wayans style of humour, but I saw the one with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube and will probably see the sequel. I was a big fan of Eddie Murphy and his comedy over the years. But, when it comes down to drama, it's a whole other thing. Denzel can pull off any dramatic role better than most people regardless off their colour. Sidney Portier too, if one wants to age themselves.

Now, about subject matter. Most movies that have a predominately black cast also tend to be movies that deal in some way - usually entirely, with race issues or the struggle of the black person at the hands of the white person. Fair enough, it's a topic that needs to be addressed, but it has and its so overdone now. I'll spend 20 bucks to see "Ride Along" or something of that nature, but i'm not going to spend that money to come out of a theatre feeling bad about myself and guilty for being part of the caucasian race. Sorry, I just won't!

And, no i'm not hiding from the issues. It's that I do know what i'm gonna see, the settings, the dialogue and the vehicle may differ slightly, but I know what i'm gonna see. Frankly, I'm actually disappointed that the black community can't or won't come up with something different.

Edited by Hal 9000
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And, no i'm not hiding from the issues. It's that I do know what i'm gonna see, the settings, the dialogue and the vehicle may differ slightly, but I know what i'm gonna see. Frankly, I'm actually disappointed that the black community can't or won't come up with something different.

I agreed with almost everything you wrote, up to this point. "The black community" doesn't make movies. The movies-- whether we're talking about Selma and Twelve Years A Slave and Malcolm X or a Wayans Bros comedy-- aren't made by "the black community", they're made by movie studios. There are very few black people in Hollywood who have the pull to get a movie made. The movies that get made are for the most part based on the assumptions of what studio execs think audiences will pay to see.

-k

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This is where Hollywood is in denial. Moviegoers are Latino, black, women, and baby boomers also. When they don't make movies for these demographics they are leaving money on the table. Soon enough they will figure this out.

Do you really think in this day and age the studios don't have very up to date and exact statistics on the demographics of their audiences?

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Now, about subject matter. Most movies that have a predominately black cast also tend to be movies that deal in some way - usually entirely, with race issues or the struggle of the black person at the hands of the white person.

Patently false. You should try watching some of them.

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Patently false. You should try watching some of them.

He is at least partly right. In the last few years, the following movies have significant black casts and 'black themes' and were nominated for Best Picture(and one won BP): Django Unchained, Lincoln, Beasts of the Southern Wild, 12 Years a Slave, and Selma,

The notion that African Americans are unrepresented is false, and they may not even be underrepresented. Admittedly, 2016 was a bust but the first one in several years.

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Patently false. You should try watching some of them.

I've watched a lot of them - on video or VOD. I just won't pay 20 bucks for Selma, 12 years a slave, The color purple, Macomb X or The Help etc. Sure you have some good police or crime movies like New Jack City or American Gangster - both of which I loved, but the soft dramas like the ones I mentioned do not compel me to open my wallet. And, I'm not alone.
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Patently false. You should try watching some of them.

If you have a movie about three stockbrokers who are white, it will be seen by the moviegoing audience as "A movie about stockbrokers".

If they are black, it will be seen as "A movie about black stockbrokers". I don't mean a movie about stockbrokers who just happen to be Black. I mean a movie where a significant portion of the film will be dedicated, for want of a better term, to the 'black experience'. Thus the broader audience will find less to relate to, and will be less likely to attend.

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