I saw a news article today that disturbed me. In summation, at least two of the judges for the Oscars voted for 12 Years a Slave without even watching it.
Am I saying 12 Years a Slave wasn’t a good movie? Hell no, in my opinion, it actually deserved to win. Of course, my opinion is more valid than those Oscar voters because I actually watched the fucking thing and developed an opinion.
What I’m saying is that to review a movie, call a movie good, and actually vote for the movie to win an award you should actually watch the damn thing.
I guess the reviewers decided not to view it, thinking that it might be a bit too violent for them. Here’s the deal, if you can’t handle violence, then you shouldn’t be reviewing movies in the first place. Movies should be reviewed based on an unbiased appraisal, regardless of their genre.
As one of the many hats I wear, I review films. In the past year or so, I’ve written 75 in depth reviews of various films, based on the actual merit of the movie.
I’m an action/documentary/comedy lover. Those are my preferred genres that I watch for my own entertainment. However, I don’t get to pick the movies I review. I might review a subtitled foreign film, an incredibly gory horror, or god fucking forbid, a romantic comedy.
Regardless of what genre I’m watching, I appraise five different points of the movie; plot, casting, effects, direction and musical score. I watch the movie, develop an opinion in all five areas, and then offer a review.
Here’s what I don’t do; I don’t give movies in genres I don’t like poor scores just because I don’t like the genre. On the flip side, not every action movie I watch gets a five out of five. Each film is reviewed based on its own merit, regardless of whether I would watch it for my own entertainment.
If I, as an incredibly low ranking movie reviewer, can do that, why the hell can’t someone who is responsible for awarding the biggest award in film do that?
Spewing out the same damn opinion as everyone else does not make you a film critic. Voting for 12 Years a Slave for best picture because you think it’s a ‘socially conscious’ move, does not make you a film critic. It just makes you a politically correct douchebag.
I work hard on my reviews, because I think that a valid, educated opinion matters. When I learn that someone has been given the incredible honor of having a voting share in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and then uses that power with the same enthusiasm as a bored tween being pressured to vote for the next American Idol, it makes me a little bit sick.
I used to have a little bit of faith in the Oscars. I mean, it’s not the fucking Golden Globes, where you just buy your award. At the Oscars, you are supposed to earn your award. Nobody is earning an award when people toss out their votes because a hard hitting movie offends their delicate sensibilities. The Oscars aren’t about liberal guilt. They are about giving awards when people make good movies.
I’m very glad that 12 Years a Slave won, and not because I thinks it’s socially conscious, or even because Chiwetel Ejiofor played “The Operative” in Serenity. It was just a good movie. I said so months ago, when I actually watched it the week it came out. Watch me quote myself like a douchebag;
If (Chiwetel Ejiofor) doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar for his performance, I can only assume someone in the nominations office has brain damage.
Yeah bitches, I called that shit months ago, before that Best Actor Oscar was even a twinkle in Matthew McConaughey’s eye (can’t argue that. Dallas Buyers Club was fantastic as well). You know how I created that amazing magic trick, to be able to predict who would be nominated and who was worthy of an award?
I actually watched the god damn movie and formulated an opinion based on Ejiofor’s performance…DESPITE the fact that this is a genre (drama) that I don’t usually watch. I didn’t flinch away because I was sure the movie would be violent and depressing. I watched it because it is my fucking job to watch the movies assigned to me and formulate real opinions on them.
To the reviewers who handed over the Oscar without watching the movie, shame on you. If you couldn’t handle reviewing the possible candidates, it was not your place to phone in your votes. It was your place to recuse yourself from the decision and pass it off to someone who could friggen handle it.
If you want to read a real review from someone who actually watched the film, you can find my review of 12 Years a Slave here. In addition, if you want a review from someone who actually pays attention to the movies she is reviewing, feel free to check out my reviews here.