I guess the 2015 Oscars had a real anti-superhero vibe to it. I wouldn’t know first-hand because I didn’t watch it. The Oscars have become totally irrelevant to me. I think they’ve always been a poor indicator of greatness, it just took me a while to realize it. For instance, according to the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization whose members vote for Oscar winners, the movie Shakespeare in Love was a better movie than Saving Private Ryan.
There’s a term for people who believe things like that, they’re called crack addicts.
This year’s batch of Best Picture nominees was a real head-scratcher. Missing from the nominations was Guardians of the Galaxy, by far the best movie I watched last year. I’m not alone. A lot of people went to the theaters to see Guardians of the Galaxy. It has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed $774.2 million worldwide. Guardians of the Galaxy was a well-crafted and highly entertaining movie. The movie’s director, James Gunn, was able to bring life to a CGI talking racoon and a giant walking, sort-of-talking tree. The fact that it couldn’t even get a nomination for Best Picture speaks more about the absurdity of the Oscars than it does the greatness of Guardians of the Galaxy.
What’s even worse, Birdman, a terrible movie about a washed-up actor made famous for playing a superhero “birdman” in movies, trying to put on a Broadway play based on a short story by Raymond Carver, was not only nominated for Best Picture, it actually won.
I thought Birdman was an overly pretentious, unnecessary middle finger to the genre of comic book movies. It was filmed in a way that made it look like one long continuous camera shot. At times, I was paying more attention to this stupid camera trick than I was to the performance of the actors in the scene, which is unfortunate because as awful as Birdman was, it had a great cast.
I’ll freely admit that Birdman was not for me. I was not its intended audience. To enjoy Birdman, you must hate superhero movies. I enjoy superhero movies, the ones that are well made. I enjoy a lot of movie genres. Just don’t tell me that Birdman was the best movie of 2014. Because it wasn’t.
If you think Birdman was great, wait five years. In five years, even pretentious snobs will have forgotten about Birdman, just like they have already forgotten about 2011’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist.
That didn’t even take five years.