Oscars Analysis From Someone Who Hasn’t Seen Any Of The Best Picture Nominees

Editor-at-Large
01.30.17 13 Comments

A24 / Summit / Paramount

Oscar season is here. The nominations are out, and the campaigns are in full-swing, and it’s all wonderful and great, unless you are like me and you’re just realizing you went another year without seeing any of the nominated films. Whoops.

I have excuses, of course. Lots of them. My job covering television keeps me very busy, because there are a lot of television shows, and it’s hard to stay on top of everything. Also, many of the movies that get nominated for awards are very sad or serious, and I do not usually want to spend a Saturday afternoon trapped in a movie theater getting bummed out for two hours. I tend to look at movies as an escape. This becomes abundantly clear when you scan the full and complete list of new movies I watched in 2016: Popstar, The Nice Guys, Everybody Wants Some!!, Zootopia, Deadpool, Ghostbusters, The Accountant, Captain America: Civil War. and Hail, Caesar! That’s it. That’s the list. The Accountant literally contains a montage of Ben Affleck doing accounting. People should know this.

The bad news here is that my failure to see any of the nominated movies excludes me from all the fun Oscar chat, as I have no foundation on which to build an authoritative opinion. Luckily, the good news is that we live in the future and I don’t actually need any knowledge about something to have an opinion on it. I can just pop off like a goon about whatever I want. It’s terrifying. Let’s do it.

Here is my analysis of this year’s Best Picture race.

Arrival

I had honestly forgotten Arrival existed. This struck me as odd, because even when I miss movies like this I tend to be very aware of their existence, in large part due to the nature of my job. You spend 8-10 hours a day scanning an RSS feed of entertainment news sites, you’re gonna pick up things whether you intend to or not. For example: Did you know Nicolas Cage just made a movie with John Cusack and Vinnie Chase from Entourage? It’s true.

Anyway, I looked into this movie to figure out why/how it skipped my mind, and then I remembered the reason: There’s apparently a huge twist at the end and I avoided reading anything about it so the twist wouldn’t be ruined for me. But now here I am a few months later and I’m no closer to seeing it. I’m just going to assume the twist is that this movie secretly starred Isla Fisher instead of Amy Adams the whole time.

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