The Red Turtle (2016)
“The Red Turtle” is this year’s best animation Oscar nominee that surprised people in a way it masterfully combined visual simplicity and metaphoric depth. The film borrows the theme of Robinson Crusoe to tell the story of a shipwrecked man who experiences both desperation, sorrow and then happiness on an isolated island. The director of this gem is Dutch Michaël Dudok de Wit who partnered with the Japanese Studio Ghibli to produce a wordless, but very meaningful animation which explores the theme of a man’s survival on an island, but also the bigger topics of a man’s place in the universe and his relationship with nature. Given the film’s visual simplicity, it is astounding how much there is to experience here for the viewer. Even if the content of this animation may be described as “thin”, the underling symbolism of the movie guarantees that the audience engages in emotive reflection.
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I won’t title this blog “The Academy Awards 2016: Controversial, Emotional & Predictable”, although I want too. What have we had so far? Protests regarding the representation of black people and women nominated, and nominated actors who you can so safely bet on winning – the chances that they won’t is like forgetting your own name. Diversity & Competition or rather a lack thereof. Here, I will only comment on the Best Picture, Best Animated Film, and Best Actor and Actress categories.
The Best Picture Academy Award went to Spotlight (other nominees being The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Bridge of Spies, The Big Short, Brooklyn, and Mad Max: Fury Road). Surprising? Hardly. Room may be too traumatic or misunderstood for the Academy to applaud, The Martian too science-fiction to take seriously, and The Revenant just not good enough to win.
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Directed by Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” is this year’s critically-acclaimed Best Picture Academy Award nominee that deals with a very sensitive topic of exposing a widespread and systematic child sex abuse by Roman-Catholic priests in the area of Boston, US. In the movie, “Spotlight”, the investigative team of the Boston Globe newspaper, becomes in charge of the task of investigating the allegations against a number of priests involved in the scandal. As the team digs deeper, it uncovers more and more horrifying facts of the matter that includes unbelievable cover-ups and world-wide accusations.
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- The Big Short
- Bridge of Spies
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
It seems it is all about “action and impact” with this 2016 Best Picture Academy Awards. I am rooting for “Spotlight” to win, but am also glad that “Room” was nominated. In my view, “The Revenant” had its fair share of flaws to be seen here so proudly taking the nominee’s place. We don’t see here either “Carol” or “Steve Jobs”, surprise, surprise, and what about “Inside Out”? The Academy had no trouble nominating the animations “Toy Story 3” or “Up” in the general film category of Best Picture in 2011 and 2010 respectively. Why such a perfect animation as “Inside Out” is ignored here now?
Continue reading “Academy Awards Nominations 2016: Some Thoughts”