What do this year’s Oscar nominees say about America?
Last year it seemed to me that the message of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ Oscar-winning film about the Hollywood star, circa 1927, who resisted the new technology of talking pictures, was about the sweeping technological changes shaking up contemporary Hollywood.
This year’s Oscar nominees, among them Argo, a fact-based film in which Hollywood saves the CIA’s bacon, have more political and social immediacy, as I talk about in the linked notes. As The New Yorker’s Rick Hertzberg noted earlier in awards season, what’s striking is how many of the nominees engage with important events and themes in American history. Three of the nominees (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained and Lincoln) address political and social inequalities. Two (Argo and Zero Dark Thirty) are about American intelligence and geopolitics.
Of the nominees you’ve seen, what’s the takeway? What do you think will win? Why?