With the Oscars coming to a satisfying close, so ends another season of awards. Now we move on to a summer filled with rom-coms and blockbusters. Every year the studios save their most prestigious creations to be released during the fall and winter months to put them on the forefront for critics who vote in the various awards shows. Typically the films released during this time are the most hailed and often coined as “Oscar bait.” While it’s true that the majority of the highbrow films are saved for last, there are exceptions to this rule.
Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine in “Logan” was released in March and managed to be the first-ever superhero film to land a nomination for Adapted Screenplay. The groundbreaking “Get Out” and exceptional “Dunkirk” were released in February and July, respectively, and went on to win Oscars this year. “Get Out” made history when Jordan Peele became the first African-American to win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. “Dunkirk” won multiple Oscars in the technical fields and landed Christopher Nolan his long awaited Best Director nomination.
Ever since the Oscars so White campaign a few years ago we have started to see noticeable shifts in the inclusivity of lineups during awards season. Not just with people of color but women as well. Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director for her wonderful film, “Lady Bird.” Rachel Morrison became the first female ever to be nominated for Best Cinematography, though this year that award went to my personal favorite cinematographer. After 13 nominations, Roger Deakins finally won his first Oscar for the cinematography in “Blade Runner 2049.”
It won’t be long before we see the day when articles don’t have to say things like “the first African-American” and “only the fifth woman.” Just look at the past four years of Best Director recipients at the Oscars. Alfonso Cuaron won for “Gravity” in 2014, Alejandro G. Inarritu won for “Birdman” & “The Revenant” in 2015 & 2016 respectively, and Guillermo Del Toro won this year for “The Shape of Water” (a film that Del Toro calls “A fairytale for troubled times,” which also went on to, deservedly, win Best Picture this year). All of these phenomenal men are immigrants of Mexican descent. These amazing people and their amazing films have always been out there. Now they’re getting a seat at the big table that is Hollywood and I can’t wait to see what they’ll serve for dinner next.
Kyle Reed is a local resident who writes about the film industry.