On Nominations

...and the Male Nominees are...

I think there needs to be a clearer understanding as to what is meant by 'Achievement' in any category for the Academy Awards. The Oscars have always been an 'Industry' award recognising the accomplishments in movies made by the big studios. This naturally has required a degree of shifting due to private financing and independent production companies but the core essence remains the same since all the movies nominated will likely have been distributed by a big studio. This is why many of your favourite "small" movies never get acknowledged even though they were probably better. I digress. Each category is judged on it's own merit hence why a film nominated for Best Picture will not necessarily have nominations in the Best Direction, Best Screenplay or Best Cinematography categories which you'd think are intrinsic to making the Best Film. Likewise a film may be nominated in all of those categories but only win one or the other. I bring this up as there has and currently is the debate of representation. There are no female directors nominated this year. Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow (Won) and Greta Gerwig are the only women ever to be nominated as Best Director. This is only one less than the amount of black nominees in the category - John Singleton, Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee - none of whom have won by the way. I digress. The nature of the complaints about there being no female nominees tend to border on the conspiratorial rather than the artistic. Nobody is owed an Oscar and the day the ceremony starts handing out statuettes to pander to demographics is when it loses all its value and magic. I've been raised in an Anglo-American society where if I subdued my entertainment only to people look like me, I'd be bored with a lack of imagination that would not allow me to do what I do now. Does representation help? Yeah, a little but nowhere near as much as put on. If you want to do something you do it. I didn't write because I saw someone black doing it. I write because I love words, I love language and I love movies. Is it encouraging when someone who "represents" you is doing great things? Of course but it cannot be used solely as the justification for recognition. The work actually needs to be good. It needs to be great. It needs to be the best. There were no female nominees this year but the discussion needs to be about whether there is an inherent issue with the creative assessment of the movies put up for awards - which I believe there is. Or is that too difficult a topic to trend on Twitter?