The Oscars: Cinephile Makes Sense

by Porfi Lara

As every year, the waiting came to an end on the first Sunday of March. In its 86th the Oscars gave us the opportunity to go further in the movie world in a way that, I could say, is getting a little bit away from the theaters and screenplays as we know them nowadays.

The night was nailed up by the tremendous humor of Ellen DeGeneres, who was hosting the event for her second time and also gave the Academy the best rating in a decade thanks to her particularly mid-show selfie pictures. Unlike the last ceremony in 2013, the sexism-free hosting was aiming at some of the little mistakes in the audience and the curious repetitions in the nominee list, like Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories (and also the new falling of Jennifer, who’s funny tradition is giving a lot to talk about).

Now, getting a little bit serious on this one, the Oscars this year, and also mostly of the movie enterprise work, was a really interesting way to dive into the important issues that are happening in our world right now. I know this is not new at all. Basically, movies have always included some of these issues in the screenplay, somehow. But this time, it is clearly beginning to switch into a whole new experience, and a new way to put those topics and conflicts in the table. Maybe, still in an unreal platform although, Hollywood is now trying to say to the world that it is impossible to keep those conflicts and topics out of the play and out of the dialogue too.

We can take a look at the nominees this year. Deeper in the screenplay, such as in 12 Years Slave and Wolf of Wallstreet, these two movies try to take some of the less enjoyable memories of a nation and make a statement with them. “America is what it is because of what happened here. That’s what we are. What is it going to be next?” or, maybe, “Those times were tough. But there are some places in the world where these things are happening, and we are now ready to take a step and talk about it so we can make a difference, if possible”.

This year’s ceremony was themed by heroes, and Hollywood knows well how to create them. For decades, as Ellen said at the beginning of the ceremony, “movies have been our escape from the bad things that are happening around the world.” The movie industry has been trying to reach the very human-side behind the special effects, the amazing stunts, the fancy clothes and the perfects worlds and performances. How would you feel being alone in the scary empty space? How would you survive a life of chains once you know how freedom is like? Would you be the one that leads a revolution or the disaster?

At the end of the night, the movies that took us closer to our best human-side, those that helped us to find the reason of all what we live now, were the winners. People are changing, and so are the movies. Slavery, racism, economic crisis might be the prior topics of the actual society. And the people involved in this enterprise are conscious of the part that they play as public figures. Money and fame can blur our eyes on this. But we can start, with the rest of Hollywood, to be an active part of this entertainment medium. There are always first times, as Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Lareto can tell us. They are taking the escape and turning it to a reminder. Movies can be both. We choose.

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