Tilda Swinton Comments on the Politics of the Oscars

12/26/2010 Posted by Admin

Tilda Swinton Comments on the Politics of the Oscars

Movie News

By our guest blogger, Joe Oliveto

The Oscars are a game of politics, as much as we’d like to pretend that this isn't the case. That’s not to say that deserving films never win (although, far too often, undeserving films do take home the big prizes), but that there are more obscure but just as deserving films that don’t get the recognition they deserve from the Academy. Few know this as well as someone like Tilda Swinton, who has a slight chance of being nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film “I Am Love.”

We hear it’s a good movie, but how many Americans have had the opportunity to see it?

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Swinton, who recently became a curator for The Edinburgh Film Festival and was honored with an Oscar in 2008 for “Michael Clayton,” said:  “We need kamikaze dedication from distributors […] When you think of the competition -- "Black Swan," let alone "The Social Network" -- we're Daniel in the lions' den, David and Goliath. It's not a proper sport. It's not fair! It's a game.”

Sad words--but true words. The Oscars are a game, and the films with major studio distribution and mass appeal tend to have a huge head-start. It takes a lot of effort for a little independent feature to get noticed when other movies have larger advertising budgets and are generally more well-known.

Although, we have to ask, what’s the point? Swinton herslf mentioned that Oscar buzz isn’t nearly as strong in Scotland as it is in the States, but her comments indicate that she seems to care about the awards. Sure, it’s nice to see your work acknowledged by your peers, and for a small movie like “I Am Love,” being able to slap an “Academy Award Winner” sticker on the DVD can bring in much-needed sales, but if we all know that the Oscars are political, is winning one really that big of a deal? Hitchcock never won an Oscar.  Same for Kubrick. Scorsese finally won for “The Departed,” but he made plenty of movies that deserved it a lot more than that one did.

In the end, maybe what matters is which films are remembered. But, hey, we’re all for a little picture like “I Am Love” reaching a wider audience, so here’s to hoping that Swintom gets the nomination. She’s earned it.

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