I love Jamie Foxx but, I really don’t think that Django unchained is Oscar material any more than Inglorious Bastards. Yes it was a rousing saturday afternoon diversion and yes I got to see Jamie Foxx all Bad ass and cool, but let’s face it, this movie was way over the top. It could be called the Bad the Badder and the Baddest. I’m fairly confident that this movie will become a cult classic like Pulp Fiction. Tarantino is very good at creating bloody good action yarns. I have nothing against Django, however my favorite movie of 2012 is Cloud Atlas and it was completely overlooked for the Oscars. While Django was Six gun porn, Cloud Atlas was a truly involving and fascinating story. I judge a story by how engaged I become with the characters and the plot. I was totally absorbed in the trials and tribulations of every character on screen.
I fear that this movie was rebuffed simply because of the genre of Science fiction. Sure movies like Avatar and The Empire strikes back get technical awards but I can’t remember a science fiction flick ever winning a best movie or best actor Oscar. Cloud Atlas goes way beyond just science fiction, it reaches across the ages in a series of interwoven stories that all converge in an uplifting ending.
I love everything about this movie and can’t wait to get it on DVD. I talked about this film for a week after I had viewed it. It was on my mind from the time I left the theater until today. Some people seemed to find it confusing but I just found it thought provoking. It’s been a long time since I have been stimulated by any movie. Movies like Sophie’s Choice and Glory made me feel the same way but great pics like these are few and far in between. Instead of quality films we are constantly bombarded by live action cartoons like transformers and yet another Spiderman. This year I’ve seen remakes of Judge Dredd and Total Recall, yet again illustrating Hollywood’s lack of imagination. Cloud Atlas is not only imaginative but beautifully crafted with some great performances by veteran actors and talented newcomers.
So why was this more than adequate film ignored by the Academy? Even more puzzling to me is, why was Django ever nominated? It wasn’t as good as Open Range or Unforgiven or even Tombstone. It was sort of a cross between Mandingo and They call me Trinity,( a corny second rate Spaghetti western) with a little Buck and the preacher and Skin game thrown in for good measure. In other words it was highly derivative and not terribly original. I know that it was supposed to be an homage to the Spaghetti western genre, but it lacked the grittiness of the Sergio Leone movies. Gratuitous violence and shock tactics do not make a great movie, a great story and great acting makes a great movie. In my opinion Cloud Atlas fits into both the categories of great story and great acting which is why I believe that Cloud Atlas and not Django Unchained deserves at least a nomination.