of the site redesign and my head reeling from a weekend of frenzied
writing, I looked upon the Oscar announcements with a cursory glance
but not much actual thought seemingly because on the surface it looked
like a relatively nice mixture of nominations, Atonement excluded [no I haven’t seen it, but only because I don’t want two hours of sleep at this time].
Then it hit me…
Only one of the best movies of the past five years, let alone 2007.
Ignored in that special way that most films released in January and
February are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised. Not in the least.
I just assumed that though many folks (including I would assume, some
Oscar voters) didn’t catch the film in release and had to discover it
on DVD and at that time the light would shine favorably on David
Fincher’s exemplary film. They would finally see it and understand what
a special film it is.
Alas, it was not meant to be.
now I have to wonder if there’s a flaw in the system. If there should
be quarterly polls of the best films of that quarter so that films from
all seasons aren’t forgotten at the end of the year. I think studios
hedge their bets too much, investing way to much weight in their big
Christmas release (The Bucket List and Charlie Wilson’s War
seemed to be poised as surefire awards magnets and though the latter is
a terrific film, they would arguably have been just as successful if
not more so had they broken up a monotonous summer slate) as opposed to
allowing the rest of the films to bloom in their particular slot. Zodiac
was dumped like Kiefer Sutherland in ’91, left to make its meager
allowance to an audience with lowered expectations and a weary head
from a month’s barrage of Oscar Bait.
As a result, an ALMOST
perfect movie, one that in my mind isn’t the Best Picture of 2007 but
damn close, has to sit on the bench while some lesser films get the
attention and additional revenue that Oscar nominees get. Everyone has
moved on from Zodiac, so I can’t imagine they’re losing sleep, but it does once again illustrate a flaw in how this system is.
By mid-year, Zodiac
was the best film of 2007. It didn’t get worse and there weren’t five
better films released in the second half. At the end of the day, that
has to mean something.
The author of this article is aware that the Oscar and Oscar
nominations are no guarantee of a film’s quality and that the wrong
films are often nominated and win. There’s no denying that. But to not
be pissed and to not want the best films to be in the running is to
have given up the fight. It’s better to fight.