Of all the movies to come out in 2018, from Alfonso Cuaron's poetic Roma to Yorgos Lanthimos's biting The Favourite, only two stood out as truly mind-blowing.
One was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a blend of extraordinary animation coupled with the best superhero script to-date. It was so good that even pervasive superhero movie fatigue couldn't hinder its buzz. Of course it got nominated for Best Animated Feature.
The other was Sorry to Bother You, the directorial debut of rapper Boots Riley. Watch the trailer below. Then we'll chat.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU | Official Trailer www.youtube.com
The story takes place in an alternate version of Oakland and follows Cassius 'Cash' Green (Lakeith Stanfield), an African American telemarketer who discovers that using a "white person voice" makes him extra-successful with sales.
That's all you should know going in. Anything beyond that could ruin the surprise.
But trust that we're talking about the most original movie in years — one with a strong, angry, passionate political viewpoint that never speaks down to its viewers. It's a movie that puts you directly into the shoes of a young, poor black man struggling to make his way against the myriad disadvantages heaped on him by white society, all while maintaining an outrageous sense of humor and visual oomph. It's a movie that transcends category, at once comedy, drama, socio-political commentary, and horror, rife with magic realism.
Sorry to Bother You absolutely deserved a Best Picture nod. Lakeith Stanfield deserved a Best Actor in a Leading Role nod for his turn as Cash. But most of all, Boots Riley deserved nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Boots Riley has stated that he's not bothered by the Academy's decision not to nominate because he "didn't actually run a campaign." While that may be true, it's still bullshit.
The Academy Awards are meant to be a celebration of the best movies in a given year, not the ones that spent the most on their Oscar campaigns. A movie like Sorry to Bother You getting left off a "Best Feature" list that includes Bohemian Rhapsody calls the entire endeavor into question.
If one of the best original movies in years doesn't get nominated for any Oscar, why the hell should we care about the Oscars at all?
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