It’s an interesting thing, awards season. It is never to be taken all that seriously, we get that. It does, by no means, declare anything or mean anything except to take a snapshot of who these people are at any point in time. It doesn’t reflect what the ticket-buyers think is best and it doesn’t reflect what the critics or the British film industry thinks is best. It represents the Hollywood film industry, those people who either once made movies and now spend their retirement in judgement of the people who do, or those who are trying to make movies and get slapped down by either the executives in Hollywood or the critics.
I’ve heard, from a source I will not disclose, that several Academy members recently said they weren’t voting for Boyhood because “did not speak” to them. What does that mean exactly? It means that they could never imagine living a normal life full of ordinary struggles in finding their way.
Drilling down more deeply into what they meant by “it did not speak to them,” one elderly female Academy member, the same one who reacted violently to Wolf of Wall Street of Wall Street said she was not voting for Boyhood because, and I quote, “it was about people who were ‘garbage’ and ‘losers’.”
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. At first people thought it was that the critics lavished so much praise upon the film the industry snickered at their choice and said, “that’s not how you make a movie, THIS is how you make a movie.” But now, another dimension has been uncovered. It’s a film about people who are struggling with every day problems. Funnily enough, Boyhood is a movie for ordinary people who don’t yet know it even exists. It is a film I would recommend to everyone I know, even though some might think it inaccessible and snooty. Most people I know would relate and do relate to what they see on screen. They don’t dwell in the 1%, or aspire to dwell there in that rarefied air, forever gazing at the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.
So now we must factor in “garbage” or “trash” when thinking about what “they” will do. Boy, they’ve come a long way since Midnight Cowboy won Best Picture, huh?
Boyhood spoke to me because much of my life was lived as a real life, raising a daughter on my own being the most fulfilling part of that life. I went through the abusive boyfriend who was my daughter’s father figure with the nice house in the Hollywood Hills, the 50K Mercedes and the hardcore drinking problem. I did it because I wanted to give her a better life than apartments with one bedroom and no natural sunlight. I figured it out at some point that being rich doesn’t make you a better person or more worthy in anyone’s eyes that matter. That doesn’t make me trash — it makes me human, yearning for a better life and struggling to get there. Let any of those pampered, entitled voters stand up and tell me they never made any mistakes in their lives with the people they chose.
Only one member in the group stood up for Boyhood and bravely said, “I think it’s better than all of the other nominees.”
My friend concluded with his own observations about how people were talking about the Boyhood, “There is great glee in knocking that film down. They don’t want it at the party,” adding, “they aren’t passionate about Birdman, particularly, but most just want to be on the winning side.”