An essay called “Season of Assumption” was posted earlier today (1.6) by MCN’s David Poland. He begins by saying that “there has never been less plain talk in an Oscar season,” and then he dribbles the basketball for 19 or 20 paragraphs until he finally scores at the end.
“With ‘white movies,’ 10 or so crash and that leaves 30 in play,” Poland says. “In ‘POC movies’ you lose one and you’re down to three. Detroit gets waylaid and you’re down to two. Mudbound gets Netflix-sidebarred and then there’s only Get Out. And suddenly, the entire issue of race at the Academy comes down to a horror-comedy-thriller from a first-time director.
“That’s crazy. No matter how much you love Get Out or see the social discussion as the focus of the film…whether it gets nominated or not…crazy. It’s also crazy to argue that if Get Out isn’t included in the Best Picture nominees that racism is primarily responsible.”
True, there’s definitely more of a burden on POC movies. Fewer contenders means fewer fall-outs. But what POC director or producer is delighted to say at year’s end, “My film is one of the top Best Picture contenders, not just because it’s good but because it’s a POC film, which is basically a get-out-of-jail card by present-day Hollywood standards, and I’m proud of that!”
If there are 30 white movies in play at the beginning of a year, it’s more common for 20 or even 25 of them to crash by November or December.