January 31, 2012

For the Love of Oscar

by Gary Fearon, Creative Director

This past week the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture were announced. They are, in no particular order:

  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Artist
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Help
  • War Horse
  • The Tree of Life

In looking over this year’s nominees, a think I spotted a few trends:

Oscar loves Paris
Midnight in Paris and Hugo both take place in France, as does part of War Horse. The Artist is a French movie.

Oscar loves the past
Only one of these movies – The Descendants – takes place completely in modern day, although an important plot point has to do with ancestry. Midnight in Paris begins in the current era but harkens back. The Tree of Life is particularly all over the place in time: past, present and future.

Oscar loves novels
Hugo, The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Descendants, Moneyball and War Horse all had their origins in a book.

Oscar loves Brad Pitt
Mr P stars in both Moneyball and The Tree of Life. Oscar is perennially fond of Meryl Streep too, but who isn’t. 

Oscar loves wars
Films that take place during wartime are a recurring Academy favorite. Last year’s winner The King’s Speech had the backdrop of World War II. The previous year The Hurt Locker took home top honors. In this year’s Oscar race will War Horse win by a nose?

Oscar loves social commentary
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: 9/11. 
The Help: racial equality.
The Tree of Life: I don’t know, but something.

Oscar loves Hollywood and the creative arts
The Artist takes us back to the glory days of silent films. Hugo pays homage to classic movies as well. Midnight is Paris features a Hollywood screenwriter who encounters great writers from the past.

Oscar loves underdogs
Just about all of the movies feature a lead character who life has thrown a curveball. A couple of them are especially slumdoggy.

Oscar loves secret keys
At least two of the movies (I won’t spoil by saying which ones) include a mystery surrounding a key.

We could get off into additional tributaries, such as the fact that almost half the movies include “The” in the title, but that’s just obsessive.

Each year the faces may change but the cinema we flock to stays much the same: stories about overcoming obstacles and making dreams come true. All we require is a two-hour escape, and Hollywood continues to deliver.

When they announce the Best Picture winner on Sunday, February 26 we’ll know who Oscar really loves in this lineup. In the meantime, Suite T will be giving you nothing but love as guest bloggers weigh in all during February about love and the love of writing. Be one of them! Visit our Blog Love submission page now.

Until we meet again, I’ll be working on my new novel, The Parisian Orphan. During wartime, a young artist finds a key to a time machine shaped like a horse. I’m hoping Brad Pitt will be interested.

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