Oscar ballots go out tomorrow, April 15th. Academy voters have five days to do their thing.
This means it’s time for last minute negative campaigning. Suddenly, front runner “Nomadland” got hit with a big, nasty article in the LA Times yesterday. This beautiful piece of cinema about a woman’s loss and her foray into the world of people living in RVs is suddenly anti-labor. I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
I didn’t need Perry Mason to figure out the culprit here. Their fingerprints were all over it. Perry needn’t ask Paul Drake or Della Street to investigate. We’ve been here before. “Someone” has a motive to try and knock off “Nomadland” from its perch.
Can you imagine if Perry had all the movie publicists and Oscar specialists in the courtroom at the same time? He’d be grilling an executive on the stand when one of them would stand up and shout out, passionately, “I didn’t meant to do it. I couldn’t help myself!”
So Josh Rottenberg of the LA Times says that “Nomadland” is being criticized for not depicting ‘gig life” properly, and not investigating Amazon’s seasonal work force. I have news for Josh, who is a good reporter I enjoy reading: “Nomadland” is not a documentary. It’s a work of fiction inspired by true stories. It’s the saga of Fern, a widow without money, who is trying to adjust after her husband dies and her town shuts down. It’s a film so full of light and hope, I can’t believe anyone would go out of their way to criticize it.
But this anti-“Nomadland” campaign serves two purposes. It attacks not only the film, but Amazon, which — though it does have warehouse workers who I’m sure need better care — also has movies in the Oscar race. So tossing Amazon into the story has the value added benefit of making Oscar voters consider not voting for their movies. It’s brilliantly evil.
Look, “Nomadland” is the best film of the year. Since Frances McDormand has stepped back from the Best Actress race, I vote for Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey.” Emphatically. “Nomadland” will win Best Director for Chloe Zhao, and maybe cinematography and editing. I’m sorry Swankie wasn’t nominated for supporting actress, and David Straithairn, under-appreciated, for supporting actor. A great film, one above a group of excellent 2021 films.
Watch this great video about “Nomadland”: