I would like to preface my argument by saying, the fact that Quentin Tarantino was not nominated for Best Director is a travesty.
The Oscars have snubbed Quentin Tarantino before by giving the award for Best Picture to Forrest Gump over my personal favorite movie of all-time: Pulp Fiction. In the past few years the Oscars have been average at best, there have not been any “classic” movies made in awhile. But Django Unchained has a “classic” feel to it, it is a film that I know I will be watching much more than just once.
Quentin Tarantino did what few of the other nominees did with their films, and that is take a chance. It is easy to take a time in American history and just document the facts through several point of views. But Tarantino took the most unpleasant time in American history and made it into an exciting, enjoyable, spaghetti-western type of film.
It is almost taboo to talk about slavery in today’s American society but Tarantino doesn’t only give us a way to talk about slavery but he allows us to talk about it without the tension. It’s almost as if he took the elephant in the room and poked fun at it. As an African-American, I know slavery is no laughing matter and is still a very sensitive topic, but sometimes we have to stop being so close-minded and just allow the past to be the past.
Film is art and art is often a risky business, you have to be fearless, and Tarantino as shown his fearlessness time and time again. The Academy far to often forgets film is entertainment, they seldom reward the most entertaining and enjoyable film. For instance, The Dark Knight Rises and Marvel’s The Avengers should have been nominated, in my opinion. I just want to ask the members of the Academy, how? How is Forrest Gump a better picture than Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption? How is Dances With Wolves better than Goodfellas?
As The Oscars approach, I am expecting Argo to win Best Picture. I liked Argo, but will I watch it again? I doubt it. Django Unchained is a groundbreaking film, no one could have made such an imaginative film about slavery without watering down the historical details. The time period of slavery is so depressing, the idea of a rebellious slave that overthrew a slave master is creative, brilliant, and invigorating.
Tarantino took his brilliant idea of a Jewish women plotting the murder of Hitler in Inglorious Basterds and made it even better in a different genocidal time period in Django Unchained. If Django Unchained doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture, Christoph Waltz should definitely bring home the Best Supporting Actor award for his powerful performance as Dr. King Schultz.