Have you seen more than one of the movies nominated for best picture this year at the Oscars? The answer is probably not. While two of the nominees actually found sizable audiences (Dunkirk and Get Out), the rest of the field consists of small movies the general public doesn’t care about. Coupled with what many Americans expect to be a 3-hour left-wing political seminar, the broadcast of the 90th annual Academy Awards this Sunday is shaping up to be a Spinal Tap concert-level disaster.
If you look past Dunkirk’s $188 million box office and Get Out, with a $176 million take (against only a $4.5 million production budget), none of the nominated films excited people this year. The next highest-grossing movie was The Post with $78 million. While nothing to sniff at, it’s production budget was $50 million. Add in the cost of marketing and you’re not exactly rolling in the profits there. And that’s a movie starring two of the biggest names in Hollywood (Hanks and Streep) being directed by the biggest (Spielberg). People just don’t care.
The rest of the nominees found small audiences, some made a profit, but none caught fire.
The closest thing to a sleeper hit was Get Out, which is, at best, a guilty pleasure B-movie only getting the attention it has enjoyed because of the racial politics associated with it. It’s fine entertainment, but had it not had liberal-imposed “deeper meaning” and the praise that accompanies it, it would have faded quickly.
Get Out wasn’t even thought of as Oscar-bait when it was released, just a small summer movie. Oscar contenders, or movies studios think can be, aren’t released until the end of the year. But the overwhelming media hype surrounding the movie led to an Oscar campaign for a movie already on cable. That doesn’t happen very often.
Were Get Out released during the Obama administration it likely would have been forgotten. But Donald Trump is president, and that fact has set liberal Hollywood on edge. Coupled with so many in the business being exposed as sexual predators, and you have an entertainment industry that is reeling and embracing liberalism even harder this year.
That’s why the vast majority of the public simply doesn’t care.
Aside from, Dunkirk, and Get Out, other nominees are forgettable and unrelatable to most people. I love movies and I have no desire to see any of them, only having seen Get Out because it was TV.
Other nominees and a brief summary of what they seem to be about are:
The Post: A movie lionizing the media in a time when the media is as popular as toenail fungus. Hollywood loves movies about the media, so does the media. Audiences…not so much.
The Shape of Water: A love story between a woman and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I have no idea if it is, but it sure seems like it and I also don’t care.
Darkest Hour: Winston Churchill during the start of World War II. I’d watch it, but I don’t feel compelled to see it in theaters. I’ve heard good things, but I feel like I’ve seen this already.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A lady is mad at a racist cop for not solving her kid’s murder, or something. I don’t know, and I don’t care. Seems like a lifetime movie without the unintentional humor.
Lady Bird: When I first heard about it I assumed it was a bio-pic about LBJ’s wife. It’s not. Beyond that, I can only figure out that it’s about a quirky girl not getting along with her mom. I like movies that director Greta Gerwig has starred in, but have no desire to see this.
Phantom Thread: Daniel Day-Lewis is probably the best actor alive today, but a movie that seems like it’s about a creepy tailor is not high on my list for ways to spend two hours.
Call Me By Your Name: Watching an adult man seduce a 17-year-old boy is typical Oscar-bait but a bit weird in the “me too” era. Hollywood can’t help itself. Audiences sure did, it only took in $15 million at the box office. Maybe Kevin Spacey can present it, or sue for plagiarism from his life story. Either way, I’m with the rest of the country in having zero interest in it.
Audiences didn’t want to see the movies nominated, so there’s little chance they’ll tune in to see if movies they didn’t want to watch win awards they don’t care about.
Those who do tune in can expect host Jimmy Kimmell to lecture them about how awful the country is. There will be Trump jokes, there will be anti-Republican and anti-Second Amendment speeches. Don’t be surprised if an Obama or CNN-approved Parkland shooting survivor shows up on stage at some point, or at least gets a shout-out.
Who wants that? Who needs that?
The entertainment industry exists because people want to be entertained, to escape from reality for a little while. But Hollywood can’t do that anymore, at least when it comes time to reward itself. They act as though they’re important; they believe it because their publicists tell them they are. The American people told them last year they aren’t, box office numbers hit a 25-year low in 2017.
Hollywood won’t learn the lessons of 2017. They’re making a movie about Wendy Davis, the liberal Democrat who became a liberal celebrity by filibustering an abortion law in Texas, then let the media attention go to her head and suffered a humiliating defeat in a bid for governor, so clearly Hollywood doesn’t care either.
So which movie will win best picture? Who cares? The biggest winners of the night will not be the rich celebrities who collect the $100,000-plus “swag bags” the pampered class is getting at the event (though that’d be nice), it’s the people who don’t watch any of it.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.