Is it just me? Or does it seem that all you need to do to win an Oscar is to be in a movie that takes place in the Mother country?
Mind you, I like British culture… and I have liked many movies that are set in Britain, or, feature British actors or actresses.
But, come on. I have long speculated that Academy voters have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to the level of culture across the pond.
Take for instance the 2011 Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech. Good enough movie. Not a waste of time to watch. But the best movie of the year? I think not.
And, now, after pointing out this bias, I admit to it myself. One of my favorite movies remains “Empire of the Sun”, one of Steven Spielberg’s early works.
Ironically, the very British “Empire of the Sun” (although as the main character points out, “I’ve never been to Britain”) lost the Best Picture Academy Award to “The Last Emperor”. I suppose “Empire of the Sun” never had a chance.
If there’s one thing the Academy likes more than British accents “with all the words carefully clipped”, it’s a sweeping historical drama that spans generations of the ruling classes. And, to be honest, “The Last Emperor” was simply a beautiful movie. But being a beautiful movie doesn’t make a film the Best Picture.
I still wish “Empire of the Sun” had won Best Picture. How is it that the totally forgettable “The King’s Speech” has its place in history; and, the totally engrossing “Empire of the Sun” is well, just history?