Its Oscar Time! Movie Buffs Rejoice!

This morning the highly anticipated Academy Award nominations were released.

Over the past few years, I've become a big movie fan, so I always like this time of year, when awards are given out. I try to see most or all of the nominated films each year. This year I still have some work to do, as I haven't yet seen True Grit, The Fighter, or even Toy Story 3, but I've seen some of the nominated films.

As usual, a small number of films garnered the most nominations. The King's Speech, Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter, True Grit, The Kids Are All Right, and The Social Network dominated this years nominations. Out of these films, I've seen Black Swan, Inception and The Social Network. I also read The Accidental Billionaires which is the book that The Social Network is based on. I definitely plan to see True Grit, The Fighter and The King's Speech before the awards are handed out.

One thing that's been a bit glossed over this year is the lack of diversity in this year's nominations. Granted the Academy Awards have never been terribly diverse, but this year there wasn't even an attempt to nominate any people of color in the big categories. For the record, that doesn't mean there weren't great films made starring, written & directed by people of color, it simply means that once again the Academy chose to ignore those contributions. Is it simply a problem of funding for these projects, or publicity for them? Or is it something much deeper than that, that Hollywood really still is a lily-white place & there's no room for people of color?

The color issue isn't going to detract me from seeing the above-mentioned films & appreciating their excellence. Instead, this is an impetus to seek out & support films made by filmmakers who are ignored by the industry & the Academy. I got my first chance to do that this past year, when I attended the Twin Cities Film Fest & saw Night Catches Us, an excellent film starring Anthony Mackie & Kerry Washington. Perhaps if more of these independent, outside of the mainstream big-release films are seen, they will finally receive their due acknowledgement & praise from the establishment.

Are you a movie fan? Who do you think will win Oscars this year? Thoughts on the lack of diversity in the nominations?