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Academy Award nominations movies shown in 2022 focus on trauma and violence, with the return of sexism

Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 5.23.37 PMMovies continue to be one of the most popular past times in the United States. Joseph Campbell, American author and teacher, called them the great American dream machine.

However, in my opinion, movies fall short because they focus so much on violence. For many years, I’ve written about how violence in the media is harmful to children. Despite this finding, movie makers continue to produce violent movies, and, the violence gets worse every year.

In this list of the Oscar contenders, my picks are shown in bold. At the end of the article, you’ll find my recommendations listed, along with those I suggest readers don’t miss.

Best picture

√ “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Very good, although extremely violent. A very imaginative science fiction story.

“Avatar: The Way of Water.” Very violent, with lots of people killed. However, one theme is the importance of family.

“The Banshees of Inisherin.” Beautiful scenery, but slow-moving, dark, and needlessly violent.

“Elvis.” Well done, but sad because he died so young.

“The Fabelmans.” O.K., but I don’t like movies about the lives of movie directors. So few movies are made from the thousands of ideas out there, I don’t like to see a movie wasted on this topic. Think last year’s “The Hand of God.”

“Tár.” Sexist and disappointing, another psychological drama. Why give a woman the bad characteristics usually associated with men that lead to her downfall.

“Top Gun Maverick.” Good. It must be that this year’s nominations are so bad, even Tom Cruise in a Top Gun movie could look good.

“Triangle of Sadness.” Strange. A “satire” about a couple going on a trip on a yacht gone wrong, it has scenes that are boring and gross.

“Women Talking.” Very good. About women in a religious sect who had been raped and abused, talking about whether they’d forgive the men, stay and fight, or leave.

“All Quiet on the Western Front.” Distressing with so many scenes of violence, including lingering on soldiers dying.

Best director

√ Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

Todd Field, “Tár”

Ruben Ostlund, “Triangle of Sadness”

Best actor

√ Bill Nighy, “Living.” Excellent. This is an example of a great movie, about how a dying man learns to live in his last days.

Austin Butler, “Elvis”

Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brendan Fraser, “The Whale.” A dreadful, dark story. I think real actors should be hired to play overweight people, not put actors in fat suits.

Paul Mescal, “Aftersun.” Disjointed, with forward flashes that were hard to understand how they fit in.

Best actress

√ Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Cate Blanchett, “Tár”

Ana de Armas, “Blonde.” A dreadful, sexist movie. Joyce Carol Oats’ book was based loosely on Marilyn Monroe’s life and the movie was based loosely on Oats’ book.

Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie.” Good, but since she’s an alcoholic, it’s hard to watch at times.

Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”

Best supporting actor

√ Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway.” I didn’t see it.

Judd Hirsch, “The Fabelmans”

Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Best supporting actress

√ Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Hong Chau, “The Whale”

Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Original screenplay

√ “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

“The Fabelmans”

“Tár”

“Triangle of Sadness”

Adapted screenplay

√ “Women Talking.” 

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Living”

“Top Gun: Maverick”

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Animated feature

√ “Turning Red.” O.K. There wasn’t much violence. A young teen who can turn herself into a red panda shows her mom that she’s making changes in her life.

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.” Lots of violence added to this famous kids story.

“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” I didn’t see it.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” A lot of violence, although it has a good story.

“The Sea Beast.” Just another animated violent movie for kids.

Documentary feature

√ “Fire of Love.” Great, but with a sad ending, it’s about two famous French volcanologists.

“A House Made of Splinters.” Good, but sad because it’s about orphans in Ukraine.

“All That Breathes.” I didn’t see it.

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.” I didn’t see it.

“Navalny.” I didn’t see it.

International feature

√ “The Quiet Girl,” Ireland. Excellent, about girl from a poor Irish family goes to spend the summer with her mother's cousin while her mom has another baby.

“Argentina – 1985,” Argentina. Very good. It’s inspired by the true story of the prosecutors Julio Strassera and Luis Moreno Ocampo, who in 1985 investigate and prosecute those responsible for the bloodiest phase of the Argentine military dictatorship, which fell only two years earlier.

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Germany.

“Close,” Belgium. I didn’t see it.

“EO,” Poland. I didn’t see it.

Cinematography

√ “Empire of Light.” Good. It’s great to see a movie about an older woman.

“Elvis.”

“Tár”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.” Terrible and disjointed with bazaar scenes. Also disappointing, another movie about a filmmaker.  

Original song

√ “Applause” (“Tell It Like a Woman”). Good in the beginning, then the movie got strange. It’s seven stories by seven different directors. Most were very good; the last two were fanciful.

“Naatu Naatu” (“RRR”). Lots and lots of horrible violence in the movie, but I was surprised to see Bollywood dancing, too.

“Hold My Hand” (“Top Gun: Maverick”)

“Lift Me Up” (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)

Original score

√ “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Babylon.” I didn’t see it.

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

“The Fabelmans”

Sound

√ “Top Gun: Maverick”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

“Elvis”

“The Batman.” I didn’t see it.

Editing

√ “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

“Elvis”

“Tár”

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Production design

√ “Avatar: The Way of Water”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Elvis”

“The Febelmans”

Costume design

√ “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.” Great movie about an older woman.

“Babylon.” I didn't see it.

“Elvis”

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Makeup and hairstyling

√ “Elvis”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“The Batman.” I didn’t see it.

“The Whale”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Visual effects

√ “Avatar: The Way of Water”

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

“Top Gun: Maverick”

“The Batman.” I didn’t see it.

Animated short

No choice

“The Flying Sailor: A Seaman’s Life Flashes Before His Eyes.” Not engaging. The main character smokes the entire time.

“Ice Merchants: A Father and Son Brave Perilous Heights.” Hard to follow. Not in English. They dive and hit a pile of something.

“My Year of Dicks.” Lots of smoking and teenage angst.

“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It.” I didn’t see it.

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.” I didn’t see it.

Documentary short

√ “The Martha Mitchell Effect.” Great. It was refreshing to see a well-done, true story.

“Haulout: Melting Sea Ice Pushes Walruses to the Brink.” Slow, but a moving story. A marine biologist observes the migration of walruses.

“How Do You Measure a Year?” I didn’t see it.

“Stranger at the Gate.” Good. About a former Marine who was going to kill Muslims in America, but he went to a mosque and met them and changed his mind.

“The Elephant Whisperers.” Great. About a couple in India who were successful in raising two orphaned elephants.

Live-action short

I didn’t see these.

In summary, here are my recommendations and don’t miss lists:

My recommendations

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis,” “Argentina – 1985,” “Turning Red,” “Fire of Love,” “Living,” “Women Talking,” “Empire of Light,” “The Quiet Girl,” “To Leslie,” “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” “A House Made of Splinters,” “The Elephant Whisperers,” “Haulout,” “The Martha Mitchell Effect,” “Stranger at the Gate,” “Tell It Like a Woman.”

Don’t miss

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis,” “Argentina – 1985,” “Fire of Love,” “Living,” “Women Talking,” “Empire of Light,” “The Quiet Girl,” “To Leslie,” “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” “The Elephant Whisperers,” “Haulout,” “The Martha Mitchell Effect.”

 

Comments

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Laurie Stone

I agree, so much of Hollywood is violent and chauvinistic. Haven't been to a picture in a long time. I like television better. You can pick and choose in more detail what you want to see. and feel.

Rita

Among some of the movie industry's violent offerings this year, were themes about the importance of families. I wonder if that's an improvement.

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