Are the Oscars American or International?

The nomination and subsequent victories for the movie Roma confused me. There have always been many foreign movies that deserve recognition so the Academy set up a category called Best Foreign Film. Then politics intruded and it became more liberal to consider foreign product on an equal footing. The audience of actors love to cheer for immigrants as a statement against Trump’s anti-immigration stance. Thus they started to include foreign movies in categories that used to be reserved only for US (and British) movies.

If you’re going to include Roma as a nominee then shouldn’t you be considering every movie made in eastern Europe, France and Germany. Shouldn’t all of their actors be up for the Best Actor award even if US audiences never saw the film (since it was not shown in any domestic theater)? Hollywood is a global business and the success of Netflix marketing foreign TV shows has exposed a taste for offshore product. So they have to make up their mind- either they go the Netflix way and become the New Global Oscars or they stay local and omit all foreign movies from being nominated outside of the Best Foreign Film category. To do neither is to leave us wondering why a brilliant film like Never Look Away was not nominated while Roma was. It looks like some sort of affirmative action for Mexico.

If you go global you’ll have to find a way to get foreign films into theaters or onto Netflix. As with Birdman you’ll end up with a lot of winners by movies that no one has seen which goes against their new efforts to give awards to popular movies. If it has subtitles most people will stay at home. How many nominations would Roma have received if it had not played on Netflix? For now, we have a new rule – these are domestic awards unless the movie is on Netflix.

Does that make sense?

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