2017 has been a great year for movies of various origins, genres and above all, budgets. Indies are conquering the market and hearts of audiences and critics alike and this breath of fresh air has been represented this year at the Academy Awards. Low-budget movies tackling controversial subjects have finally been recognized by academics, in yet an other effort to prove the Academy is more than a bunch of white privileged males. Movies that one would have never imagined would receive Hollywood praise are nominated this year alongside more typical movies by classic Oscar directors. Let’s take a look at this year’s Best Picture nominees, from their budget, nominations, box office and ratings.
Everyone’s story deserves to be heard. This was the main subject of this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. With sexual harassment as one of the major topics on the news and with hundreds of actors and actresses coming forward with heartbreaking stories, what a better platform to talk about this issue than the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With an all-female rooster of presenters, the issue at the center of the show seemed inevitable even before the start of the night.
Ebbing, Missouri. Foggy morning. Three billboards stand abandoned by the side of a small road. Like a ghost. Martin McDonagh wastes no time setting up the scene of his third feature. After her daughter’s brutal raped and murder remains unresolved for over seven months, Mildred Hayes, a mid-western single mother rents three billboards to call the village’s police force out for their inefficiency: “Raped while dying”, “And still no arrests”, “How come Chief Willoughby?”. It is not hard to imagine that we are facing a tale of revenge, outrage and rage. But Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is far from being your typical revenge drama. This is not a story of a heroic mother courage, corrupt police officers and mean villains, you should know that ahead. This is a story that shows what we would be capable of doing in such a terrible situation. This could have been – and probably is – a real story we can all identify with.
I am a firm believer that movies (especially American movies) portraying teenagers and high schools and these sorts of things are usually terribly wrong on so many levels: first of all, most of the actors are not even teenagers (Rachel McAdams was 26 when she played Regina George in Mean Girls), every high school looks the same and relies on the same stereotypes (maybe it’s my European point of view, who knows. Please, don’t take me wrong, I still love Mean Girls (the screenplay is simply brilliant) and I grew up obsessed with High School Musical, but the way these types of films depict high school is simply stereotypical and in a way it makes me feel that whomever wrote or directed them is out of touch with the youth and with the real topic of social anxiety among teenagers. Even movies such as The Duff, which criticizes the way teens who do not fit the mold are simply cast aside by popular teens, ends up being a stereotype blown out of proportions. The idea may be realistic but the “mise en scène” is plain wrong. Which is why The Edge of Seventeen is such an important movie and has simply moved me: it is the most relatable movie that I have ever seen, probably in my whole life.