Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be discussing/reviewing the movies fighting for the coveted honor of receiving the Oscar for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards which takes place on February 24th, as well as articles focusing on the actor/actress categories. Today’s focus is on Django Unchained.
If there’s any movie of the nine nominees this year that planned on making a statement, it’s Django Unchained (the ‘D’ is silent). Of course, that “statement” can be many things, per se. The statement in question could refer to a political stance on America’s dark past of slavery. The statement could be that undying love shows no boundaries. The statement could be to not mess with Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson or Leonardo DiCaprio. In all actuality, there aren’t many people who would disagree that if this movie states anything, it’s that Quentin Tarantino knows how to make a damn good movie.
Tarantino wrote and directed a movie has every element of a classic. Classic performances, classic cinematography, classic scenery, classic music and a classic story: revenge and recapturing. For as classic as this movie deserves to become, there’s no doubt that the movie is completely unconventional, which makes sense actually when you think about what all the classics have in common. Seriously, how many movies does one come across involving a German enlisting a black slave to be his right-hand bounty hunter? Also, if anyone seriously says it’s a remake of the 1966 film titled Django, they are sorely mistaken.
Django is up for a total of five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz, Best Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Cinematography. Unfortunately, it is possible that Django will unfortunately go home empty-handed on awards night. Why? Because it’s an unconventional classic. That’s why. Also, the acting categories for all fields this year is completely tough, as is the Best Picture category. Zero Dark Thirty seems to be the favorite in Original Screenplay. That leaves only the technical awards up for contention for Django, which are also usually near impossible to predict this year. Foxx could have definitely deserved a nomination for Best Actor, and the same for Leo in Supporting Actor, but as mentioned above the competition is already pretty heavy in the acting fields. It does seem kind of unusual that Tarantino was left out of the Best Director category, a definite snub of all trades.
So what are Django’s chances of pulling an upset and taking home the gold (man) for Best Picture? Pretty slim, honestly. The traits that stick this film out in the first place are surpassed by other movies nominated. Zero Dark Thirty has more controversy, and Lincoln steals much of the period-piece aspect (it is a more realistic view of historic events). Nevertheless, Django is as gripping, funny, tense, and gory as a Tarantino movie can be, and its nominations are all more than deserved.
Chances of winning: 70%