by Shane Thomas
Around this time last year, a large part of the discussion around the cinema award season focused on 12 Years A Slave, and its possible chances on winning prizes at the Academy Awards.
While there are myriad problems with the Oscars, the reason why it matters is because it remains the closest thing the West has as a seal of film excellence. It’s a flawed system – and may have a limited shelf life – but right now, it’s the best we’ve got.
An Academy Award isn’t just a gold statue. It often helps to propel movies, and their specific subject matters into the wider social consciousness – especially if they’re not part of the summer blockbuster season. For much of last year, Steve McQueen was asked about the wider issue of slavery almost as much as he was asked about making 12 Years A…
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