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Discuss: Does "Django Unchained" Deserve Its Oscar Nomination?

Posted: February 21st, 2013 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Discuss: Does "Django Unchained" Deserve Its Oscar Nomination?Submit Comment
Now that we're just days away from the Oscars, more and more people are coming forward with their opinions of which movie should win and which shouldn't have been nominated at all. Today, we have a few words from basketball legend/actor Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Airplane, Game of Death), who is a huge film fan.

"Should 'Django Unchained' have been nominated by the Academy for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars? No," he said. "Not unless the Academy starts new categories such as Most Entertaining Movie or Best Kick-Ass Movie. Until then, the Academy members have a responsibility to promote films that demonstrate the highest quality on both a technical and literary level."

Jabbar went on to say that other forms of art, like books and theater, do a better job of choosing winners. "The Pulitzer Prize people take it so seriously that last year they didn't bestow any award for fiction because they didn't find one that met their standards," he explained.

Jabbar absolutely loved "Django Unchained," but feels that "being fun and entertaining and emotionally engaging shouldn't be enough" to be recognized by the Academy.

"'Django Unchained' is a B movie. A damn fine B movie, but still a B movie. That's not an insult. Many of my favorite films are B movies," he said. "Despite its slavery setting, 'Django Unchained' isn't an exploration of the subject. It offers no critical insights into the circumstances, no nuances exploring the political realities (as 'Lincoln' does). In the end, slavery is a prop to excite audience emotion and motivate the action."

Question: Does the Academy select the most entertaining and the most popular films, rather than meaningful works of art?

Source: Esquire

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Displaying 46 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Trivia Newton John writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 6:19:58 AM

I think it's a combination of things. Everything Kareem said is correct but you need to also take into account that the awards themselves need to be somewhat entertaining and appeal to a wider audience, otherwise no one will really give too much of a f*ck. I think the academy makes a pool of contenders from a rather broad spectrum of criteria, but ultimately chooses the best film critically speaking. Django unchained won't win, but to say it doesn't belong in the pool is a bit much considering previous nominees (The Fighter, 127 hours)
Trivia Newton John writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 6:21:42 AM

On top of that, there are certain people who's sh*t just gets nominated (DiCaprio, Clooney, Tarantino, Spielberg)
KillerCOck writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 6:22:13 AM

supaflywill writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 6:32:08 AM

i fell asleep during this movie.... i dreament about was niggaz ....
Damon242 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:09:12 AM

And here I was thinking that the strength of the storytelling was the key factor in any narrative, and not whether or not it was designed for analysis on a critical subject...
Dirt writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:12:35 AM

Tarantino is hit and miss, there is always going to be people that love everything he puts out though. Kareem points out excellent points and I agree with him.

I didn't think the movie was crash hot, Christopher Waltz was the best thing about it.

cress writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:46:49 AM

When I clicked on the link to this article, the last thing I was expecting to see was a 10 ft . tall retired basketball player. Thanks for the laugh.
Avirex writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:50:42 AM

His points were okay until..

"The Pulitzer Prize people take it so seriously that last year they didn't bestow any award for fiction because they didn't find one that met their standards".

Pretentious bullsh*t, especially from the 'Pulitzer Prize people'. All the countless fiction books that are released each year and none met "their standards" ..f*ck off
The5thBeatle5 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:58:34 AM

Leo Dicap was totally snubbed!
trailertrash writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:01:55 AM

Jive ass dude don't got no brains anyhow! Shiiiiit.
Avirex writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:03:49 AM

^^I wish people would start saying jive turkey again just for sh*ts and giggles.
Tanman32123 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:03:50 AM

He makes some good points but regardless, The film was still a damn good movie, Damn good directing and damn good Acting as well as a damned good Plot!

So bite me, I'd say yes.
SACdaddy writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:11:37 AM

Wow, I love Kareem's insight on the subject. I agree with everything he said but I think he misses the point a little. As Damon said a strong narrative doesn't have to be an introspective look at the subject matter or some critical analysis. Take Usual Suspects for example. It's just an extremely well written and tightly woven narrative meant purely to deceive and entertain. It's not meant to be an insightful examination of the criminal underworld. I don't go to the movies to learn about reality, I go to escape from it. The better the escapism the better the experience (that's why Avatar and D-9 were nominated imo). As long as the story and the character development is done well enough to demand my attention for 2-3 hrs and engage me mentally and emotionally in the plot, that's all can ask for in a film. Django just did that better than any film I saw this year, so it deserves all the credit its getting. It's definitely worth at least a nomination.

Either way kudos to Kareem for dropping some nice insight on the subject. I can definitely respect his opinion.
SACdaddy writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:13:27 AM

What the hell is "meaningful" about Les Miserable anyway?
trailertrash writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:19:25 AM


lol, Or at least when you get to 65 you should talk totally Jive for the rest of your life !!
BJsforeveryone writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:19:27 AM

He makes some good points but many movies being praised by the Oscar jury are utter bullsh*t to watch(never gonna watch Lincoln and especially Life of Pi calls out to be ignored)
Django is better than any other movie I saw in 2012 !!
Cinemaisdead writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:22:46 AM

the Academy members have a responsibility to promote films that demonstrate the highest quality on both a technical and literary level."

Yeah cause they've really done that in the past :/

f*cking Chicago the musical won best picture at the Oscars, what technical and literal quality does that bring to audiences. That "Crash" piece of sh*t that won the same year Brokeback Mountain was nominated. f*cking old fashioned c*nts don't have a clue!
trailertrash writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:31:27 AM


Don't forget Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan to the best pic award too, I still have never understood how that movie won Best Picture !!
SACdaddy writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:46:37 AM

Big fan of SPR but I've always said its plot was just to simple to win it all that year. SIL had many well executed layers to it and still managed to be entertaining.

Wow look at the list of films that came out in 1998. The Big Lebowski is by far my favorite, but man look at all the gems that came out with it that year.

M. Bullitt writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:53:06 AM

Excellent opinion from Kareem and in addition I really don't see how Tarantino's film can be an Oscar material? He's too gory for one, his plots are very simplistic even when he's having his own version of history and way too long. Like it was said, it's an entertaining B movie but that's it, nothing more.

I can't think of a B movie that won or was nominated for an Oscar.

To answer the question I think it's a bit of both but I can rembember many films that won the precious awards were totally forgettable if not undeserved. Like in 2002, "Chicago" won while "The Pianist" was supposed to get it but we all know they didn't want to reward Roman Polanski for obvious reasons.
trailertrash writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:59:54 AM

Agree SAC that the story was pretty standard stuff, But Spielberg Brilliantly made a War movie that will stand the test of time SIL is all but forgotten now.

And the beach landing scene alone deserved the Oscar IMO, One of the great scenes in Cinema History.

Check out the Best Picture winners and the nominated on this list.


From the Mid 50's to the Mid 80's look at the choices they had for Best Picture, You could make a case for anyone of them to be a winner.

Nower days i don't even bother with the oscars, Can't wait for it to all be over.
M. Bullitt writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:00:50 AM


Funny but I didn't read your comment until I posted mine.

And yes Trailer that was so undeserved and I can see Gwyneth crying like a little baby and thanking her mum for 10 min. That was the most pathetic tears I've ever seen in hollywood.
Chris_G writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:03:54 AM

If anything, the Academy should STOP being so damn stuck up about everything. Remember when The Return of the King swept all 11 Oscars it was nominated for? That was f*cking awesome. This whole 'Can't win if it's too entertaining or too popular' mentality is the same bullsh*t mentality that got The Hurt Locker the Oscar instead of the much more deserving Avatar(which, you know, changed the freaking industry)
BadChadB33 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:05:46 AM

I still have yet to see that.
Avirex writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:14:53 AM

"lol, Or at least when you get to 65 you should talk totally Jive for the rest of your life !!"

Right on. When I get old and see young people making noise and sh*t I'll be all "Now listen here yall little jive turkeys, quit all that spoutin and fruiting or I'ma whup yall down, ya dig?"
ENFORCER writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:20:12 AM

I felt djamgo is quite overrated. It was OKbut no masterpiece.

Bullit shut the f*ck up and go rim a homeless man you rediculous c*nt.
andthebabymakes3 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:31:26 AM

Movies that can, do. Movies that can't, are called National Geografic Doc*mentaries.

The point is that all movies must be entertaining first and foremost. After that, if I "learned" something, that's just great.

What did Forrest Gump or A Beautiful Mind teach us?

Just go back to being a joke of a coach!
jatilq writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:35:11 AM

Even though I agree with "Django Unchained' is a B movie. A damn fine B movie, but still a B movie."

The editor of this website is a pathetic troll/flame starter using race as bait... I wonder if he is some fat (any race) living with momma scrubbing her toenails.
velocityknown writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 9:36:26 AM

Someone who'd reduce Django to being just a "fun," "kick-ass" movie doesn't deserve to have an opinion on what award nominations it gets.

"Despite its slavery setting, 'Django Unchained' isn't an exploration of the subject. It offers no critical insights into the circ*mstances, no nuances exploring the political realities (as 'Lincoln' does)."

Why does it NEED to do that? So for a film to be great it has to make an important political statement? Is Argo making an overarching comment about US-Iranian relations or even US/Middle East problems? Was Vertigo making a comment about the mental health problems in the US? No! Why does a great movie need to do any of that? His point isn't a good point, it's terrible, unfair, and evidence that he clearly doesn't know how to watch and critique a movie.

Django is a great movie because it doesn't feel like it needs to be a film about racism or slavery, it's just a film. It's a film about Django and Schulz and their journey together. The entire set up IS the hero's journey.

"In the end, slavery is a prop to excite audience emotion and motivate the action."

You could say that about ANY movie that deals with a topic like this. Schindler's List used the Holocaust to tell a story that would generate audience emotion and move the action forward. As far as I recall, that movie didn't have anything particularly insightful to say about the conditions of humanity that caused something like the Holocaust. It was just a movie about it and a story within that. Oh, but you know it was Spielberg and it was in black and white, so THAT one is important.

I don't even know why I'm wasting energy responding to something Kareem Abdul Jabbar said.

A lot of that time, he didn't even run down the court. And he never really even tried...except during the playoffs.
Sleuth1989 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 10:51:14 AM

It's hard to agree with that. I feel a lot of time critics will spread this idea that certain films actually say more than they actually do. Everyone told me that "Silver Lining Playbook" was an advocate for bi-polarism yet I watched that movie and it felt like that issue was covered for about the first 40 minutes and then turned into a predictable love/sport story. It really is a matter of opinion. But that one really got to me. I also don't like how "Zero Dark Thirty" got completely grounded into the ground for having ONE frikkin' scene of torture and that basically took it out of the running. See for me the Academy does try for films that have good subtext but then it comes down to who basically can promote their movie their best during the award season and not which is the best film. Honestly if it hadn't been promoted no way SLP got the praise or awards it did. Still I rooted for Argo this year for being one of the most unique films made this year on a lesser known event unlike Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty. Again though, it's more about advertising then actual quality this year.
pornfly writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 11:13:35 AM

Where was The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada nomination seven years ago?
An open ended finish but a better ending than No Country For Old Men
Cinemaisdead writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 11:35:11 AM

Trailer- Yep, that has to be one of the biggest jokes of all time. Saving Private Ryan is a film and a half and is extremely high quality on every level. Spielberg at his best, immersing the audience in to the film while staying completely accurate. Shakespeare in love is no more than a soppy love story with probably no factual back bone.
Fightclub1 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 12:24:43 PM

I'm with @chris_g on this one. To me they sometimes pick the more idependent film I feel like just cause. Look back at 1977, Star Wars is the more memorable film and should have won but didn't because it was probably "to main stream". If anything more movies like Django should be nominated because its a fun entertaining movie with great acting great script great directing and good story.
vincere01 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 12:34:37 PM

Queertin terriblino deserves nothing but our pity and contempt, and definitely not an award unless its a raz. He is a sick, twisted, sociopathic, excuse for a human being. He has an ego the size of texas. He is pretenious beyond the realm that any human should or would ever think of becoming.

He has little to no skill. What some mistakenly call talent I describe as an accidental event of transference. People want to believe that what he "writes", directs, or acts in is quality filmaking. When in reality it is just they're pre-conditioned notion that since its a tarrentino film then it must be good.

When the reality is that he films and a jumbled, incoherent mess. If they were without the acting talent involed to lift the material then he would have faded to black long ago. In the end, it is still just putting lipstick on a pig if you will. Just try not to notice the mud and feces surrounding.

This was my own opinion on him and his movies. While I'm aware that not everyone will agree with me, and that I may not respect QT, I still respect your opinions and would enjoy a discusion on the subject. Thanks for your time if you read all this. Have a good day
vincere01 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 12:38:08 PM

His films are a jumbled*
Skywalker121289 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 12:54:24 PM

But it probably also depends on the lasting impact that the film is going to have on society- for better or worse. Star Wars was a brilliant film that redefined the entire genre- psh, movies in general. But I'm sure that nobody had an idea of how expansive the film really was going to be. Some films change movie making on a broad scale- and those would absolutely be worthy of an 'award.'

However stupid Avatar- other than the graphics, the entire writing and acting was a bunch of crap. Everyone followed their stereotypical roles that society had already plotted out for them. Avatar did NOT deserve the Oscar- The Hurt Locker rightly won that piece of tin.
minkowski writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 1:51:31 PM

I would never have thought a has-been basketball player would have anything remotely intelligent to say with respect to film.

Surprise, surprise.

Besides, we already saw much of what went into Django when we saw Inglorius Basterds. It's not like QT is ever changing his cinematic style or exploring new artistic directions. Nothing new in Django, unless there's an Oscar category for Most Racial Epithets Spoken.
Morbius writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 2:18:49 PM

"...literary level"

Winning (5?) Best Screenplay awards doesn't count then.
Yeah it deserves its nomination, based on the fact a quarter of other films nominated sent me to sleep.
holtlt writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 3:05:39 PM

Everybody loved Django Unchained, which is sad, but then again f*ck it. YOLO...

Not but seriously, I think Kareem has a point here. But cinema contradicts itself, as controversial films are usually the best ones. There's to sides of why they're the best. One is because of the effect it has on people. If it had a strong effect on the audience, then the film's purpose is a success, which is to cause people to react or feel involved into the film. The other one is that some audiences love crazy sh*t such as the things that Tarantino does, which is an original form of entertainment. Django Unchained is like the tabloids, they're inaccurate, disrespectful, but people still read them, just because its a different form of entertainment.

But regarding the Oscars, I think Django Unchained shouldn't be nominated for best picture. But I as of the actors' performances, that's something different. They made the script work.
Tanman32123 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 7:54:54 PM

I've seen quite a bit of Tarantino's work but i'm not gonna lie... i never even got around to watching 'Inglorius Basterds'

Is it even worth it?
James Blond writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:00:09 PM

the answer is simple: Y E S !!!!
vincere01 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:25:21 PM

@tanman for the acting performences yes. And if you like brutal killing scenes that are graphic just to be graphic. I never understood why this movie got attention on the scale it did
Tanman32123 writes:
on February 21st, 2013 at 8:30:22 PM

i am a sucker for a good brutal killing scene lol I'll pick the dvd up eventually, nothing beats Pulp Fiction and Reservoir dogs
kate writes:
on February 22nd, 2013 at 1:08:09 AM

If the movie was directed by someone else then tarantino it wouldn't have been nominated for sh*t...it was basically a western remake of 'inglorious basterds' - a more boring,slow and dumb remake.
all the other oscar nominated movies are boring as sh*t except maybe 'silver linings..' which it's second half was brilliant and emotional - defiantly the best movie out of the nominees for 'best film'
ALIsuperstar writes:
on February 22nd, 2013 at 3:53:25 AM

Fun and Entertainemt should also be considered when its a good art, like Gladiator and many other movies.
Johnnyb writes:
on February 24th, 2013 at 4:41:42 AM

What the hell you are talking about? Even TDK has come and gone 5 years ago, it wasn't recognize as Django was. TDK in my perspective wasn't entertaining or fun, was more crime drama thriller touching subjects that was matter to all of us about justice and truth even the bad guy is a clown. Beside that, even Ledger pull out an awrd oscar after his death , the godamn movie wasn't recognize for his merits in a nice translation of a comic book to the big screen......

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