Thank God the dull and unimaginative Star Wars was passed over for a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars

Droves of people returned from the cinema as if they’d touched the Pope’s hand. But let's face it: they were forced to react that way by the hype

Charlotte Gill
Friday 15 January 2016 12:42 GMT
Some were surprised by the Oscar nominations this year
Some were surprised by the Oscar nominations this year

Do you know what’s hard?

Not liking Star Wars. That’s what.

It’s the same with football and olives – to shun them is to become a pariah by taste.

I’ve been a taste pariah for years. When I first heard that Abrams et al were making a new version of the film series, I wasn’t excited. At all. A troubling montage of future conversations played in my mind, of people wanting to discuss lightsabers, CGI aliens and worse.

But then the reviews flooded in. Everyone was saying The Force Awakens was well good. Even Mark Kermode! And I don’t know about his hair, but I respect his opinions on film. So I eagerly went to the cinema, and hoped that my Force would awaken.

Unfortunately my Force died right there and then. It was never alive, but now it’s gone forever. Cast out into the galaxy of lost dreams.

The thing is, I couldn’t help feeling that The Force Awakens was a bit rubbish. And I've had to hide this dirty secret for a while because I’m scared of having no friends.

Luckily today I found out I wasn’t the only person harbouring such reservations. In fact, my confidence in Hollywood film panels has been fully restored after the news that The Force Awakens isn’t in the Oscars Best Picture category.

It’s a verdict that’s angered many - horrified that such a profitable and well-received picture was overlooked.

But I can tell you why it happened. Like I say, Star Wars isn’t that good. It’s flashy - which is why it’s got into some other categories like sound mixing, visual effects and original score (well done, John Williams) – but lacks substance.

Peel back the aviation, running around in beige cloaks and explosions, and you have a film with some extremely dull characters (sorry, Daisy), terrible sexual chemistry (soz, Princess Leia and Hans Solo) and a serious sense of déjà vu from previous movies.

In fact, I think Chewbacca is the only one holding the movie together.

That’s why reactions to The Force Awakens baffled me. Droves of people returned from the cinema as if they’d touched the Pope’s hand. “It was amazing,” they whispered. It felt like a self-fulfilling prophecy: with such enormous hype, how could fans possibly dislike The Force Awakens?

To dissent from Star Wars feels slightly kamikaze. If you criticise the franchise you’re either a killjoy, “trying to be controversial” or you “just don’t understand”.

But what if us dissenters have just seen the light (side)? With the Oscars panel having snubbed Star Wars too, perhaps we can all wake up and realise that financial success and copious advertising does not a great movie make. It's a reminder not to get swept up in popular opinion.

The panel has been criticised for omitting a load of other publicly praised movies, such as Carol for Best Picture, from its nominations. But I’m happy to see them ignore such demands and install a bit of quality control in the film industry - even if that does make them taste pariahs like me.

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