What makes a movie good? That’s a big and clearly subjective question. After watching last weekend’s Oscars, I couldn’t help but wonder what elevates a film or series to prestige status. It’s got to be well-acted with strong writing and a resonating theme, but there are other factors at play, too. The consensus on Best Picture nominee and Best Original Screenplay winner Promising Young Woman was the revenge-fantasy was fun to watch, but many took issue with how it handled such sensitive subject matter — it revolves around a vigilante who mentally tortures men that take advantage of her. On the other hand, Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You tackled similar themes and was widely acclaimed but didn’t rack up a single nomination at the Golden Globes earlier this year. Both were exceptional in their own rights, but when we look at award shows and the systems behind them as validators of excellence, it becomes harder to recognize why one was good enough to win and another not even nominated.
In a piece for Hot Press earlier this year, Irish journalist Tanis Smither hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “Coel’s series goes further into examining the intricacies of consent than Promising Young Woman. So, when completely ignored by awards ceremonies like the Golden Globes, it seems not only emblematic of the kind of narratives Hollywood is ready — or willing — to hear, but also illustrative of who they are ready to hear them from.” Yes, they were completely different awards shows and one was a film and the other was a series, but the sting was still the same.
Between this, the Best Actor snub of Chadwick Boseman, and the entire Oscars ceremony just missing the mark, I’m reminded of Solange’s 2017 now-deleted tweet in response to the Grammys snubbing Beyoncé many moons ago: “Create your own committees, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself, and be the gold you wanna hold my g’s."
Now that awards season is behind us, there’s a new crop of films and shows to check out this weekend. Whether or not they get your stamp of approval is up to you. Read on for the latest and greatest on Netflix Canada.