I meant to write about Sicario earlier, but I guess I was too busy drowning in the mediocrity of too many other films last year. By now, many of you probably already know that Sicario is absolutely brilliant. The cinematography (shout out to the great Roger Deakins), the acting (literally, every cast member adds such a terrific element to the narrative), and Taylor Sheridan's screenplay--all led by director Denis Villeneuve--make for a brilliant film. So, why is it getting shut out of many of the major awards? (Though the recent British Academy Film Awards nominations threw Benicio del Toro a bone, nominating him in the supporting actor comedy--the film's only nomination. Neither the Screen Actors Guild nor the Golden Globe Awards even bothered).
What's more mind-boggling is that garbage films like The Big Short are recognized consistently. I'm over it.
I hope it's not just another case of voters' allergy toward genre films, because eff that. The hugely problematic sci-fi drama, Ex-Machina, can't hold it down for this entire set. And I refuse to go through another award season of costume dramas, meaningless comedies and boring narratives (I'm looking at you, Brooklyn). Plus, in this constant dialogue about 2015 being the "year of the woman," why is Emily Blunt's performance in Sicario get left out of the conversation? It is easily one of the best female performances this year, and the heartbeat of a fantastic film. So where are her nominations? Her portrayal of an FBI thrust in the middle of a highly dangerous Mexican cartel investigation is multi-layered, nuanced and engrossing. You feel her fear, her determination to believe in what's right, and ultimately her jadedness. That's more than I can say for many other performances, male or female, from last year.
And let's get back to the look of Sicario for a moment. Deakins places the audience at the center of the action--from the back seat of a military vehicle at a holdup at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico, and through the night vision goggles of a top secret government task force ready to bust down every door within a 50-mile radius.
So, I need answers. Why isn't this film getting more love?