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(Credit: Niko Tavernise / Netflix)

Film

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says “the 3 most disappointing movies of 2021 are Best Picture Nominees”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is still known for his unprecedented achievements in basketball, breaking multiple records in the NBA over the course of a trailblazing career. Often cited as one of the greatest basketball stars of all time, Abdul-Jabbar will always be an indispensable part of the vast history of American basketball.

In addition to his sports career, Abdul-Jabbar has acted in various projects and is also a cultural critic. He has written extensively on the subject of Black history and has provided his commentary on various aspects of modern society, ranging from political developments in the US to the pernicious frameworks of popular culture.

While commenting on some of the biggest films that came out last year, Abdul-Jabbar claimed that three of the most disappointing productions of 2021 have all been nominated for Best Picture. According to him, these nominations are a sign that the selection process of the Academy has deviated from the original goal of promoting important and innovative art.

Criticising the nomination of Jane Campion’s widely celebrated film The Power of the Dog, Abdul-Jabbar wrote: “Nominating this movie as Best Picture seems more like the Academy virtue signalling than sticking to their mandate to reward exceptional and innovative films.” He claimed that the film is ten years too late and doesn’t have anything new to say.

Abdul-Jabbar was equally critical of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and included it in his list. He also attacked the nomination of Don’t Look Up, like many other commentators out there. “It comes across as a too-long Saturday Night Live skit (which McKay used to write) starring a bunch of former celebrity guest hosts,” Abdul-Jabbar declared.

“Whether any of these films win Best Picture is beside the point,” he added. “The fact that they were nominated already reveals a major fault line in the process that rewards show over substance.” These sentiments have been shared by other critics and audiences as well, signifying that the Oscars have become a cultural event rather than a celebration of cinema.

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