The children of the country at the Oscars

The patriotic flame kindles a fascinating sense of belonging, flirting here and there with chauvinism, but what does it matter? The reflex to close ranks behind its champions in major international events is a universal phenomenon. This fever intoxicates like a good wine, the ego protruding by proxy. All for one and one for all, like musketeers. In these times of polarization, national pride brings closer to the neighbor who enrages you on other fronts. Provax and antivax united under one flag. Ephemeral alliance, alliance all the same.

Thus, at the Olympic Games, fierce Quebec nationalists sometimes line up behind the maple leaf when a Canadian takes the podium. Soon the internal bickering will start again. Suddenly, the front pages of the national newspapers brought to the fore the glorious presence of the colors of the country or their iniquitous absence. Truce of hostilities in a sharp sector, but likely to warm the collective imagination, especially in dark weather.

Ten nominations for Dunes

At the Oscars, Dunes by Denis Villeneuve collected ten nominations on Tuesday. The news was celebrated in full media with increased enthusiasm in its cradle. Still, we grumbled when we saw the name of the filmmaker excluded from the race for best director; isn’t staging the key to his work? Hum! Try to breathe through your nose. After all, Villeneuve is cited as co-screenwriter and Patrice Vermette as artistic director. Ten nominations, that’s not nothing…

A film does not need to be shot by a Quebecer to arouse identification, but to have partners from our ranks. Roger Frappier, from Max Films, is one of the producers of The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion, leading with 12 quotes. This high-flying work is the favorite for the harvest of the major awards on March 27, so we celebrate the Montreal producer. As for Dunes, it should at the very least reap many technical laurels. Hip! Hip! Hip!

By extension, we think of the Japanese, who have to drink champagne or taste sake in their archipelago. Not only the remarkable Drive my Car by Ryusuke Hamaguchi is cited for best international film, but also for direction and adapted screenplay. On top of that, an unprecedented fact, this Japanese feature landed in the race for best film, even if illustrious predecessors like Akira Kurosawa would have deserved it hands down before him.

In addition to the objective value of a work and its nationality, other factors of belonging can trigger collective jubilation at the time of qualifications and laurel awards. New Zealander Jane Campion on Tuesday became the first female filmmaker to receive a nomination for best director twice; first for his masterful piano lesson in 1993. Many women raise their heads when important films break through their glass ceilings.

They, so long absent from the grand stands of honor, finally feel recognized in the cinema. Remember that in 2021, French filmmaker Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for electric Titaniumwhile the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival crowned The Event of her compatriot Audrey Diwan between intimacy and striking force. True hat-trick of the ladies if Jane Campion triumphed at the Oscars.

The parade of stars loses feathers

Admittedly, the parade of stars loses feathers in Hollywood and its cultural domination irritates. The pandemic has disenchanted the big American gala. Scandals surrounding the representation of women and minorities had already shaken their temple. And then the sequins, after two years of covid distress, are less dreamy than yesterday. Some zap elsewhere.

Especially since online platforms make life difficult for theaters. By secular tradition, a whole symbolism halos the big screen and its stars: this ceremonial cultural outing outside the nest, this communion with pure strangers elbow to elbow… Sometimes, an emotion crosses the ramp by lifting the spectators to the unison. Sometimes, a collective silence welcomes pure masterpieces. You would then hear a pin drop. The charm remains, of course, but the inexorable rise of the giants of the Web, accentuated throughout the confinements and health constraints, desacralizes, alas! the seventh art.

The cultural world is changing at high speed, without taking away from the Oscars their lively trembling aura. At 94 years old, they have won their quarters of nobility. We look askance at them, proud despite everything to be invited to the party. The patriotic flame has a hard life. And cinema lovers would not miss, on the small screen, their old tryst for all the gold in the world.

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The children of the country at the Oscars