Year of the Biopic

I’ve never put much credence in the Academy Awards, but this year’s nominees represent a particularly strange trend. Three biopics among the Best Picture nominees? I’m a little surprised that Sideways and Million Dollar Baby snuck in, with Kinsey, Alexander, Beyond the Sea, and The Motorcycle Diaries also in the running.

Never mind that Neverland got merely lukewarm reviews, or that the conventional biopic has no direction or narrative steam, and is usually home to some of the laziest screenwriting in the business. Biopic fever means that there’s very little Eternal Sunshine in this year’s Oscar race, and that’s a shame.

Incidentally, if you go by reviews and assume that only relatively-wide-release English-language movies are likely to get nominated, your Best Picture race might look like this: Sideways, The Incredibles, Before Sunset, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and ... Million Dollar Baby.

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