Manchester by the Sea has been in the Oscar discussion since it premiered at Sundance in January; with Casey Affleck the odds-on favorite to win Best Actor for his turn as a grieving brother forced to return to his hometown and face his dark memories. Whereas Moonlight, which charts the formative years of a black man trying to survive a rough upbringing, has also been a contender in the discussion for the big prize. Both movies were released last month in the US and received rave reviews, garnering 97 percent and 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
Collateral Beauty, another film that earned Jackson’s scrutiny, follows Will Smith as an ad exec who writes letters to abstract constructs — Death, Love, Time. As Jackson points out, it fits the typical Oscar bait mold in regard to its glitzy cast and literal exploration of a very optimistic message. Indeed, to exemplify that, he does take some more targeted shots at the questionable motives behind the Will Smith vehicle:
“There are all these ‘Oscar bait’ movies. I was looking at the trailer for this Will Smith movie the other day and I’m like, really? It’s another one of those, ‘Oh my God, life is so wonderful, take time to sniff the roses.’”
It may seem a little unfair to criticize what are by all accounts impressive works of cinema as bad examples of awards season fare. Jackson’s career choices tend to shy away from the more political side of the industry. At the end of his speech he summarized his personal approach in contrast to films like those mentioned above, saying, “My politics are my politics. I don’t use my politics onscreen. I use my voice as who I am.”
Source: The Wrap