We all know the Academy of Arts & Sciences has a bias against science fiction movies. Sure, every now and then movies like District 9 and Inception are nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay Awards, but they are somehow are not taken as seriously as the “Oscar bait” movies like The King’s Speech and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But Oscar-nominated director Jason Reitman wants to change all of that with a ringing endorsement for Rian Johnson’s screenplay for Looper.
In Entertainment Weekly’s “Oscar histories” essay series; Jason Reitman gives his plea for the Academy of Arts & Sciences to take science fiction seriously. Reitman cites movies like Alien, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Matrix as movies that revolutionized the way we watch movies, but whose screenplays weren’t recognized by the Academy. Here’s Reitman:
Looper isn’t a film about time travel. It isn’t a film about telekinetic powers. It isn’t about flying motorcycles or eye drop hallucinogens. It uses these concepts as well as any science fiction film I’ve seen, but it also knows the difference between a prop and a story. Time travel is a prop. Looper is about what your 55-year-old self would tell your 25-year-old self over a cup of coffee. It’s about finding love in the third act of your life. It’s about overcoming trauma and the idea of true sacrifice.
Perhaps if Looper’s character moments and reasoning were more pronounced, maybe the Academy would take Looper‘s chances for Oscar gold seriously. While Looper is a fine film, it just doesn’t seem like something the Academy will ever consider over movies that are considered “Oscar bait.”
You can read Jason Reitman’s entire essay about Rian Johnson’s Looper over on EW.com.