Little Enthusiasm For Oscars In UO Science Department – by Ben Stone

Students weigh in on, and ultimately dismiss the upcoming Oscars ceremony, but respond positively to Django Unchained

Willamette Hall

Willamette Hall, where many of the interviews were conducted

Eugene, Ore. – Despite the current buzz surrounding all the nominees for this year’s Oscar Awards ceremony, University of Oregon students interviewed this week generally expressed apathy towards them, except towards one particular movie nominated for Best Picture, Django Unchained.

The interviews were conducted randomly on Thursday around the science complex at UO. About half of the students who agreed to be interviewed said that they either don’t have time to watch new movies, don’t have time to watch the ceremony, or more commonly, that they think the Oscars are meaningless, and simply don’t care what happens. One student explained that he prefers to wait until the Oscar winners are decided, then he selects movies to watch out of the winners pool.

Felix Lugeiyamu disagreed wholeheartedly with this sentiment, saying that he thought the Oscars are “usually interesting.” Though Lugeiyamu was well-versed in the categories and nominees, he was rooting mostly for Django Unchained to win Best Picture, and believed that it had a good chance to.

Asked why in particular he felt so strongly about Django Unchained, Lugeiyamu said that he appreciated the way it addressed the subject of slavery, something not often tackled by contemporary films: “It’s a sensitive subject [slavery] but they make it more watchable, and they added in funny parts.”

Gordon Lango was also vying for Django Unchained. It was, admittedly, the only nominated film this season that he was excited enough about to see, but he thought it was incredible. His love of the movie revolved primarily around the legendary direction of Quentin Tarantino: “Tarantino is in his prime. The script was spectacular, as well as the cinematography,” Lango said.

The string of praise for continued with Taylor Pearce, for whom Django Unchained was the only nominated film he really knew and cared about. He liked that it continued the bloody aesthetic and controversial themes that Tarantino films have become famous for, saying that it particularly resembled Tarantino’s Kill Bill trilogy. He also thought the acting in Django Unchained was masterful. “I like Christoph Waltz a lot,” Pearce said.

The one student interviewed who had praise for any movie besides Django Unchained was Amy Johnson. She was a single-film enthusiast as well, rooting passionately for Silver Linings Playbook, up for Best Picture. Johnson always adores the work of actress Jennifer Lawrence, and even said that Bradley Cooper, who is making a breakthrough into critically praised cinema, “did a really great job.” Johnson also thought Silver Linings Playbook was more thought-provoking than its genre entails: “They say it’s a comedy, but it’s more than that I think.”

Among those interviewed in the UO science complex, there was not a lot of knowledge of or passion for the Oscar Awards ceremony, or the portion of the film industry that it represents. But, if one truly wanted to gauge what students like about films, it would be wise to examine Django Unchained, one film this season that seems to resonate well with university students.

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