The 90th Academy Awards are almost upon us! Over the previous 89, only three animated films have received a nomination for the highest award, Best Picture. Those being Beauty and the Beast in 1991 (losing to Silence of the Lambs), Up in 2009 (The Hurt Locker) and Toy Story 3 in 2010 (The Kings Speech). How I wish I could say it was four movies that received such an honour…
Coco has the Best Animated Feature Oscar, no doubt. Some would say that’s enough, but in my humble opinion (and seeing as I’m writing about it, that automatically makes it the correct one), an animated masterpiece like this deserves more. It follows a pattern seen in many other Disney movies, in which the main character wants something (in this case, it’s young Miguel who has a real passion of music), parent/guardian forbids it (here, his whole family has banned it for generations), he gets said thing (he steals the guitar from his great grandfather) and the rest of the movie follows.
And what follows is a wonderful journey through the Land of the Dead, and one that I went to see twice in cinemas (an honour held only by this and La La Land), and on the second time, I spent the last five minutes in tears. Chances are you’ve heard how this movie has made millions cry, but what makes THAT scene truly beautiful is how I can’t explain what it makes me feel. It’s both sad and uplifting at the same time, and a single scene managing to convey so many emotions at once is a feat that not many live action movies can achieve.
But the ending also works as a satisfying payoff for all these great characters we’ve been watching for the last hour and forty minutes, in which there isn’t a dull moment, thanks to some stunning animation, wonderful music (another snub this movie received is no Best Original Score nod for Michael Giacchino), and the fascinating culture of Mexico presented throughout.
I watched the Oscar nominees revealed live (yes, I got to witness the pain that was Tiffany Hadish attempting to pronounce “Kaluuya”), and I remember thinking how great it would be if Coco got to join the ranks of those three previously mentioned animated movies. But it was not meant to be, though it deals with mature themes of family, death and leaving behind a legacy in a way that can be enjoyed by any one.
This film is a masterpiece (and that’s not a word I use lightly), and it absolutely should have received a nomination for Best Picture for all the reasons I’ve brought up, and so much more that I haven’t touched on. But nomination or no nomination, this is still a wonderful movie that, much like Miguel’s ancestors, will be remembered for a long time to come.