The nominations for the Academy Awards were announced this morning and I must say that I was more than a little disheartened. Now before you jump to conclusions I have no big objections with the nominees, although I must admit I fail to see the allure of The Silver Linings Playbook. A feel good movie about two people who are walking advertisements for the need for more effective psychotropic drugs—really and showing how they will hide it from everyone with a fake drug test (learn more here)? No my disappointment stems from the snubbing of the data center movie of the year, Skyfall.
Now many of you are probably asking, “Wasn’t that a James Bond movie?” Well, yeah, kind of. It had the requisite amount of action and violence. I know the “00” designation means that Bond has a license to kill but he uses his more than most people use theirs to drive. What made Skyfall so special was it’s villain. A deranged former agent himself, this guy is causing computer related mayhem for Bond and the guys and gals at MI6 from his own—wait for it—data center. Sure it was a pretty crappy looking facility, it was on some Mediterranean island and I have no idea how he cooled the place but it was a data center nonetheless. Actually, it was the heart of his lair. When he temporarily captures 007 he interrogates him right there in the data center. Naturally, he couldn’t break him but that’s beside the point. When was the last time you saw a data center featured so prominently in the movies?
Think about it. Did the industry get any love from that Social Network picture? No it did not. Guy starts a company with over a billion subscribers and for all the movie showed you think he was running the whole place from a laptop. C’mon, throw the industry a bone for crying out loud. So here, for the first time in forever, we have a movie that features a data center, gets great box office, re-launches a franchise and for all that we get bupkus.
Was Skyfall the best movie of the year? Of course not, but now that they’ve kicked the “Best Picture” list up to 10 movies, they couldn’t squeeze the data center movie in? Sure keep Lincoln, Argo, and Zero Dark Thirty, but you can’t tell me that it couldn’t bump any of the other nominees. How can James Bond facing off against an evil maniac with his own data center be less deserving than The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a movie about old British people rediscovering themselves after being hoodwinked into moving into a decrepit hotel in India—haven’t we all seen this story before– or The Life of Pi, a picture about a kid and a tiger sharing a boat which is obviously a fantasy since in real life this scenario would last about 30 seconds and be called A Tiger’s Breakfast. What are these people thinking?
Some of you may try and placate me by saying, “But Chris, Skyfall did get a nomination for ‘Best Song’”. Big whoop. My wife loves Adele, but as far as Bond songs go it’s a long way from “Goldfinger” or “Live and Let Die”. Plus a nomination for Best Song is about one step above “Best Adapted Screenplay”.
I think the real unfortunate result of this blatant snub by the Academy is that I can’t tell you when another data center picture will have this opportunity again. Maybe a Bond picture is just not the right vehicle to achieve the critical acclaim that the industry so rightly deserves. Now that I think about it, does anything scream data center more than a Tarantino picture? Michael Madsen as the data center manager, Harvey Keitel as the CFO and Steve Buscemi as the crazed business unit head. I think I’m on to something here.