“Straight Outta Compton” doesn’t look like a traditional Oscars contender for Best Picture. Too gritty and edgy. Not sappy enough. No snob appeal for voters who tend to like their bioflicks glossy like “The King’s Speech” and their musicals white like “Chicago.”
But according to an industry insider, “Straight Outta Compton” got a “huge response” yesterday at its official screening at the academy, drawing a big, enthusiastic crowd (700 viewers).
America’s movie-goers are certainly digging it. “Straight Outta Compton” overshot industry estimates to pull in $56 million on its opening weekend. At Rotten Tomatoes, film critics give it a towering score of 88%, moviegoers endorse it by 96%.
Oscar voters have an obvious hunger to reward movies with an African-American theme nowadays. “Selma” surprised Oscarwatchers and ambushed the derby last November and ended up getting nominated for Best Picture one year after “12 Years a Slave” won.
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But rap culture may be a turn-off to Oscar voters, who did not nominate “Hustle and Flow” or “8 Mile” for Best Picture. However, let’s recall that rap tunes from both of those pix won Oscars for Best Song (“Lose Yourself,” “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”). Compare that to the Grammys, which still have not given a rap tune the top prize for Best Record of the Year. So maybe Oscar voters are more hip than we think they are.