Before you proceed any further, I do have something to admit here: I have not seen the Oscar-nominated film The Boss Baby. I’m utterly enchanted by its central premise – a baby who is also a boss – but I haven’t actually watched the movie, and I may never watch it. I was sent tickets but I had other things on. It happens.
But I think it’s incredibly important that The Boss Baby wins the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It’s difficult to express why I think that, and there may be no rational reason for it. Maybe the concept of a film about a tiny baby who has been made the boss of a company winning one of cinema’s most respected awards is funny to me.
To confirm whether The Boss Baby is actually a film worthy of winning an Oscar, I asked a friend who has seen it for a quick plot summary, which he duly provided:
all babies come from a baby factory which has a boss (Alec Baldwin), and then people stop getting babies because puppies are better, so Alex Baldwin decides to research this effect by going to earth and pretending to be a normal (non-boss) baby
Just as I suspected. It sounds wonderful – a powerful musing on how corporate neoliberalism and the atomising effects of late capitalism make babies of us all, whether bosses or not. And the internet seems to agree that this obvious, obvious masterpiece is being properly lauded by Hollywood elites. In fact, the praise is so unanimous that I feel we can skip the ceremony altogether.
i stand corrected. apologies to the boss baby pic.twitter.com/O5euh0wGaq
— Netflix (@netflix) January 23, 2018
Congratulations to The Boss Baby and ONLY THE BOSS BABY on its Oscar Nomination. All other movies: get fucked.
— Anthony Carboni (@acarboni) January 23, 2018
You, a casual moviegoer, with no film education background: The Shape of Water was amazing
Me, an intellectual: The best film of 2017 was the twenty minutes of Dunkirk that I watched on an airplane before putting on Boss Baby
— Tatered (@tatered) January 23, 2018
The Boss Baby has more Oscar Nominations than The Big Lebowski, The Shining, Once Upon a Time in the West/America, Paths of Glory, Heat etc
Therefore it’s superior to all those films.
— Mr. Kilian (@KilExperience) January 23, 2018
Now, before you attack me for my shameless boosterism of this film, let’s take stock. Let’s look at its competitors in this space: Loving Vincent, Ferdinand, Coco and The Breadwinner. I have seen none of these films, though a seven-year-old I know says Coco is pretty excellent. That may be so – and yet none of them have the sheer cultural cut-through of The Boss Baby, which is a movie about a baby who is also a boss.
There’s been a lot of chit-chat about the fact that The Lego Batman Movie didn’t even get a nod in that category, despite the fact it captured the essence of Batman in a way that few feature films have managed to, while being hilarious to boot. That’s a fair point. My rebuttal: The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t feature a baby who, through mechanisms that are totally alien to me, becomes the head executive of a company. That’s a key reason it failed, I think.
We shouldn’t even be debating whether The Boss Baby should get the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. At this point, we should really only be arguing about whether it should win every other available category – and the answer to that question is obviously yes.