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Taylor Swift in Cats

Last month's Cats became one of the talked about movies of 2019, but not for any reason that the filmmakers probably intended. The words "nightmare fuel" were used regularly when talking about the film. The CGI of the cats that weren't actually cats was buried so deep in the uncanny valley that it was impossible to see anything else. Being a big budget musical based on a hit Broadway show, and directed by a man who had previously brought Oscar success to just such a property, it seems clear that awards season success was part of the Cats plan, but that idea faded away quite quickly.

But all is not lost for Cats, as the movie has actually succeeded in winning an award. It's not from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, or even the Hollywood Foreign Press. Instead, Cats has been given an award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The PETA Oscars have been given out by the animal rights group and among the normal awards like Best Picture, which went to The Lion King, and Best Actor, which went to Joaquin Phoenix, an outspoken proponent of animal welfare, an award has been given for Best Movie Starring Cats Without Using Any Cats. And that award has gone to, unsurprisingly, Cats. Clearly PETA was looking to recognize multiple films, because if The Lion King is PETA's Best Picture, surely that also makes it the best movie with cats that aren't actually cats.

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The award, of course, has less to do with the quality of the film, and more to do with the fact that the movie, by not using any actual felines, therefore did not use any animals in a way that PETA would have found objectionable.

Cats hasn't been entirely without awards season recognition, but that recognition has probably been much more limited than was anticipated before the movie came out. Cats was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, for the one new song added to the film version of the musical, "Beautiful Ghosts" by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Taylor Swift. It was also nominated for an award for its sound editing by Motion Picture Editors, USA.

However, it seems that following the mass criticism from both audiences and critics, Universal Pictures saw the writing on the wall and actually removed the film from the studio's "For Your Consideration" page, where the film was available to stream for those given access as part of potential award nominations. This meant that Cats almost certainly would not be nominated for awards like the Oscars, even in non-uncanny valley related fields like Best Original Song. When the Academy Award nominees were announced earlier this moth, exactly that came to pass.

Cats seems to have more potential future as a midnight movie than anything else. The film is certainly memorable, just not in any way that anybody likely intended.

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