The Oscars: the biggest night for Hollywood and celebrities. It’s an event that everyone tunes into watch every year – though it usually lasts for over three hours, at least. Yet not everyone watches the Oscars. I personally don’t watch them and I just look up the results after the fact – I have a feeling a lot of people do this, even if they won’t admit it.
As a movie buff, it seems odd that I wouldn’t like the Oscars. After all, it’s a giant award ceremony honoring movies, right? Honestly, I’m not alone. I’ve meet several other movie buffs that also don’t love the Oscars.
In addition to being an award ceremony designed to make rich and famous people more rich and famous, there are some other problems. I’ll mainly focus on the Best Picture category of the Oscars, otherwise this would be a very long article.
Typically, there is a certain kind of movie that’s nominated for Best Picture. Usually it’s a historical drama or biopic starring an already famous actor. These films are sometimes described as “Oscar bait” because many are produced the way they are in order to win Oscars. The most recent example of Oscar bait would be “Darkest Hour” or “The Post.”
Movies from “lesser” genres are usually not nominated for Best Picture, such as comedy, adventure, thriller, horror, superhero, etc. This is true for the most part, although there are a few exceptions. For instance, despite being a horror/thriller with some comedy, “Get Out” was nominated for Best Picture this year. Of course, it didn’t win, but I digress.
It’s important to know that the Best Picture award isn’t an accurate judgment of a film’s quality. While many movies considered being the greatest of all time, like “The Godfather,” did win best picture, some did not. In fact, some of the all-time greatest films weren’t even nominated for Best Picture at all.
Take Alfred Hitchcock and his work for example. He is thought to be one of the greatest film directors, but you wouldn’t know that by only looking at his Oscar wins. Not only did he never win Best Director, his best pictures never won Best Picture. While “Rebecca” did win Best Picture, none of his other work did. “Psycho,” “Vertigo,” and “North By Northwest,” are now considered to some of the greatest films of all time; they not only didn’t win Best Picture, they weren’t even nominated in the first place. This Plus, I have a funny feeling that today’s current academy members probably studied his movies while in film school.
The list of missed nominations doesn’t stop there. The list of Oscars snubs includes, but is in no way limited to: “Cool Hand Luke,” the original “King Kong,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Shining,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.” These movies are also considered to be cinema classics.
To be honest, I don’t really care about the Oscars. The only reason it exists is so movies and their stars can make more money. After all, more people are willing to watch a movie that won five Oscars, but why? If a film won several Oscars that mean a bunch of other people liked this movie; that doesn’t mean you will. Movies are subjective – that means that everyone will have a different opinion about them. It’s why I don’t get too upset if one good film wins against another.
The real reason I don’t like the Oscars, isn’t that they pick the wrong winning film, it’s why they choose the winning film in the first place. When it comes down to it, the Academy doesn’t truly judge a movie by its quality alone. Instead, they look at other factors. Who were the main actors or the director? What genre is the movie? What subject matter does it tackle?
By delving into certain subject matter, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, excreta, and excreta can cause the Academy to appreciate the film more than its content, or it can have the opposite effect. In 1989, a well-acted film called “Driving Miss Daisy” was released. It discussed racism in America with a message that it was a thing of the past. It went on to win Best Picture, but in that same year, another film about racism was released, with a very different message.
“Do the Right Thing” followed the workings of a neighborhood in Brooklyn that erupts into a full-scale race riot, stating that racism isn’t a thing of the past. This movie, now viewed as a classic, wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. Many movie-buffs believe it’s because it made the Academy members feel too uncomfortable. “Perhaps (Do the Right Thing) paid for it’s boldness,” according to CineFix.
I’m not saying Oscar- nominated or winning films are bad though. Many of my favorite films did take home plenty of awards, including Best Picture. To be fair, the Oscars-winning films do have a good side. A movie nominated for Oscars, or that’s won an Oscars can bring attention to important issues. Both “Milk” and “Brokeback Mountain” helped bring movies about gay culture to mainstream audiences. This year for “Get Out,” Jordan Peele became the first American-African to win an award for Best Original Screenplay. So, the Oscars can severe a good purpose.
I’ll be honest, I don’t care that much for them — although, my opinion might change if I won an Oscar myself. Still, if a film wins Best Picture, it still doesn’t mean that much. Some movies that have won Best Picture have been remembered, while some have been forgotten to time. There are movies that never won or were even nominated for Best Picture that are still remembered to this day, such as “Citizen Kane” or “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.”
But, the film “Gone with the Wind” said how I feel about the Oscars the best in the classic quote: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”