Today’s post was originally going to be a run down of my Oscar predictions but… f-ck that…
I worked on that title for a long while. I’m a big fan of the run on sentence – just ask my professors – and that habit only continues with titles. So, I tried to keep it short for once. Other working titles were, “The Oscars Ban Sacha Baron Cohen Along With Viewers” and “This Is Another Rant About The Oscars”. In saying that, ever since those disastrous nominations were announced, I’ve complained very little about this year’s Academy Awards… until now.
When those heinous nominations were announced, I took them in stride. I was kind of okay with them, maybe justified them, but I’ve come to accept what the Academy has come to resemble. But as the weeks went on, the more I thought about them, the more opinions I read (like Daniel Radcliffe’s gripe with the Academy) the more and more bothered I became. And today it peaked with Sacha Baron Cohen’s supposed “banning” from the Oscars this year.
Every year there’s that contrarian who goes on and proclaims “F-CK, the Oscars! Who cares?! The Academy is irrelevant” and at the same time there is a bunch of us nerds who go on and say “But…but…but”. I don’t think, as a whole, The Academy is irrelevant BUT when you look beyond the winners and truly sit there and analyze the nominations, it’s hard to disagree. I will not sit here and do that for you because that’s a waste of time, but look: recently the Academy decided that they would up the Best Picture slots from 5, to 10, right? That’s too much for most people, good enough for some, while everyone else just want it to go back to the regular 5. The thing is, if you’re going to open the competition up THAT much, GO ON AND NOMINATED ALL 10. This year, because they were scared to nominate ________ (anything anyone actually saw goes in that space) they only put 9. SORRY?! I’m offended. You bust our balls and create even less competition and then you don’t even fulfill your own regiment. What. The. F-ck.
Outside of myself, avid AVID film goers, and a bunch of really old white people, no one saw half of the movies nominated for Best Picture. Okay, The Help was really big and Midnight In Paris was kinda big (for a Woody Allen movie) but regardless, do you know anyone who saw Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Okay, maybe I do, but that’s my friend Big M and she has this… thing… for Tom Hanks. I mean, she even took me to see Larry Crowne. There is a better question! Do you know anyone who actually saw Larry Crowne. (I can see you rolling your eyes, RELAX). If you are going to sit there and have the gull to nominate something like War Horse, then back it the f-ck up or don’t do it all. If you’re going to sit there and nominate smaller films with false elitism yet not nominate something like 50/50 – a film that caused waves and was expected to go far – because it may contain some silly humor, then f-ck off. But no, you, the members of the Academy, have absolutely no idea what people want to see anymore. You don’t.
Would everyone agree that Harry Potter 7B should have been nominated? No, but everyone saw that movie. Everyone lined up at midnight, the day of release, the weekend of, to watch the finale, the final installment of a franchise that absolutely revolutionized our culture. Would everyone agree that Bridesmaids should have been nominated? No, but a lot of people saw it. It broke records, was a box office massive hit-thing, and brought women to the forefront of comedy (where they’ve always been, but, you know…). Would everyone agree that Shame should’ve been nominated? No, but Shame caused A LOT of buzz. It was exciting. It was well received by critics and had a break through performance (one of which was robbed) from Michael Fassbender. What I’m saying is that: if you want to get people talking about film, nominate films people actually discussed.
“But they nominated The Help! And Viola! And Melissa! And Jonah!” is what I’ll hear. The Help is only nominated because it allows the Academy to accept black people through white people, but only for one year. Next year they’ll go back to more of the same. And then they banned SBC because, quote, “The red carpet is not a spectacle or for stunts”. Bjork wore a swan dress, ’nuff said. You don’t want SBC to come? Fine, I won’t watch.
This needs to stop. This seriously needs to end. I love film, I love filmmaking, and I love the world of cinema far too much for this to keep happening. Academy, guys, old-farts, you are becoming a parody of yourself. I don’t take you seriously anymore, no one does. You used to stand for anything, an Oscar used to MEAN something to everyone. Now, it’s a party favor. It’s still a goal, it’s still a milestone, it’s still a great achievement and acknowledgment of your hard work but… is it even?