Here's the Problem with Getting Mad About the Oscars

Here's the Problem with Getting Mad About the Oscars

Except for If they get Pete Davidson to host, then OK I understand we're going to have problems.
PHOTO CREDIT:

Like many of you, I’ve barely seen any of the movies that were just announced as the Academy’s nominations for their 94th Gala Ceremony. Now unlike a lot of you I have seen a disgusting amount of other movies and every single Oscars ceremony since 2000. I can confirm that the ceremony itself has become worse, like a lot worse.

Close to when I started watching The Oscars, they had become more a type of appointment television entertainment than any actual indicator of the best cinema of the year. So naturally now that the celebrity tide has changed and Hollywood stars and the industry approach to their craft with it which means fewer cool people to stare at, they’ve become significantly less fun to watch. Film was worth more in the 2000s with no streamers and everyone still going to the theatre to see anything that would wind up nominated. Harvey Weinstein is beyond out as is his invisible hand closing out the Billy Crystal era of telecasts, which since has seemed to put the Oscars on high social justice alert to remove any affiliation with their old formalist Hollywood style, leading to the last three ceremonies without a host.

But it seems one of the biggest problems with the already insurmountable onslaught of Oscar snub pieces is they lack an understanding of what the Oscars is. This is an award shortlisted, nominated, viewed and then decided by a governing body of voters whoever they are, the Oscars is simply that governing body’s choice for movie of the year, nothing more nothing less – it cannot be explained more simply than the award is just an Oscar.

The Oscars are not The Beatles, they are not the City of New York, they are not your Grandma. We do not all get to share our idea of what they should be because they don’t exist as a subjective prize; the films that get nominated for Oscars, get nominated for Oscars; the films that the won the Oscar won the Oscar. That’s what this award has been reduced to after more incorrect decisions than correct. Years of cultural appraisal, undeniably a better indicator of which films we truly value, has made the Oscars look more irrelevant with every new generation: Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves, The Social Network to The King’s Speech, and Kubrick, Lynch, Fincher, and Hitchcock all sit without proper director statues. Frankly, Paul Thomas Anderson whose wonderful San Fernando odyssey Licorice Pizza just made the release cutoff, will likely go home empty handed and if it does then that technically means it should; this is the Oscars and somehow these are the results of democracy.

There are also seemingly less movies coming out that qualify as Oscar worthy – leaving four acting categories of twenty nominations with less optioning in recent years. Frances McDormand’s take-in of three best actress statues happened as quick as Daniel Day Lewis for arguably lesser films.

Kenneth Branagh who is known for making prestige dramas has reached nominations in seven different categories, beating George Clooney’s six.

Many buy into the idea that the Oscars indeed is attempting perform the function that it guises to exist for: selecting the best film of the year, but this has devolved into almost something else entirely – as half of the country swings righter, Hollywood who must retain their status as a symbol of the left to continue operating seem to be reacting to the political climate with their film choices. Nomadland, last year’s winner of the top prize and a film which proves to many that they don’t watch Oscar winning films, was a reaction to the solitude of the pandemic, Parasite the year before to the class system, Green Book albeit a cookie cutter projection, race, The Shape of Water the persecution of illegal aliens.. I could go on and on.

It doesn’t hurt that the winners of the last 6 out of 7 best director winners who qualify as BIPOC (Cuaron, Del Toro, Ang Lee, Bong, Inaritu) can direct the hell out of a movie, but the fact that you or I think that better films were mounted in the last decade by directors who have yet to receive proper recognition simply doesn’t matter. That’s not what the Oscars is anymore, as a cultural institution they are trying to select films that are saying larger statements about society. But even as a lens to the issues of the zeitgeist the Oscars are incredibly flawed with many noting predominately Caucasian ballots in the acting categories and a lack of diversity in Best Picture film subjects. Though as problems more indicative of the greater issues in Hollywood, it’s not fair to place this responsibility on the Oscars, frankly an award that people should not care about as much as they do.

I don’t think Marvel fans know what the Oscars is. Have these Redditors and 4chan users and discorders actually looked at the list of Best Picture winners from 1929 and beyond? In what world but the Spider-Verse and the Marvel-Verse, and literally the hearts and wallets of the entire earth does Spiderman have a fighting chance? To the Oscars there’s prestige drama and box office gold and with rare exception you don’t get to have both. Calm down, Spiderman does not need to win the Oscar; he’s going to be fine.

Lady Gaga and Jared Leto hamming it up does not mean they should get golden statues. Yes it was funny and outlandish and over the top and arguably visceral and certainly memeable, but House of Gucci was a piece of shit – if Gaga is going to get her Moonstruck moment and Leto who acts like he’s spinning the barnyard animal wheel, a second, it needs to be for a film that isn’t so caught up in amplifying its own flaws.

No what we need people is our MTV Movie Awards back in high esteem so we can throw morsels to the populist movie watching public who want to see best upside down kiss or best dance off in a movie starring Owen Wilson. I mean really to be honest how are any of these awards more or less superfluous than what the Oscars is telling us is their choice for foreign film between inserts of Oscar Isaac smiling politely. I mean at least the MTVMAs (or I think they are called the MTV Movie and Reality TV Awards or something) are entertaining, they always have a host and the Oscars hasn’t had one in three ceremonies, they book good musical guests and they’re short. I digress, join me on Oscars night while I cloud up our socials with memes and here are your nominations you filthy animals, like and subscribe if you’ve seen none of the films.

 

Best picture

Belfast

Coda

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

 

Best director

Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)

Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)

Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

 

Best actor

Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)

Will Smith (King Richard)

Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

Best actress

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)

Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)

Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)

Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)

Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

 

Best supporting actor

Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)

Troy Kotsur (Coda)

Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)

JK Simmons (Being the Ricardos)

Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

 

Best supporting actress

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Ariana Debose (West Side Story)

Judi Dench (Belfast)

Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

 

Best original screenplay

Belfast (Kenneth Branagh)

Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, David Sirota)

Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

King Richard (Zach Baylin)

The Worst Person in the World (Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)

 

Best adapted screenplay

Coda (Sian Heder)

Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe)

Dune (Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve)

The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)

The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

 

Best cinematography

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

 

Best film editing

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick… BOOM!

 

Best original score

Don’t Look Up

Dune

Encanto

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

 

Best international feature

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

 

Best documentary feature

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing With Fire

 

Best documentary short

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen of Basketball

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies

 

Best live action short

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run

The Dress

The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold

 

Best animated feature

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells Vs the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

 

Best animated short

Affairs of the Art

Bestia

Boxballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper

 

Best original song

Be Alive (King Richard)

Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)

Down to Joy (Belfast)

No Time to Die (No Time to Die)

Somehow You Do (Four Good Days)

 

Best sound

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Best production design

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

 

Best costume design

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story

 

Best visual effects

Dune

Free Guy

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

No Time to Die

Spider-Man: No Way Home

 

Best makeup & hairstyling

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

 


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Like many of you, I’ve barely seen any of the movies that were just announced as the Academy’s nominations for their 94th Gala Ceremony. Now unlike a lot of you I have seen a disgusting amount of other movies and every single Oscars ceremony since 2000. I can confirm that the ceremony itself has become worse, like a lot worse.

Close to when I started watching The Oscars, they had become more a type of appointment television entertainment than any actual indicator of the best cinema of the year. So naturally now that the celebrity tide has changed and Hollywood stars and the industry approach to their craft with it which means fewer cool people to stare at, they’ve become significantly less fun to watch. Film was worth more in the 2000s with no streamers and everyone still going to the theatre to see anything that would wind up nominated. Harvey Weinstein is beyond out as is his invisible hand closing out the Billy Crystal era of telecasts, which since has seemed to put the Oscars on high social justice alert to remove any affiliation with their old formalist Hollywood style, leading to the last three ceremonies without a host.

But it seems one of the biggest problems with the already insurmountable onslaught of Oscar snub pieces is they lack an understanding of what the Oscars is. This is an award shortlisted, nominated, viewed and then decided by a governing body of voters whoever they are, the Oscars is simply that governing body’s choice for movie of the year, nothing more nothing less – it cannot be explained more simply than the award is just an Oscar.

The Oscars are not The Beatles, they are not the City of New York, they are not your Grandma. We do not all get to share our idea of what they should be because they don’t exist as a subjective prize; the films that get nominated for Oscars, get nominated for Oscars; the films that the won the Oscar won the Oscar. That’s what this award has been reduced to after more incorrect decisions than correct. Years of cultural appraisal, undeniably a better indicator of which films we truly value, has made the Oscars look more irrelevant with every new generation: Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves, The Social Network to The King’s Speech, and Kubrick, Lynch, Fincher, and Hitchcock all sit without proper director statues. Frankly, Paul Thomas Anderson whose wonderful San Fernando odyssey Licorice Pizza just made the release cutoff, will likely go home empty handed and if it does then that technically means it should; this is the Oscars and somehow these are the results of democracy.

There are also seemingly less movies coming out that qualify as Oscar worthy – leaving four acting categories of twenty nominations with less optioning in recent years. Frances McDormand’s take-in of three best actress statues happened as quick as Daniel Day Lewis for arguably lesser films.

Kenneth Branagh who is known for making prestige dramas has reached nominations in seven different categories, beating George Clooney’s six.

Many buy into the idea that the Oscars indeed is attempting perform the function that it guises to exist for: selecting the best film of the year, but this has devolved into almost something else entirely – as half of the country swings righter, Hollywood who must retain their status as a symbol of the left to continue operating seem to be reacting to the political climate with their film choices. Nomadland, last year’s winner of the top prize and a film which proves to many that they don’t watch Oscar winning films, was a reaction to the solitude of the pandemic, Parasite the year before to the class system, Green Book albeit a cookie cutter projection, race, The Shape of Water the persecution of illegal aliens.. I could go on and on.

It doesn’t hurt that the winners of the last 6 out of 7 best director winners who qualify as BIPOC (Cuaron, Del Toro, Ang Lee, Bong, Inaritu) can direct the hell out of a movie, but the fact that you or I think that better films were mounted in the last decade by directors who have yet to receive proper recognition simply doesn’t matter. That’s not what the Oscars is anymore, as a cultural institution they are trying to select films that are saying larger statements about society. But even as a lens to the issues of the zeitgeist the Oscars are incredibly flawed with many noting predominately Caucasian ballots in the acting categories and a lack of diversity in Best Picture film subjects. Though as problems more indicative of the greater issues in Hollywood, it’s not fair to place this responsibility on the Oscars, frankly an award that people should not care about as much as they do.

I don’t think Marvel fans know what the Oscars is. Have these Redditors and 4chan users and discorders actually looked at the list of Best Picture winners from 1929 and beyond? In what world but the Spider-Verse and the Marvel-Verse, and literally the hearts and wallets of the entire earth does Spiderman have a fighting chance? To the Oscars there’s prestige drama and box office gold and with rare exception you don’t get to have both. Calm down, Spiderman does not need to win the Oscar; he’s going to be fine.

Lady Gaga and Jared Leto hamming it up does not mean they should get golden statues. Yes it was funny and outlandish and over the top and arguably visceral and certainly memeable, but House of Gucci was a piece of shit – if Gaga is going to get her Moonstruck moment and Leto who acts like he’s spinning the barnyard animal wheel, a second, it needs to be for a film that isn’t so caught up in amplifying its own flaws.

No what we need people is our MTV Movie Awards back in high esteem so we can throw morsels to the populist movie watching public who want to see best upside down kiss or best dance off in a movie starring Owen Wilson. I mean really to be honest how are any of these awards more or less superfluous than what the Oscars is telling us is their choice for foreign film between inserts of Oscar Isaac smiling politely. I mean at least the MTVMAs (or I think they are called the MTV Movie and Reality TV Awards or something) are entertaining, they always have a host and the Oscars hasn’t had one in three ceremonies, they book good musical guests and they’re short. I digress, join me on Oscars night while I cloud up our socials with memes and here are your nominations you filthy animals, like and subscribe if you’ve seen none of the films.

 

Best picture

Belfast

Coda

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

 

Best director

Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)

Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)

Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

 

Best actor

Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)

Will Smith (King Richard)

Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

Best actress

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)

Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)

Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)

Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)

Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

 

Best supporting actor

Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)

Troy Kotsur (Coda)

Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)

JK Simmons (Being the Ricardos)

Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

 

Best supporting actress

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Ariana Debose (West Side Story)

Judi Dench (Belfast)

Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

 

Best original screenplay

Belfast (Kenneth Branagh)

Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, David Sirota)

Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)

King Richard (Zach Baylin)

The Worst Person in the World (Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)

 

Best adapted screenplay

Coda (Sian Heder)

Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe)

Dune (Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve)

The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)

The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

 

Best cinematography

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

 

Best film editing

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick… BOOM!

 

Best original score

Don’t Look Up

Dune

Encanto

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

 

Best international feature

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

 

Best documentary feature

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing With Fire

 

Best documentary short

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen of Basketball

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies

 

Best live action short

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run

The Dress

The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold

 

Best animated feature

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells Vs the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

 

Best animated short

Affairs of the Art

Bestia

Boxballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper

 

Best original song

Be Alive (King Richard)

Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)

Down to Joy (Belfast)

No Time to Die (No Time to Die)

Somehow You Do (Four Good Days)

 

Best sound

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Best production design

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

 

Best costume design

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story

 

Best visual effects

Dune

Free Guy

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

No Time to Die

Spider-Man: No Way Home

 

Best makeup & hairstyling

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

 


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