Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Academy Awards Rant

(image via oscars.org)
First, if you haven't already, you can check out the complete list of nominees here.

The Academy has changed things up by adding more films to the big categories, in an effort (let's be honest) to mainstream the awards and bring in the viewers who typically have never heard of most of the nominees. What this means is that films like Avatar and The Blind Side are nominated for best picture, while A Single Man is not. It means 10 nominated films, taking away from the prestige of a nomination and, mostly, it means that the focus is departing even further from the point: honoring greatness in film.

Okay, yes, it's the Oscars, maybe not the most reliable source for recognizing the best in cinema. But it is a symbol that gives someone in the business the credibility to get good work. It's a major recognition and it shouldn't be taken lightly by the Academy. It certainly shouldn't be dumbed down for ratings and studio money. Come on, this isn't the Golden Globes! These awards are given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

When our cultural institutions start losing artistic credibility in order to appeal to the masses, it's a very scary thing. Why not nominate great films a couple weeks earlier and then put them in theatres, market them to the masses. How will people ever see these films if they don't know about them or know that they're worth seeing? Is it worth letting great writers, filmmakers and talent struggle, unnoticed for your own monetary gain? Maybe in the short term (and in Los Angeles) but what about 50 years from now when the auteurs are dead or 100 years from now when the prints are dead? Okay, maybe I'm being melodramatic, it just frustrates me to see one of the most powerful institutions in film "mainstream" itself, leaving the nearly bankrupt film festivals and independent distribution houses with the responsibility of supporting artistic cinema.

I'm just saying. If the films were out there and people knew about them, I believe they would see them. I sincerely believe we can open minds by allowing people access and pointing them in the right direction. Of course I'll watch, but I'm not the least bit excited this year. This new system is ridiculous.


  1. wowowow agree. I hadnt read the nominations yet. im surprised at some of the thigns that made it.

    Did you ever see Precious? I really loved it. Thats seems to have gotten nominated for quite a bit.

    So yeah, best picture has a long list of nominees. what theee

  2. (best actor nominee)... oh the stories... remember?