Well Awards season is pretty much over and it wouldn’t be right if I just let it slip without blowing a gasket over it. By all accounts this was a pretty boring year in terms of results. I’m sure there is someone out there who hit a 100% on their Oscar predictions and most people probably scored in the 80% arena if they played with their minds rather than their hearts. And that’s boring. That’s bullshit. It’s a sign that things are broken.
For a moment consider college BCS rankings for football. Or hell just look at the rankings in almost any college sport. How can, year after year, several teams all go undefeated and yet not win national titles? How can a team with a loss, or sometimes even two, be ranked above a team with none? It doesn’t make sense and neither does Hollywood. The Biz has always been fairly predictable – the term “Oscar Bait” is applied to a movie easily because you can get a sense from the subject matter and the tone whether or not the movie is going to make a run for it. Previously, films that tackled rough spots in history, like World War II, were going for Oscars. Films that tackled mental retardation. Movies that went for face. Then of course, the family/affair melodrama. More recently, the cute or novel comedy. Bah.
This year was pretty upsetting to me. Take a look at Slumdog Millionaire. Was it a good film? Sure, it was good. Was it a film that deserved 10 Oscar nominations and 8 wins? I mean, do you have any idea how fucking impressive that is? Schindler’s List won 7 Oscars. Saving Private Ryan won 5 and was nominated for 11. Titanic and Return of the King won 11. Unforgiven only won 4 and was nominated for 9. So the Academy is telling us that Slumdog Millionaire is of the same caliber than some of the greatest movies of all time? That it’s better than powerhouses of drama and cinema? Give me a break! Can any Slumdog fans out there really honestly maintain that Slumdog is that good? That it deserved to win for Cinematography and Sound Mixing?
I fear that many of the times, this year especially, that Academy voters are voting for the films they liked overall or what is the flavor of the moment. When was the last time their was any doubt Slumdog wasn’t going to win a shit ton of awards? The only race this year that had any real drama was Best Actor and that was because no one from Slumdog was nominated.
How about musically? The Academy only nominated three songs. Two of them were from Slumdog! TWO OF THEM from the same film while ignoring The Wrestler from Bruce Springsteen, which was the best song of the year – easily? I cry foul and bullshit on you, sirs and madams. This has brought about the day I have long feared. I will now have to apply myself rather than coasting through life and win an Academy Award so that I can vote in the Academy and bring justice back to the scales. Vote for what is best in that category, not what is best overall or for the actor who deserved it last year but got ripped off. The Academy Awards should be like the Super Bowl – one shot, based only on that day (or singular performance). No rankings, no bullshit, no past histories, no fan favorites. Screw this college system of picking winners. Denzel Washington deserves an Oscar – but Training Day was not his best film. But they owed it to him. So whatever. All I know is this year, like years past, has got me past my boiling point.
Sound off on this years Academy Awards. What deserved it, what didn’t, what got left behind?