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Why The Oscars Suck

By Alex Hollatz
On February 14, 2013

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The Oscars suck.

Shallow people think that they are the end all be all when it comes to movie honors. But those people never seem to be able to answer the question of why exactly the Academy Awards matter?

I honestly couldn't tell you. I mean, I have theories. But they're theories that shouldn't give the Oscars half the importance they have.

First off, they're the oldest award show in Hollywood. That means something to people who like tradition and history to add to something's relevance, which is fair. But something old runs the risk of becoming out of touch, andout of touch is a phrase I tend to associate with the Oscars.

Second, the Academy Awards Committee is made up of movie industry types such as producers, directors, actors and so on, who vote to make the nominations and winners of each category. This is actually a good thing as it allows peers to award peers for their work. But then they nominate bizarre, out of left field movies.

That's where the Oscars lose relevance. The best way to show this is to do the following. Go to the top ten best reviewed films of the year for 2012 on Metacritic and what do you see? Two, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty, of the nine nominees for Best Picture this year are present. Then make a quick search on Google for the top ten highest grossing films of the year. None, absolutely zero, of the nominees for Best Picture make an appearance on that list. So with all of this in mind, who the hell are they trying to appeal to?

It sure isn't the critics. The critics wouldn't nominate a film like Les Miserables, which was met with rather middling reviews upon release. And it sure as hell isn't the general public. We would want The Avengers, the highest grossing film of 2012, to win the Oscar for Best Picture, not Zero Dark Thirty. The only relation the highest grossing film list manages to have to the Oscars this year is that Seth McFarlane, the director of Ted, is hosting the Oscars this year.

So what does this tell us? Quite simply, it looks like the Oscars are not meant for us. We get no great insight into what movies are critically acclaimed or culturally beloved despite the fact both should be justly awarded for what they do. Instead, we get a group of people awarding movies that they feel are important. And while I believe they have a right to their opinion, I would like to know what exactly makes their decision so important?

I wonder if the Oscars even know. As far as I can tell it's an excuse to get pretty actors and actresses all dressed up and to drag them in front of cameras. And to be honest, that's an entertaining thing to watch. There's something fun about watching the Oscars and seeing Brad Pitt shake hands with Leonardo Dicaprio while Angelina Jolie stands around in the background. The Oscars give us all our celebrities in one big showcase. But that's about the only thing the Oscars do well.

I just wish the pompousness of the award would fade away along with the idea that the Oscars truly pick the "Best Picture" of the year. They most of the time are not even close. But the power and clout the Oscars have makes it seem as though the film that wins Best Picture is truly the best film of the year.

If anything the Oscar's are nothing but a fancy popularity contest that is used as a launching pad to make more money. Just before the New Year, Joaquin Phoenix, who starred in The Master, complained that the Oscar's were basically bullshit. He ended up forced to apologize and say the Oscars meant something to him. This, people believed, would cost Phoenix a nomination since he had pissed off the Academy Award Committee. He got nominated anyway.

Phoenix's story if anything shows the popularity contest mentality. Play nice with us and we'll slide you a nomination, maybe even a win, and we'll boost your box office numbers and DVD sales since you can say your film was Oscar nominated now. There's even more proof in the ads that grace magazines like Variety's pages where film companies put out ads asking the Academy Awards to basically nominate their film.

That's really all the Oscars are. A chance to make more money and see beautiful celebrities be beautiful. We don't get the best films of the year. We don't get the films that are culturally significant. There's no real substance to them. The Oscars is all surface, so take it as such. 

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