The Oscars kicked off awards season with an official announcement of their nominees, recognizing the year’s best films. Do you have a favorite? Save that garbage for the People’s Choice awards. We commoners mustn’t taint the prestige of Hollywood’s highest accolade with dreadful popular opinion. Only the Academy need be burdened by exquisite tastes and the honor of handing the world’s most beautiful people a coveted chocolate man dipped in gold.
Tuning into the show is like watching “classy” people masturbate with their pinky out. I believe award ceremonies are always born with earnest intentions of acknowledging excellence in craftsmanship. But business ultimately devolves the tradition into hollow marketing engines and shallow ego-boosting affairs.
Other than teasing the fantasy of glamour, I don’t understand why we laymen would have any interest in the festivities. I can’t buy a ticket, attend the show, and later brag to friends about how Kate Beckinsale put a restraining order on me. Why should we care about beautiful people getting awarded for doing their job? They didn’t volunteer, or sacrifice for the greater good. They punched in. When I eat at McDonalds, I don’t care about who’s employee of the month.
The Oscars is famous for the annoying inquiries and critiques on celebrity fashion. Are the clothes for sale? Even if I could buy some Oscar wardrobe, I’d look uncomfortably pretentious wearing a pink sequin evening gown to a barmitzvah. I don’t even have any heels to match, nor 13 year old Jewish friends.
Of all the award ceremonies, the Oscars is the most plagued by one huge oversight: Inbreeding.
Creating feature films requires large investments. Mitigating the financial risks often entails casting a well-known celebrity, signing an accredited director, hiring a veteran producer, etc. When funding only goes to greatly established people rather than great stories, the pool of Oscar contending talent shrinks. A smaller group gets to make more of the films, and thus get more shots at the prize. The industry is a snake that feeds on its own tail.
We can state the case for talent. Jamie Foxx demonstrated indisputable skill transforming himself into Ray Charles. He was 2004’s Best Actor on merit. James Cameron is Hollywood’s elite director. Yet, did his film Titanic win a record 11 Oscars because of talent, or because of the $200,000,000 budget and flexible deadlines? Avatar might have only won 3 Oscars, but it was nominated in 9 categories. Did Cameron get another 9 shots at the prize because of skill, or because of Avatar’s $240,000,000 budget?
Excellence is easy when working freely. I believe anyone with artistic inclinations can produce amazing work if provided with unlimited resources and a sufficiently wide deadline. The rich get richer because they have the money to remove distractions. Two opposite people can have the same focus and drive, but the one who can buy the most fuel gets the farthest.
In all aspects of life, we commend those who do the most with the least. Not in Hollywood. We’ll pit a banjo versus an orchestra.
The Academy never weighs a film against its limitations. A book’s limitation is the bounds of its author’s perspective. A feature film’s limitation is finance. Authors require investments in time, whereas filmmakers require investments in money. Judging a $200,000,000 film in the same regard as a $10,000,000 film is like critiquing a 50 year old author against the alliteration of a 3 year old. It’s silly.
To return dutiful meaning to the Academy Awards, nominations should be better categorized:
- Having spent $100,000,000 or more…
- Best Picture, Actor, Director, etc.
- Having spent $30,000,000 to $99,999,999…
- Best Picture, Actor, Director, etc.
- Having cast Leonardo DiCaprio…
- Give the man an Oscar already. He clearly handsomes hardest.
As long as Hollywood continues to believe that the best way to tell the story of an Asian country’s deadliest natural disaster is through the plight of a European family on vacation, I’ll never take the Academy seriously. Prejudice lives strong.
Awards represent earning another’s gratitude. Trophies represent surpassing competition. Oscars are neither. It’s just a badge marking an exclusive club’s favorite meal.
David Stern is a dildo.