Oscar season has been upon us for a while, what with the nominees being announced in January and TCM’s annual 31 days of Oscar marathon. But, it is officially Sunday February 24th…Oscar Day!! Many of us are wondering what the top in cinema will be this year.
I have to admit when I was younger, I really didn’t care. I thought it was all a conspiracy, if I’m being perfectly honest. I mean there had to be something wrong with this sudo-intellectual “academy” if they never considered Harry Potter a classic piece of cinema, right?!
Yet, as I grew older…and wiser, I realized a little bit more of what goes into a movie to make it great. My catalogue of film knowledge has expanded as I absorb everything from Bergman, Fellini, and Chaplin to Spielberg and Scorsese. A great movie can exist in many genres. It’s a category that mixes the funny, the serious, the wacky/outrageous, and the downright weird. It’s a hard status to reach, but if done is rewarding. It means that, to some extent, your film has reached people, it was appreciated…and then, after being deemed “worthy,” joins the long history of cinema that has come before it, and will stand the test of time.
Yet, in the past couple of years, it seems as if the criteria for what qualifies as a “great movie” has shifted. At first, I still thought it was the kid in me that wanted to resist and pushback on this idea of what the academy classifies as award-winning. But, then I realized, the films I was fighting for to win weren’t just deemed great by me, but dozens of others. They were “serious” films in the eyes of adults. I began to have long discussions with people of all ages on why this wasn’t nominated, or why this was. Every year I am always confused why the latest George Clooney or Ben Affleck flick has 20 nods, including Best Picture, but a lesser known film, with lesser known actors (…that was equally well-done, if not better) got jack-squat.
To some extent I feel jaded when award show season comes back around. It just seems like a huge ego-trip, popularity contest.
Why do we need this many award shows for the same shows and films, over and over? I guess it’s because actors need an excuse to pat themselves on the back and self-congratulate.
Also, why do movies have to be serious to be taken seriously? I think that a movie that entertains smartly, and makes me laugh, is better than a poorly acted film, that received accolades merely because it was dramatic.
A film that touches many generations, that entertains, that influences, that is understood…yet misunderstood, that gets into your head…into your emotions, and bring you curiosity…those are true films. No matter who acted in them, or who directed it…if it’s good, it’s good.