Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Topic Of The Day: Are We The Problem With The Academy Awarding Sentiment?

Hello, Bloggers,! Just as I thought I would try to take a small break from doing Oscar posts, here I am with another one for you folks. For this post, I will discuss something that recently occurred to me. Now, a lot of films that appear on people's Worst Best Picture lists are often sentimental pieces and I had a thought as to whether or not we are part of the problem.

To demonstrate my point, I will bring up Boyhood's Best Picture loss. When it lost to Birdman, plenty of websites have already called it a mistake. A writer for Slate.com even called Boyhood's loss the Academy's worst mistake in 20 years. But, I think the outrage from the critics stems from sentiment over Richard Linklater and co. filming Boyhood for 12 years. Now that I think about it, if Boyhood did actually win, I would've been completely on the fence about it because its win would have more to do with people, especially the critics, saying "They made this movie for 12 years! Honor it for that reason!".

Another great example of us maybe forcing the Academy into rewarding sentiment is when 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture. As Ellen DeGeneres herself put it in her opening monologue at the Oscars, "There are two possibilities: Possibility number 1: 12 Years A Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number 2: You're all racists!" It pretty much summed up the mindset the people behind the film's campaign and those that follow the Oscars had. However, while it won the big prize, Gravity was the big winner because it won 7 Oscars out of 10 nominations. It seemed like they were eager to give it Best Picture. But because 12 Years won the important precursors and was the more topical film, critics and Oscar bloggers probably had their "The Academy is racist!" articles ready if the Academy went in a different direction. Now, I'm sure fanboys think the Academy still hates sci-fi.

Also, that whole "Vote for this movie or you're racist" mentality was present with the movie Selma. After that film got snubbed, people were quick to label the Academy racist even if there were likely other factors into its snubs. As I mentioned in a previous topic of the day, maybe they just didn't like it. You know, just because it is about racism and MLK doesn't automatically mean it's amazing and that people just HAVE to shower it with praise. I may be sounding harsh, but I'm just being honest. In fact, Selma's nomination for Best Picture was mostly them saying "Here, we're not racist. Don't hurt us!". I would've rather seen them give its spot to another film. It clearly was never going to win.

So to any critic or Oscar blogger that may potentially read this, ask yourselves: Should the studios be pushing for these sentimental important films that cause people to have the mentality of "vote for this film or you're prejudice towards blacks, gays, etc."? Or should they continue making these important films but without people preparing their "Academy is prejudice" articles in case they go in a different direction?

Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!