Warning_ May Contain Strong Language)... and please I know what I am talking about.
(UPDATED - 21 February 2012)
When it comes to awards shows, I don't mind. I don't mind if a particular movie won even if it wasn't my pick. I've watched a lot of shows that have been nominated for an Emmy but never won a particular one I had in mind (BTW GAME OF THRONES SHOULD HAVE WON THAT EMMY!!) and I listened to some bands whose work and material really touched me but never get nominated (e.g. - I may never get to see Gotye win a Grammy next year). Most great movies have won an award... that's never been worth our time (Black Swan had won a Teen Choice Award for that matter).
What really bothered me about the recent award shows like the Golden Globes, the BAFTAS and the MTV Movie Awards is the fact that nominate movies that are never quite good and how it reflects society's current tastes in film. My rant on the MTV Movie Awards was based on that fact (or opinion) because it's never based on a film's artistic merit or craft. It's based on bias, through over privileged fame and the film's subject matter. That's why nobody wants to watch next year's MTVMAs because The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I may sweep out every categories from all your favourite movies of the year.
I was planning to write a rant about the Academy Awards when the nominations come out for next year's, but given how Brett Ratner left his role as the producer and that Eddie Murphy had bailed with him, this may be a good time to say why I am not looking forward to next year's Oscars. (before I go into depth, Billy Crystal is confirmed as the new host... for the nineth time!! Believe it or not.)
The Academy Awards is a joke. One event made by Hollywood. An unfunny one than the fact that the place delivered nothing original but sequels, remakes and reboots this year. No. Let me reiterate the first two sentences. A joke from the film industry, because not a lot of movies I know that are produced from Hollywood are nominated for anything big that's on my mind. There is nothing valuable about winning an Oscar when you don't realize that the movie you're watching only there because it must pull your and everybody's heartstrings. There's nothing worthy of watching it when the Academy wasted every ceremony with hosts that are so intrepid, nominees so forgettable and a panel who is out of touch today. So when I heard that Billy Crystal is hosting the Oscars, I felt like I contracted a brain tumor since I'm pretty sure that Crystal won't bring some justice for the awards since they've already became boring like your average televised airing of a national election of your president.
So here are my five reasons why I totally loathe the Oscars:
1. It tried too hard to grab a different audience
System of A Down's Sugar and in the first 50 seconds, a news anchor mentions about being stuck in the rating systems and then turn psychotic. This is one thing I have against the Oscars. It wants a gain in ratings. And not only that, it tried too hard to grab a different audience. The Academy wants to attract younger viewers because the only people watching the show are old folks the same age as the Academy are and film buffs young or old. I am going off a tangent here, but it's as if the Melbourne Cup wants the youth's attention simply because it's the 'race that stops the nation'. The first attempt they would do is attracting bronies to the horse race, male teenagers who inadvertently come across My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and then liking it. Ultimately though, it's a fail.
- They decide to stretch the number of Best Picture nominations to ten and I was perhaps the only person supporting that move because it gave met all of the demographics: critics and the average moviegoer. Did that work? Possibly, because the Oscar season was sprouting with these nominees and that the last two winners are of independent/arthouse value. But half of the movies nominated in that category from the past two years are already movies people have heard of. But since this year's Oscars wasn't a good one (in terms of ratings and quality), they decide to have any number of movies in that category as long as it's over five.
- They gave Anne Hathaway and James Franco the role of hosting the Oscars, but that never worked out because a) they've never had any chemistry and b) they were inexperienced in hosting. Choosing Hathaway and Franco was the worst attempt the Academy had ever done to attract younger viewers because they thought these kids would recognise these two actors (well, not a lot about Franco anyway).
An article from The Atlantic states that the Academy should stop trying to be hip. I almost agree with that because there are too focused on the entertainment value of an awards show. There were some moments the Oscars have or might have done that would win over our youth. In 2003, Eminem won an Academy Award for Best Original song for his song "Lose Yourself" for the movie 8 Mile and since a lot of kids know Eminem it would've worked for the Academy to tell them 'hey Eminem is up for an award. WAY prestigious than the Grammys'. Disney Renaissance movies such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin had applied to all demographics winning some Oscars for their music and Beauty and the Beast garnered a nomination for Best Picture, making it the first animated film to do so. There were movies like The Social Network, Inception, Toy Story, Up! that a lot of adoscelents have heard of today and will always remember because they've watched it, before and then got nominated for an Oscar. When kids stayed up late to watch the Oscars so the movie everybody have heard of, Avatar would win Best Picture, they went dumbfounded when they see that the indie war drama The Hurt Locker winning. Because let's face it. It wasn't until the Oscars that they've heard about it.
I don't mind if the Academy wants to gain a different audience, but already their moves are so underwhelming and backfired to the point that teenagers today are watching Twilight, your average Adam Sandler movie, Transformers or a movie that's mindnumbingly fucked, I'm suspicious about the downfall of our society. But here's a tip, Academy. If you want to attract younger people, GET NEIL PATRICK HARRIS AS THE FUCKING HOST!!!
There have been a lot of movies that should have won the Best Picture including Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, There Will Be Blood and many more I can think of that should've won over the most mediocre movies that won Best Picture. What bothers me about the category for Best Picture is that it's not diverse in genre. When was the last time you've seen a science fiction movie won Best Picture? When was the last time a romantic comedy won the same category? The answer to the second question is Shakespeare In Love in 1999.
Proof? Sean Penn was nominated for I Am Sam playing a brain damaged father who tries to get his daughter back from authorities. How did you get full retard? (Got that out from Tropic Thunder)
But the Academy never knew about the films in the first place. They knew from critics who like these kinds of movies. The reason why Forrest Gump won over Pulp Fiction is because Forrest Gump was a dumbass (no offence) who doesn't know what the hell he's doing and yet it made the Academy cry. What a cheap trick! And don't get me started on how many movies are nominated just because they're more about gay people and conflict. I hated The Kids Are All Right not only because I find the characters so unlikeble but that it's also blatant to the fact it depicts a gay couple as one of the most over-preachy people you'll ever meet. But the movie impressed the critics because they're real people!?! Give me a break. THE WHOLE THING IS BASED ON FRICKIN POLITICS AND THEY SUPPORT IT.
Before you're gonna say "Adrian, you are just generalizing films here. There's no way every movie about gays or retards gonna be nominated for an Oscar", I'm not. But you're almost right that not every movie about these people are going to be nominated. Your film has a chance as long as it mixes conflict with gays since it's been a big social issue today; the issue attracts so much to the critics, you're wondering if they're off with their heads. (think about it. Why was Milk nominated? Why do you think Christopher Plummer will win Best Supporting Actor in Beginners?). I'm not complaining about how every movie about homosexuality is nominated, it's just that I'm complaining that the Academy acknowledge movies based on political motivations rather than artistic integrity and that the fact that there's not a lot of new, edgier films that they prefer but we only see that. The only movie I tolerated is Brokeback Mountain because it has that aspect.
When The King's Speech won four Oscars, I thought to myself that the only Oscar they should only picked up is Best Actor for Colin Firth. Instead, it won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and I was really disappointed. The thing that strucks me to how The King's Speech won its Oscars is that the Academy chose it because they lived during WWII and made everybody cried or its produced by Harvey Weinstein, the hack who corrupted the Academy with aggressive campaigning for Shakespeare in Love to win Best Picture. Now I have to retract my praise because the movie now looks like an average film where it wants an Oscar. (and by the way, THE SOCIAL NETWORK OR INCEPTION SHOULD HAVE WON). And now I have to take a calmer.
I would never support Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture in 2009 if the nominees weren't so plain. Why can't the Academy see that The Dark Knight is practically everyone's best movie of 2008 and that WALL-E comes after. They all deserve nominations for BP. And I want a survey to the Academy into how movies like Crash, Shakespeare In Love and all those movies that should never had won why do they think it should win.
If anything the Academy tend to overlook at movies with one or more deserved nominations. Inception should at least have a Best Director nomination for Christopher Nolan and so have a few others for the same category including Danny Boyle for 127 Hours or even Debra Granik for the very unknown yet critically acclaimed indie flick Winter's Bone. The Social Network should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Andrew Garfield and a few other films that weren't nominated but should be. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World would've gained either a Best Visual Effects nomination or for Best Original Song and even Tron: Legacy should've been nominated for Best Original Score by Daft Punk.
3. The movies that wants an Oscar
|Charlie Sheen. We're QUAD-WINNING!!!!|
Then there's the release date and around September, "awards season" kicks in and any movie released before the month are more unlikely to be nominated for Oscars. I don't mind the release date that comes closer within the awards season, but you can release a movie like The King's Speech at any date whether it'll be on March, June or at the middle of the summer but the problem is, if your film is released during the summer, chances are that you'll be neglected by the Academy out of their short term memory. As much as Inception was a phenomenal movie, the film's chances of an Oscars nod for the major categories weren't slim but are not big enough to match the film's praise.
And then there's the campaign. Hollywood, this is not an election for Pete's sake. Why are you boasting about your movies needing an Oscar on the ads of Variety magazine? Is there some point that For Your Consideration would work simply because they were gold at the box office and had got critical acclaim. I can tell that a good movie is not looking for an Oscar; I've watched The Social Network, Black Swan and Inception so many times and they do not cry out "OSCAR OSCAR OSCAR OSCAR". Toy Story 3 didn't become a perfect movie just so they could win an Oscar, but Walt Disney, you pushed the limits to get your movie you've produced to win Best Picture when there's no chance in hell it will (as suggested above). Does every studio have to waste millions of dollars for every Alice In Wonderland to get a nod? Just so they can prove they're still significant to society yet all they gave us are movies that ultimately ruined our childhood and a movie that destroyed the reputation of a contemporary acting icon. I'm sorryguys but you've changed for the worst.
If you're expecting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part II to get a number of nominations including Best Picture, you're going to think again. The Academy will never give them the nod since they still believe it's a kids movie, but if they did at least a quarter of the population wanted it since it's so far their best movie of the year. HP7P2 never was released to grab an Oscar nod, but because of its praise Warner Bros. decide to spend millions just to make sure they have one big nomination. (groan)
4. The only reason people watch this is for the red carpet
5. It's so boring
The way celebrities today come in to present an Oscar and then throwing an awkward joke is just stupid. Sorry Justin Timberlake. There's nothing profound about saying you're Banksy when you're presenting with Mila Kunis for Best Animated Feature. I would play it out to the guys from Slipknot. At best, the presenters are very mature, for instance the last Best Actress or Actor winner presents for this year's Best Actress and Best Actor. At worst, it doesn't know what it should be doing like Kirk Douglas presenting for Best Supporting Actress for Melissa Leo. He makes it so long and I felt incredibly tired of what the Academy would be doing next.
I have to admit I actually enjoyed Hugh Jackman as the host in 2009 and that the opening musical numbers for that and last year's pays off but the rest of those ceremonies are just bland and redundant. The Academy organise the Oscars and the way they do so, they're playing it safe. Everything has to be politically correct, no risks taken or else one of the members will complain. I'm going to paraphrase Chris Rock's opening lines when he hosted the Oscars in 2005. Every movie was incredible. Every movie was magic. Then you grow up and you watch the same movies where you go like The Phantom Menace sucks. That's how it is. It wants to inspire the audience with near death experiences, speech impediments or anything that people would say "aw, that ain't so bad" until they will never remember that years onwards.
So that's what it is people. The Academy is so old (its average age is 57, that's what I know) that it wants to feel free again, even if it wasn't worth it. I hate their decisions, I hate how it treats its audience and the film industry with no respect and I hate how an event considered the "biggest in Hollywood" would feel so pointless when it doesn't try anything new and when it does it fails miserably. The Academy Awards wouldn't be completely terrible today if (paraphrasing Quagmire's rant on Brian in Family Guy) it weren't such a bore. That's right Academy. You are such a fucking, lazy, out of touch bore.
AND PLEASE ACADEMY. NEXT TIME, DON'T PLAY THE THEME FROM GUYS AND DOLLS EVERY TIME YOU GO TO A BREAK. YOU'LL EMBARRASS BROADWAY.
(Update: screw you Academy again for nominating Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close which apparently became the worst reviewed movie to ever be nominated for BP)