Saturday, August 11, 2018
OSCARS NEW AWARD AND STANDARDS! And, the OSCARS MEAN NOTHING NOW, OFFICIALLY!
Well, it's official, the Oscars mean nothing anymore.
Oh, I know everyone wants to say they never meant anything, they're just an opinion, or whatever, they don't agree one year, or whatever so they say they're of no value, but no, now, they have no value. NOW, they mean nothing. NOW they have no value, and now, everything every killjoy has ever tried to say about them is totally 100% true.
And to be clear, it wasn't before. This cynical moronic self-serving arrogance that people like to claim that somehow the Oscars weren't valid or mattered or had any pop cultural importance; all those critics are assholes, are still very much assholes. And I'm not saying that the Oscars were infallible, or always got it right;- I honestly don't give a damn if they ever get it "right". I don't care about campaigning,- I swear to God, I've had like half-a-dozen people send me that "Adam Ruins Everything" clip about Oscar campaigning as though that somehow that means the Oscars are invalid- motherfucker, we know For Your Consideration campaigns exist! We know how they work; that's not a secret. Next you'll tell that me pro wrestling is fake, right? We know there's politics to it, we know there's deals, we know-, well there used to be Harvey Weinstein trying to skirt every rule in the playbook to get a win, and thank God there isn't now, but I can just as easily argue that there are several instances where the best campaigns and campaigning did absolute shit, and it's not like it correlates that a good campaign means a film is automatically winning the Oscar. "White Chicks" could've run the greatest campaign of all-time and bribed the entire Academy and it still wouldn't have gotten nominated. Anybody that wants to pretend that quality doesn't matter is just delusional. Yeah, I can nitpick every example too where they supposedly got it wrong, sometimes really wrong, but you're kidding yourselves if you think because there's campaigns that automatically that means the vote means nothing. They're all throwing parties, they're all giving gift baskets, they're all putting up billboards and making commercials, and you can claim you're voting for every film that gives you something and then-, it's a private ballot that nobody ever sees unless you personally reveal it and who cares, you're none the wiser.
I've heard every stupid argument against the Oscars and none of them have ever been valid. "I didn't see any of the movies?"! How the fuck is that their fault and not yours? There's like two months between the nominations and the show, go watch them!" "They never nominate the films I see?" Well, gee, that's a shame. Let's me see, whose opinion about cinema I'm gonna trust more, yours, who hasn't gone out of their way to see the movies the ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES ARTS AND SCIENCES, aka THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE FUCKING MOVIES FOR A LIVING! INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY MOST OF THE MOVIES YOU SEE AND BITCH ABOUT NOT GETTING NOMINATED! Or, the people who make the goddamn movies, spend all their lives doing it, aka, The Academy!
Seriously, everybody likes to claim that because it's art and art is somewhat subjective, like. 0.1% subjective, that that means that their opinion matters more. WHY? HOW? You never hear people claim that (mocking voice) "The NAS Awards don't matter because unlike the National Academy of Sciences, I have an opinion on the best achievement in science this past year, and I don't think Richard Dennard's contribution to Microelectronics was as good as Omar M. Yaghi's pioneering work in reticular chemistry, even though I've never so much as tried to make a volcano for the 7th Grade Science fair, I know what good science looks like! Not that, National Academy of Sciences people, who are just a bunch of scientists, judging the works of other scientists! I bet they're all friends with Dennard, and he just had a better campaign! He didn't win it on merit. Hmph!" You know why, 'cause you're probably not a scientist, and you probably don't know who or what the fuck that whole last sentence was even talking about! That's how that argument sounds, that people who make films aren't capable of determining the best in their field?!
That argument just needs to die, 'cause it's just shallow and ignorant and those who make it are stupid, and if you really think your opinion does have value and meaning than start an entertainment blog or something equally stupid to try to prove it. (Shut up!) The point is, some peoples' opinions on certain things are worth more, and the Oscars have that validity, they're the opinion, of the people who make movies on what the best in movies are, and you can't undermine that fact. I don't care if every member of the Academy personally tells you they never saw any the movies and they all let their cats vote for them, for all we know, maybe that's the best way to analyze the best in film, 'cause they're the ones who make it 'cause they would know better! Hey, he might let his cat vote, but I sure as shit can't edit sound like he does, maybe he's onto something? That's true legitimacy and credibility.
So, how the fuck did they lose it all now?
Well, the re-elected Academy President John Bailey, somebody who has suddenly made me wish Cheryl Boone-Isaacs would come back, has proclaimed that by 2020, there will be a three-hour long limit on the Oscars, and a new category for Best Popular Film.
First of all, I'm getting the three hours thing out of the way. Look, I get it, award shows can run long, and if this was a case where, perhaps ABC was demanding this change, and it's stipulated in the contract negotiations, to renew the Oscars, okay, I would be buying that. And, I suspect that's actually what's going on here. ABC's contract with the Oscars, currently extends to 2028. For all the talk about the ratings' dropping, which-, look, ratings are dropping practically everywhere, they're still doing well ratings-wise, and it's the Oscars, there's going to be a devoted audience that'll always show up to watch it, plus it's still big internationally. That's a misnomer, but, we'll pretend that's a real issue, I can see that. Now, that's not what President John Bailey's presenting,- he's saying that this is basically his new plan to modify the Oscars for the benefit of the audience. (Shrugs) I hope that's not the case.
(Shrugs) Look, the reason the other award shows, the Grammys, the Primetime Emmys, the Tonys, they don't present every award on their main broadcast is that there are way too fucking many of them. The Grammys give out, like 90 awards every year, the Emmys have well over 100, the Tonys give out, eh, actually fewer than you'd think, but they give out like, 30/year, but they put on a show. The Oscars, have the fewest Awards, they only give out 24 currently, and until today there were only 25 on the books that are currently active. (There's a Best Musical category that exists, but it hasn't been enacted since the eighties when it was called Best Song Score, 'cause of a lack of eligible nominees) It's a long ceremony, but it's the Oscars. I mean, I don't want a five-hours epic Oscars, but there's nothing inherently wrong with taking your time. They've earned it, they're the oldest, they honor a lot of crafts and showcase them that other awards don't on their main stage, and so what if it runs long. Honestly, there are more categories they should bring in, and why not indulge in a one night, once a year epic award show that honors the best film? (Also, BTW they're cutting the runtime but adding categories? That's just contradictory to begin with)
The one main issue I've had with the Oscars in recent years is that they're basically apologizing for being the Oscars, and frankly they don't need to and they don't have a good reason to. The people who object and don't buy into it enough to enjoy them for what they are, are never gonna buy into it and you know if they're not gonna buy into the drama of opening envelopes and reading names all night, then fuck them. That's what they are, if you don't like it by now, then shut up and let everyone else enjoy it. And Oscars, or as you should call yourselves next year, "The 91st Academy Awards", you've gone way, way, way too far now in trying to appease these people.
Of all the awards that the Oscars should be adopting, the last one they need to is to have a popular vote Oscar.
Okay, I doubt they'll make this a popularity vote, beyond the Academy (They better not) but Best Popular Film, is basically what that is. Now, I'm certain whatever the hell the criteria for this will be, I'm gonna hate it, because the one thing the Oscars have going for them, that even their detractors have rarely if ever dared gone up against, is that they weren't about honoring things that were popular. It's not like they haven't by the way, they do it all the time, but they've always honored the best. Outstanding. The quality of the movies mattered more than anything else.
Now, to be fair, this isn't the first time they've done this; in fact, this is actually more attuned to what they originally did. Let's go back to the First Oscars and let's give a little history lesson.
So, the Oscars, were originally an award show that was created by Louis B. Meyer as a way to honor those who were on their side and to sway actors and other professionals in the industry from joining unions. (Wow, did that plan fail!) Anyway, they couldn't just be that transparent and when that original goal became mute, they became legitimate inevitably, but let's take a look at those first Oscars. Best Picture went to "Wings" that year, the first and last entirely silent film to win the Oscar. Except, there were two Best Picture winners.
Yeah, they've written this out of history, but the original Oscars had an OUTSTANDING PICTURE, category which went to "Wings", but they also had a second category, BEST UNIQUE AND ARTISTIC PICTURE that year, and that Oscar went to F.W. Murnau's classic, "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans".
You see, Best Picture, actually originated as an award that would honor, the biggest film of the year. There are artistic accomplishments involved as well, but "Wings" won because it was both a popular movie and because it was a pioneering picture in the craft of filmmaking. The only other award it was nominated for was Best Engineering Effects and it was the only nominee for that; it was a special effects spectacle of its day. Now, ninety years later, the award has evolved to the point where instead of honoring whatever's popular, they've tried to every year honor what we in turn find more valuable as a society now, the best artistic achievement.
So, in one literal sense, this is really going backwards, we've gotten to the point where we go out of our way to honor the best in film as an artform, and to say that doesn't include or also consider popular films is just dishonest btw, 'cause clearly popular films if they're good enough can win, and what even qualifies as popular, and "Mad Max: Fury Road" won six Oscars and got nominated for Best Picture, and "Titanic" and "Lord of the Rings" won every goddamn thing once upon a not-that-long-ago, and btw that's not even saying for how condescending it actually is.... Like, "Here's what we know is the Best Picture, but here's your supplemental prize, because it's impossible for the Best Picture to ever also be Popular....-" but even besides that, it's just stupid. It's the award that appeases the assholes who try to ban Rotten Tomatoes every time the critics hate something that they like and frankly they don't need appeasement. You're already presenting the best in film, why condescend to the vocal minority or majority, who frankly don't care enough to pay attention and watch what the industry's opinion on quality is anyway?
It's the same stupid thing that made them increase the Best Picture nominees to ten, because supposedly "The Dark Knight" didn't get nominated and it was such a crime that it didn't, right? Look, I love "The Dark Knight", I thought it was one of the best films of the year, and I thought it deserved to be nominated, and it won two Oscars and was nominated for several others anyway, but is it really that big a deal that it may have only finished sixth or seventh in the voting, that now we need more nominees? And now we need a new category 'cause those films aren't getting nominated-
Sometimes the best films aren't the most popular and don't make the most money. And sometimes the movies that are the most popular are basically mediocre trash at best, and now we're honoring them because, pity.
Or how about this nightmare scenario that the Oscars have concocted up. Pretend it's 2015, and they create this award, and let's imagine the nominees?
"Inside Out," okay- "Mad Max: Fury Road"- oh wait, is "Mad Max..." a nominee, or is too artistic? Let's say it's in. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", is in, so is "Creed" and the winner, is "TRAINWRECK"! I had it #5 on my Top Ten List, it's possible. It's popular, probably has a broader demographic appeal than some of these other nominees. You want to imagine outrage now that the Oscars have honored Amy Schumer?! You don't think that's getting in that year, I'd bet that if they did this award that year it'd get in. What's in instead? "The Martian" "The Hateful Eight", those weren't broadly beloved by the populace, those were art films practically. Maybe "Avengers", but this is still the Academy voting, I don't think they ever liked "The Avengers" films that much and frankly I don't either. Is "Chappie" getting in? The last "Hunger Games" film? Don't pretend this is an impossibility. Look, I don't think Adam Sandler's latest piece of crap will ever get nominated, but in this day-and-age there are some doors open here, and popular in the mainstream figures, usually females, who are vehemently hated elsewhere can make something, especially in broad comedy...- and look at that, Melissa McCarthy's in an Oscar-winning film. Or insert those other names here. This award just gave them the possibility for some of the biggest fan backlashes ever!
Everything's more specialized than ever towards everyone's personal preferences to begin with these days, the entire notion of a popular film award at the Oscars, and this delusional that it'll somehow be this secondary acceptance prize that'll help honor those big megablockbuster action movies that I'm sure are the inspiration for this award- they're setting themselves up for more disaster and awakenings in the future.
Honestly, the only major legitimate award show that I can think of that has a prize like this is the Indian Oscars, the National Film Awards. They have a category for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, and it's one of their big awards, it's a Golden Lotus Award, which is equal to what the winner of their Best Feature Film prize gets. India makes so many movies that I kinda understand it for that. That same award show has 33 Best Feature Films Awards btw, 24 of them are separated by languages. There's way more than just Bollywood in Indian cinema, and they make 2,000 movies a year. On average, America makes less than half that, that get a theatrical release and if we're talking Oscar-eligible, we're falling to around 300 or 400 or so, and btw, we're gonna be making less soon with Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox. Even without this award, there's no saying that the trend won't come back and Best Picture becomes the most popular film regularly again. Or maybe tastes will change and the most artistic films will also become the most popular making the award even more moot and pointless than it already is.
This is the moment the Oscars lose all credibility to me. I'm still gonna cover them when it's that time of year, but now all 90 years of building this status and prestige, is coming crashing down from this. ABC pressuring them to make the show shorter, that I can get. Doing it on their own, eh, that's sketchy, but it's nothing compared to how demeaning this award is, both to the Academy and to the fans of film everywhere. It trivializes the Best Picture Oscar, it condescends to the audience that they're trying to attain with the addition of this award, and it's also a complete slap in the face to all the other skills and awards like Casting or Stunt Coordination or Voice Over Performances or the several other major craft and artistic skills that that they should be honored within the industry but aren't in order to, basically gain an audience that is never going to come anyway, with some, participation trophy basically, and they aren't worth that 'cause they're not really participating, to begin with..
Make no mistake, we can no longer buy into the Oscars anymore, and it's because of this. Not anything else, but this award, Best Popular Film Oscar, that's the line. That's the line where those who are actually willing to buy into the show as it's presented, the same way pro wrestling fans buy into their show even though they know it's not a legitimate sport, they officially can't now.
Posted by David Baruffi at 6:12 PM