Tonight are the Academy Awards!
Last year, I predicted that those Oscars would be the least watched Oscars in history. I think that may be true again this year, but I am not as sure. The vast majority of the movies nominated have never been seen by most people. We still had a lot of people not going back to the movies and even the streaming movies nominated failed to generate a lot of interest. It still boggles me that Spider-Man: No Way Home was not nominated. I'm nat saying that it should definitely win Best Picture, but this was the movie that broke the pandemic slump and proved that people will still go to the theaters. It is also a high quality film that manages to successfully blend together three film franchises into one while also telling a compelling story. If that isn't a cinematic feat, I don't know what is.
As I have always said, just because a movie is popular and successful, it does not therefore make the movie good. But there is also a reason why many of the movies nominated fail to find an audience: they aren't very good either.
I used to think that the reason Hollywood kept nominating and awarding these more obscure movies was because they wanted to be the taste makers: they wanted to tell you what you should and shouldn't like. It used to be that if a movie won a Best Picture Oscar, there would be a bump in interest in revenue by the general public.
But now, I'm not so sure. With these awards, I don't think they actually care whether or not general audiences ever see them. The Oscars feel more like a closed club of members who are only trying to impress each other. More and more I get the feeling that we are not invited to watch, but instead we are the plus one of someone else who got the invitation and the Academy doesn't care what we think.
That's all well and good if they want to go that way. But all of the fun and interest in this Oscars will evaporate.
But I know the Academy has some interest in its audience. For that reason they removing some of the awards from tonight's telecast. There has been a lot of complaining and I don't agree with all of the cuts. But as someone who has been criticizing the show for being way too long, this is a positive step in the right direction.
However, the show is still 3 hours long. So if they cut the categories only to supplant it with filler, then what was the point? I don't need to see 5 montages that celebrate the history of "Hats of Hollywood" or something stupid like that.
As I said, the main problem is not so much the length of the show but the movies that are nominated. I was pleased to see that two of my Top 5 Movies of the Year have been nominated for Best Picture. But I have seen less than half of the movies nominated in that category. I do have to say that I am very happy that both Dune and CODA have been recognized. I'm excited that CODA is a strong contender. Being on Apple TV, there was a much smaller audience. But is is such a lovely little movie that had me thinking about it long after and made me really feel something in the way that most movies this year did not.
Tonight I will be watching, but without much interest.
You are invited to play our amended Oscar game this year.
Here are my choices so far: