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What does it really matter?

Posted at 1:05 PM on March 6, 2006 by Euan Kerr (1 Comments)

I didn't watch the Oscars last night. It sounds like I didn't miss much, and I wanted to watch the end of the "A Streetcar Named Desire" DVD which I had borrowed.

For the last couple of days I've been wondering what use are the Oscars to the average movie-going grunt anyway?

As someone working in the media, it's almost heretical to say something like that, because we cover the glitz and the glamor and get all wrapped up in the horserace. The winning movie will all get a pleasant Oscar bump at the box-office, and more rentals at the dvd purveyors. (I read in the newspapers there was lots of pre-broadcast-show babble about how few people have actually seen the nominated films.)

But what have we actually learned? Perhaps something about Academy politics? How has the state of cinema improved as a result of the Academy members votes this year? Not much I fear.

Maybe as a guide to which movies to see? Given the crush of movies out there, we are all looking for information about what to see. "Oscar worthy," "Oscar buzz," "Oscar ring," all those appellations are useful shorthand for movie critics, professional and amateur. I have used them myself. But it's really just lazy and meaningless. Who are the members of the Academy? Well, they are people we don't know, who are competing in the movie business, and who are being barraged by wave upon wave of p.r. material. You are better chatting with a friends and reading a few good critics.

There I've said it.

Comments (1)

Gotta agree with you. Why are movies and actors totally overlooked?. For example, why didn't "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" get nominated for anything?!? Was it not eligible for this year's Oscars?

Last year, I was scratching my head about Kevin Bacon and "The Woodsman" and Sean Penn and "The Assassination of Richard Nixon". Not just the Oscars--I think the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes overlooked all of these films. Can anyone tell me what happened to those movies during the awards season?

BTW, for my money, "Murderball" coulda been a contender. And "The Squid and the Whale".

Posted by Adam McFarlane | March 6, 2006 2:45 PM

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