Thursday, March 1, 2012

What’s Wrong with Academy Voters

This is a few weeks late into the game, but in the February 24th issue of Entertainment Weekly, EW did their annual “let’s ask the voters what they’re thinking about voting for” feature (it’s actually called “How I’m Voting,” but you’ll understand my apathy towards this article in a minute).  Basically the idea behind the article is that they interview several (anonymous) Academy voters and ask them for their opinions on how they’ll be voting for the upcoming Oscars. 

The thing that was most reveling in this particular issue is that the voters showed such a lack of understanding behind the awards, voting process, or even entertainment, that they (almost) all said something so colossally stupid that they just ended up making strong cases for why some members deserve to have their voting cards taken away.  The full article can be read here, but I’m going to single in on the most offensive comments from the voters and what category they said the offensive comments under (sometimes they said more than one insulting thing).  Well, there’s a lot to say so let’s get going, starting with:

The Actress

Picture: Moneyball

Now…before I get to this I have to say that whatever actress they interviewed sounded like a real airhead who doesn’t even like movies.  Here are some of the highlights in just this ONE section:

It's ridiculous having 9 or 10 nominees. That's too many movies for anyone to have to watch.

REALLY?!  Nine movies is too much to watch?  Lady, most of those movies came in at under two hours.  Most people with blogs who have limited cash income can make a top ten list of best films of the year and can EASILY watch about three dozen films on a fixed income!  You get free screeners and the most you have to do is put aside two hours a day over a week and a half to watch some (for the most part) GOOD movies!  This should not be your biggest problem.

Hugo was a children's film — and children's films shouldn't win Best Picture.

What?  Says who?!  Don’t give me this crap that “Hugo” shouldn’t win because it’s a children film.  Children’s films can be GREAT!  “The Wizard of Oz,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Beauty & the Beast,” “Toy Story,” and (get this) the Best Picture-winning “Oliver!” are ALL films that were made for children that are now considered classic movies!  If “Hugo” was a BAD children’s film then of course it shouldn’t win.  But it was a GREAT children’s film that had some of the best reviews of a film last year PERIOD!

I truly don’t understand what this thinking is.  If you think it’s the best film of the year (and yes, I know she doesn’t say that) then you should vote on it REGARDLESS if it was made for children or not!  This is real ignorant thinking.

The Artist was amazing, but I felt like it was an aberration. I don't think it represents Hollywood in the 21st century. I mean, a Best Picture should have sound.

Is the next thing you’re going to tell me is that a Best Picture winner needs to be in color or it shouldn’t win (which would mean “Schindler’s List” wouldn’t have had a chance)?  Again, it comes down to whether or not “The Artist” is the best film you’ve seen this year.  Whether it has sound or not should be a non-issue.

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin

But I'm voting for Jean Dujardin. He has this quiet dignity when everything falls apart. He has these little gestures with his hands. You could see the sense of loss. It was the quintessential film performance — it's all about his face.

There is nothing wrong with this comment, but what about “The Artist” shouldn’t win because a Best Picture winner should have sound?  Now you turn around and vote for a silent performance though because you can appreciate the acting more?  Am I missing something here?

Actress: Viola Davis

Rooney Mara had this quiet intensity and rage.  But she's young and seemed kind of arrogant in interviews, and it really does matter how you campaign for an Oscar.

Um…no, it shouldn’t matter how you campaign.  You’re voting on her PERFORMANCE in a MOVIE!!!  Not how she carries herself in real life.  How you campaign for an Oscar (despite popular belief) should NOT matter AT ALL!!!  It should be about the performance, end of story.

Meryl Streep gave a lovely, nuanced, heartbreaking performance, but she gets nominated every year.

Yeah…she gets nominated every year because she’s consistently great.  So what?  Isn’t that the point?  Does the Academy hold consistent greatness against Pixar?  If not, why should they single out great actors giving consistently great performances from receiving Oscars?

The Writer

The writer said nothing stupid that warrants discussing here.

The Producer

He was pretty sensible too.

The Executive

Director Michel Hazanavicius

I'm voting for the Artist guy. If Marty Scorsese had not won already for The Departed, I would have voted for him for Hugo, but he won too recently.

What does winning recently have to do with anything?  If you think Marty did a better job than the guy you’re voting for (who impressed you so much you can’t even seem to remember his NAME) then you should vote for him.  Whether he won or not is beside the point.  If someone is great, let them be great consistently.

Alright, so mostly it was The Actress who was being the stupid one, but this constant thing with having a mind set for what “should or shouldn’t” win needs to go for these voters.  If someone is always turning in award worthy work, then it’s the voters job to HONOR that award worthy work, and not vote for something of lesser quality because the person won recently, or because there’s no sound, or because the movie is a children’s film that adults just HAPPENED to find magical!  Oh, and I know people are busy, but ten films is EASY to do within the span of a month!  Heck, I see close to nine films a week on my own time, and my real job doesn’t even INVOLVE movies!


Joshua Anderson said...

It's the same thign with the bias toward Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Adventure movies and the academy. They just don't like them and dismiss them before even seeing them! Take Harry Potter for instance, while academy had every right to not award Harry Potter an Oscar for their movies, they still should have honored the series in some way, like maybe an honorary Oscar or something. Another example would be star wars. It was beaten by "Annie Hall". At the time the academy said that the money Star Wars Episode IV a New Hope had earned was its reward and as a result of that way of thinking, gave the Oscar to Annie Hall. The academy needs to lose the bias of "oh this movie made lots of money so we won't award it" and "oh this movie is of the sci-fi/fantasy/adventure genre so we won't award it. there is only one movie from those listed genres that has won best picture(that I now of), and that is "The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King", and boy was it deserving! Anyhoo, my point is the academy needs to lose its bias towards Sci-FI/Fantasy/Adventure movies.

zimmer hip recall said...

It's obvious that you are not happy with the recently concluded Oscars. :)

Kevin Rodriguez said...

On the contrary. With the exception of Best Actress I was largely happy with the results. It's just this outdated thinking that bothers me.