Brad’s 2011 Oscar Thoughts

| January 26, 2012

If you still haven’t heard, the 2011 Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Surely, Ryan and James will share their thoughts about it on this Friday’s show. I, however, cannot attend this week so I chose to post my thoughts here instead. Now, I know stating the following may ruin my chances of ever winning a Best Director trophy but: I don’t really care for the Oscars anymore.

Growing up, it was fun to watch all the pomp and circumstance, hoping to see my favorites celebrated as I thought they deserved to be. But as an adult, I recognize the award show for what it really is: a revenue-generating, marketing machine. The broadcast generates ad revenue because couch potatoes gush over movie stars, the accolades justify creative talent when asking for bigger paychecks, and studios use the award to re-market under-performing films or squeeze a couple more dollars out of blockbusters. This is why it’s annoying when people get bent out of shape when the nominations or wins don’t match their expectations. Sorry your opinion wasn’t validated. As if winning the Oscar for Best Picture certifies scientifically that Shakespeare in Love is the Best Picture of 1998 because Miramax lobbied for it successfully. I would have picked Saving Private Ryan, but my opinion is irrelevant because I’m not an Academy member.

The Oscars are nominated and voted on by industry peers. Actors vote for actors, writers for writers, etc. Hundreds of films are released in a single year, so campaigns are forged because the Academy can’t judge everyone’s work fairly without sitting through every film. So it’s not about who definitively did the most creative or impressive work of the year, it’s about convincing the voters who to think did the most creative or impressive work of the year. And just like high school, the more friends you have in your pocket, the better your chances are of printing some celebratory text on the DVD in order to persuade customers to buy/rent it. (preferably buy)

Now to step off the soapbox… and here’s some comments I have about the nominations:

Best Picture category was expanded to give more commercial movies a chance yet this list is more of the usual five. Some deserving stuff on here though.

Best Animated Feature doesn’t include Tintin? Are you kidding me? And is this the first year a Pixar film wasn’t even nominated? Good thing Cars sells a lot of toys.

Nothing from Drive? No wait… Sound Editing.

I guess you only make the cut for Costume Design if you’re doing a film set in the past.

I think maybe it’s time VFX was split into two categories. Best Practical FX and Best Digital Effects.

Only two original songs? I guess the telecast will be an hour shorter this year! Yea!

About the Author:

His earliest memory of nerdiness is discovering the Star Trek motion pictures when his parents (presumably) accidentally rented the first one on laser disc. He attended his first convention at the age of 12 and has been to many Star Trek conventions since, as well as SDCC, NYCC, and E3 twice. He’s also an avid TMNT fan who has each of the first four issues of the original comic book signed by Eastman AND Laird. Brad also favors Batman and loves Nintendo so much he still plays his Virtual Boy from time-to-time. When he’s not immersed in nerd media, he’s out competing at bar trivia or working on several creative projects like podcasting, producing short films, publishing books, and drawing cartoons. His favorite film of all-time is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie and with over 600 DVD’s and blu-rays in his collection, Brad is surely a Reel Nerd.
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