The 83rd Oscars Nominations: An Opinion on the Opinions

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Image via Wikipedia

The 83rd Academy Award Nominations have been announced.  The internet is ablaze with debate about the deserving, undeserving, the snubbed and the surprises.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see most of these films, as a few of  the releases were delayed to my country of residence, South Africa, or I just missed the film house release and am waiting for the DVD. Either way, I am in a bad place to judge any of these films. I haven’t seen many and can’t go by hearsay in judging Oscar-worth films.

Much of the debate so far is how the Oscars is just confirming films that were well received by critics. This, of course, is at ends with the 80th Academy Awards (2008), which was coined “The Year of The Underdog”. The Academy was trashed by many critics as snubbing  mainstream filmhouses and films, instead focusing on Indie films, or having chosen the underdogs, the low-cost, low-earning films.

Now, the same critics flame a debate about how mainstream the Oscars have become. Blink, and the waters change, eh?

Of the 10 films nominated for Best Film, I have seen 2. Not ideal, but, as is the trend of the Oscars for a few years now, most other categories have been populated by the same bunch of films. Of the 100 slots of x categories a  film can get nominated in, the are only 36 individual films listed. That’s a rough average of 3, or 2.77 nominations per film. And the 10 Best film nominee’s? All nominated for at least 4 other awards. The King’s Speech is nominated for 12 Oscars, the biggest total of the year.

Now, there is some heavy grouping here but I really think  many people take these sort of things too seriously.  While an Oscar, or nomination, can help a films overall takings to a  ridiculous degree, a notable movie remains notable, regardless of whether it was recognised by a single group of people, which are all professionals somehow associated with film-making.

When has a film won the Best Film Award, and there was no debate? There very nature of the winning process is an inside vote, so really, it’s a mark of quality in a voting pool of 6000 people. By no means is it the be-all-and-end-all for film opinion. Just a platform for rewarding what the Academy sees as quality. If you really find the Academy making the wrong decision time and time again, find a film critic that you trust, and find his opinion. Don’t pee in the pool if you don’t like swimming.

But I’m still going to watch all the Best Film Nominee’s. Cuz you can be damn sure the they are still good and worth the ticket.


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