Midweek Mouth-off: Are movie awards worth a rat's ass?

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Last week we discussed what’s likely to be the biggest film of 2012.

This week, barely 8 days after the 2012 Academy Award nominations were announced,  the question is: Do you care about the Oscars – or movie award season in general? We know how James feels. Now it’s your turn to mouth off.

Do you think that the Oscars still have relevance? Do they still retain some value, alerting cinemagoers to quality releases that might otherwise slip by unnoticed? Or have the Academy Awards just become a tedious fashion show and overbearingly fake back-slapping exercise? Let us know.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: February 1, 2012

Noelle Adams

Sometime Tomb Raider. Full-time Pop Culture fanatic and Geekaissance Woman. Most often spotted outputting Pop Culture opinion pieces, writing fanfic and original genre fare, cosplaying and bringing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu smackdown. Editor of the Comics and Toys section.

  • I’ve not been a fan of the Oscars for quite some time. They never seem to award the blockbuster movies and rather just hand out awards for what they see as technically better movies. They just feel out of touch with reality and what the average cinema goer wants to actually see.

    • Purple Dragon

      I agree.

      Seems like the oscars are just for the actors and film makers etc. Like the article says, it’s a lot of backslapping. I love movies but hell sometimes these actors and shit piss me off. It’s like they have something huge stuck up their backsides. They take themselves so seriously, I mean look at the outcry from them last year when gervais poked fun at them.

      All these people seem to forget that the ordinary person is the one that is paying for the ticket. As gavin says, they are out of touch with what the average cinema goer wants to see. I remember they added in Batman to avoid outcries. Probably the only proper mainstream movie I’ve seen being nominated with awards.

      Then finally I wonder how much horse-trading goes on behind the scenes. Something definitely fishy goes on behind the scenes. I remember Crowe winning for Gladiator when Denzel should have won for training day I think. Then the next year Crowe should have won for Beautiful mind but Denzel won for something, I can’t remember.

      • First off, you got your awards mixed up. Denzel won for Training Day, when everybody (myself included) expected Russel Crowe to win for a Beautiful Mind. The Gladiator upset was Joaquin Phoenix not winning best supporting actor, and Benicio Del Toro instead taking if for Traffic.

        Secondly, Batman wasn’t thrown in to avoid outries, it was nominated because it was just damn good. Chris Nolan is one of those rare directors in Hollywood that understands that just because a film is a big scale blockbuster, doesn’t mean it can’t have a great script, strong performances and also ask the audience to actually use their brains a bit.

        Yes, the Academy does consist of a bunch of old farts, who are still reluctant to award controversial subject matter or acknowledge certain genres, but that does not mean that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Most blockbusters don’t deserve any awards, because quite frankly they are rubbish. They are nothing but glorified tech demos, and try to hide their directing, scripting and acting shortcomings behind big explosions.

        • Purple Dragon

          Yeah, got some of the movies mixed up but didn’t not get the story mixed up. Wasn’t talking about Joaquin at all. I am trying to remember the movies, might have been Hurricane. I was talking about best actor awards.

          Ok fair enough about the batman thing, but I do distinctly remember the awards being expanded or something to accommodate films like Batman.

          And where did I talk about all blockbusters deserving awards? Fuck.

          Maybe I am wrong but hell no need to be snooty. Sure I am not the biggest movie fundi in the world and I will make the odd mistake but doesn’t render my opinion moot.

          • I was replying to Gavin about the Blockbuster comment, sorry 😀

        • I’m the one who said that blockbusters deserve awards because while they may not be technically brilliant or the acting may be a tad shady at times the entire point of the movie industry is to entertain us and if the most entertaining movie of the year isn’t nominated then the entire awards system is a scam designed to keep the snoots happy.

          While it’s nice to believe that the majority of the planet are idiots and that’s the only reason Transformers do well it’s not entirely true. There is a lot of entertainment in a transformers movie that should be noted.

          But it’s crap like Inception with a half assed story line that wins awards because it makes people feel like they’ve experienced something intelligent when in reality it’s just a rinse/repeat of a common theme with pretty background lighting. It’s no better than Transformers.

          • Wtf

             So can Rob Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart start practicing their oscar acceptance speeches so long?

          • point taken.. what a horrifying thought

      • Hybrid

        As far as I can remember Batman was not nominated for best movie, the only changed the category for best movie the following year to add 10 movies because of the outcry for Batman that wasn’t nominated.

        • Purple Dragon

          Yeah, I am trying to remember the full story. I do remember there being an outcry around Batman, probably the one before.

          When I have sometime I will have a look around on the net to see if I can find what the whole thing was about.

  • I love the Oscars. I actually  get up and watch the show live at 3 am. And while I don’t always agree with their picks (TDK, Drive, Jurassic Park notable omissions) I do feel that the are still a yard stick for identifying the best. Even just nominating a movie will put in on everyone’s radar and give a film the exposure it deserves.

    • Actually you have a valid point there, I do think the nominations are a great way of judging a movies true quality.

  • Noelle Adams

    I’m sort of in 2 minds about award season.

    On the one hand I really don’t trust the public’s taste in movies – the People’s Choice Awards, or anything where the public votes, are typically a joke, dishing out accolades for things like Twilight. So I’m wary of giving ordinary moviegoers more power

    On the other hand, the Academy – which is made up of former award winners and people in the film industry as opposed to critics – seem stuck in their stodgy ways. Every attempt they made at change is weak and pointless because they’re scared of anything that’s got edge, or goes to really dark places. This year’s nominations are a good example of that, with so much “meh” feel-good family drama.

    Then again I do feel award season has its value because it does make me aware of excellent films that are outside of my normal genre interests.

    I dunno, maybe it’s just a year by year thing. I remember a year recently, after Best Picture was extended to 10 nominations slots, where things like Up, The Dark Knight and District 9 were nominated: Blockbuster genre films that pleased audiences and reviewers alike.

    •  “they’re scared of anything that’s got edge, or goes to really dark places”
      What about Black Swan or Requim for a Dream? Those were pretty damn dark and both were nominated for Oscars, or are you only referring to those who actually won?

      • Yeah, over the last few years, they have been more willing to nominate darker films, but they sure as hell still struggle to give them the win.
        Last year’s Oscars was a great example. I loved the King’s Speech, and thought that Colin Firth definitely deserved his award for his heartbreaking performance. But Best Film? Not when you had Black Swan, True Grit, Inception, The Fighter, Social Network and 127 Hours in there as well.

        • Noelle Adams

          Yes, they normally will nominate a couple of edgy films but these are only tossed an awards bone in things like the writing categories; maybe acting. One of the more famous edgy vs. safe Oscar races was Pulp Fiction vs. Forrest Gump.

          What’s particularly frustrating this year is that the edgy were even deprived of nominations, heightening the sense of injustice.

  • Award ceremonies are bland, uninteresting, arse-numbingly lengthy affairs that annoy more than entertain. I haven’t watched one in years. Yeah, nominations and wins help put a film on one’s radar, but I don’t need a four hour long circle jerk for awards or noms. 

    That said, I’d rather have the Acadamey Awards and all the rest of them as I think if the entertainment industry were to give them up, it would be like a passing of an age. Half of what fuels the industry is the deluded and vastly over-blown sense of its own importance and I can’t help thinking that were awards ceremonies to come to an end, it would be like Hollywood throwing in the towel

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