TMBF's obligatory comment on the Academy Awards ~ That Movie Blogger Fella

Friday, March 5, 2010

TMBF's obligatory comment on the Academy Awards

What, the Oscars are this Sunday already? Well damn, guess I can't put this off any longer then.

I'm writing this because every other film critic is saying something about it, and I guess it's maybe kinda sorta relevant to movies (somewhat). I've been putting it off - and I'm only doing it now out of grudging obligation - because frankly, I don't care about them.

I used to care, of course. I used to buy into the whole how-awesome-are-we-Hollywood atmosphere, how it made the industry seem like a close-knit bunch of friends who are really fun to hang around, even the whole drama of announcing the nominees and opening the envelope and revealing the winner and their subsequent gushing speech. But the more I got into watching movies, the more cynical I got about the whole thing.

First of all, we rarely ever get to watch all the nominated movies. Even now, several of the most talked-about nominees have yet to open in Malaysia - An Education, The Blind Side, Precious, A Serious Man, Crazy Heart - and it looks like they never will. I don't see the point in rooting for any one in particular if you can't fairly judge the competition.

Second of all, it's always just Hollywood movies, the occasional UK production, and a bone thrown to the rest of the world in the Best Foreign Language Film category. We live in Malaysia, and though that means we always miss out on some great movies, it also means we get access to stuff from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand - movies that the American Academy couldn't give a fig about.

Third and most important of all, the results are always dodgy. There's always too much politicking going on behind the scenes, too many voting members pushing an agenda, too obvious a bias against certain genres and towards certain subject matters. There's hardly any credibility it can claim with a straight face anymore, if it ever even had any. So unless you have a personal stake in it, why should you care what a few hundred Hollywood industry folks think?

I sure don't, not anymore. I won't even be watching it - because, after all, the live telecast airs here on a Monday morning. I don't think I'll even watch the repeat at night, since I'm planning to catch a movie at that time. I'm sure a friend or colleague will update me on the results sometime during the day. I won't have much to say about them though, whatever they may be.

The people who awarded Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan; who didn't even watch Brokeback Mountain 'cos gays are icky; who shut out The Dark Knight but nominated The Reader... I just really don't care what they think.


McGarmott said...

Wow, if that isn't a little bit bitter. My way of dealing with it is that I come up with my own list (as you might have seen).

Meanwhile, I can't watch it on ASTRO at any time so I'll have to BT it off the Internet - which means up to 5 days of not checking certain email groups, not reading any newspaper online or offline, signing off Facebook, etc etc. You see, the Oscars is more about that moment of surprise than the actual winners themselves (which, yeah, often sucks for being undeserving).

TMBF said...

Bitter? I was going for "indifferent" and "blasé". :P

SowYau said...

Avatar nominated for Best Picture category? U got to be kidding me.

I mostly agreed on your articles.

I used to think the Academy Awards is the holy grail achievement for the people in the movie industry. I guess I am partially right, it's ONLY a recognition for Americans, nothing more (not that I forgot about the best foreign movie category).

To discover a real gems from around the world, I prefer relying on the film festivals such as Cannes and Sundance.