It's Our Turn: Hollywood has a math problem
On Feb. 24, ABC will televise the 91st Academy Awards. As a movie fanatic and social media addict, I love the Oscars. I think one of the simplest joys in life is predicting the winner in a category at an award show and getting it right. I love getting upset about the asenine decisions made by people who are getting paid to make those decisions. The Oscars give me one night to make me feel like I am a rugged, high-class cinema savant and not a 23-year-old broke college graduate who is still on his parents' cell phone bill.
Each year I make it a point to watch every movie that is nominated at the Oscars. I hate the feeling of something winning and not knowing why it won. Easily, the most hyped-up category is "Best Picture." Once again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a mistake before the show even started.
There are eight films that received a nomination for the best movie of 2018. Seven of the best movies of the year and Bohemian Rhapsody all get a chance to win the big prize in a few weeks. However, the Academy decided that there were only eight movies worth nominating instead of the maximum amount of 10.
This isn't the first time the Academy has done this. In fact, they haven't nominated a full slate since 2011. The Academy is made up of over 7,000 people in the movie industry who all get a vote on what should be given the title as the best movie of the year. Each member ranks their top 5-10 movies of the year and through a confusing calculation process done by Pricewaterhousecoopers, an accounting company, the nominations are selected.
I believe the Oscars are a great platform for small, independent movies to get the recognition they deserve. The Academy has a responsibility to use its leverage to award the best-made movies of the year with a nomination. What the viewers are being told is that there are only eight movies this year that are worth going out of the way to see.
In a perfect world, movies like "Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Mission Impossible: Fallout" would get the praise the casual moviegoers give. The Academy has an unknown vendetta against major blockbusters which means that some of the best movies of the year have zero chance of ever getting a nomination. I'm OK with it. The Academy has a standard that it wants to maintain and that independent movies that aren't tailored for the common man are what truly represents art.
What blows my mind is when there are brilliantly made movies that fit the standard that the Academy has built up. For example, "Eighth Grade" was a small-budget movie made by a first-time director that made only $13.5 million at the box office. In my opinion, it was the best written movie I've seen in 2018. It was completely snubbed from the Oscars.
When I watch the Oscars I don't care about the political undertones that suffocate the viewers for over three hours. I don't care that my favorite comic book movie isn't going to be nominated unless it takes a strong social justice stance. All I want is for the movies that deserve the attention that the Oscars can give to get it. Instead, over 7,000 people decided that there were only eight great movies made in 2019. In my opinion, they only did 80 percent of their job.
• • •
"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.