With the Academy releasing nominations this week, it’s hard to think about the actual awards without thinking about the PR circus its become. What at first comes off as a display of recognition for some great work has mutated into just another way for those rich studios to take your money.
How often are your favorite films, perfomances, etc. up for the top honors? So much is left behind because of course, all these voters seem to have short term memory loss and nothing pre-October is seriously considered. Yeah, they’ll be the one dark horse that sneaks in out of nowhere like this years “Little Miss Sunshine” but the Fargos, Seasbiscuits and Cinderella Men don’t get much ink after those initial “and the surprise of the year nomination went to…” articles.
Increasingly all this seems to be fueled by marketing. Basically, the Oscars have become the foundation for boosting that dark wintery season where people just don’t go out to the movies much. The big movies for the younger crowd have to be released in the summer cause kids have to go to school. It’s up to us older people to go out and keep the box office alive by watching these prestige films. Show me an intellectual film in June and I just wouldn’t appreciate it. I sure wouldn’t tell my friends about it.
Since studios spend so much money making new films, they’re absolutely terrified of not making that money back. So why even take a chance. Instead, just like the plots are formulaic, the release schedules are as well. At this time of the year, we’re supposed to be in serious mode. And if we’re in the mood for something light, well let’s just remind you how much you want to be in serious mode by talking and talking about this great movie that’s up for all the awards.
If a great franchise pic were released in February, would it really not perform? I doubt it. It might not make $400 Million cause not as many people are on vacation but it certainly wouldn’t do poorly. But some people don’t to see it that way and as a result, winter is the dumping ground. Not much sense behind it. Studios never release important films on Labor Day weekend cause that’s supposedly cursed. Give me a break. Show a great movie and people will come out in droves on Labor Day.
Now I’m not saying come February 25th, I’ll be doing anything but sitting on a couch with my favorite people and foods soaking up every minute of that show. I might not even be near a tv on February 4th but come the 25th watch out. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t forget what the key motivations are here(some people patting each other on the back and hoping you don’t catch them).
These shouldn’t detract from your year of moviegoing and what you think the highlights are. Too often I just hear so many people complain about the outcome of these awards. So many years, the nominations and/or winners just don’t reflect the atmosphere of the time. Hopefully, in the end, you remember the performances on the big screen a bit more than the performance you see on the small screen in late February.
(Thanks to iShot71 for providing the photo.)
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