I predicted 7 out of 19 correctly this year. As usual, a couple of my wrong guesses went in the direction of my personal choice (sound editing, visual effects).
I realize it’s been a week since the Oscars. At first, I waited to write this post because I needed time to clear my head. And then, I just didn’t want to do it. But out of appreciation for the small handful of people who follow this blog, both on WordPress and Facebook, here is my conclusion.
The Oscars aren’t fun anymore. It’s not even about the politics. It’s more about the fact that the quantitative and qualitative standards of filmmaking are being ignored in order to serve individuals or groups. A blurry film shouldn’t win Best Picture. But that wasn’t even my main issue with the night. It’s just the easiest example to point to. (And I don’t have the energy to get into the whole Best Picture debacle which I’m 87.9% sure was intentional. And also, no, I didn’t want La La Land to win either.)
There are multiple purposes for creating movies, or any form of art. It may hold a mirror up to reality and expose it. It can change reality to help you escape it. It elicits all range of emotions, including those that make you laugh. It might show us the past or give us a vision for the future. It could tell true stories from our world or awaken our imaginations with fantasy. All these things can be valid forms of art when they are done WELL.
We’ve reached a point where movies are only taken seriously if they’re depressing, upsetting, or shocking. When a person is drowning, you don’t show them why they’re drowning. You help them get out. I feel like the world is drowning. Yes, it’s important to bring exposure to things the average Joe may not see on a regular basis. But there’s a reason why most Oscar nominated films have low turnout in the theaters until they get nominated. After dealing with whatever issues are going on in your life, if you’re choosing to go out to the theater, more often than not you don’t want to see something that’s going to make you feel worse. I actually overheard almost this exact conversation one day when I went to the movies from a couple standing behind me. Although I do enjoy a good, thoughtful film and even a well-made depressing film, my issue with the current trend is that the overall quality of these films is being disregarded as long as the subject matter serves a purpose to someone.
I started this blog to celebrate my love of cinema. I did it for me. The fact that I’ve gained some followers over the years and that I have friends on Facebook that ask me about my blog every year always surprises me. For now, though, this has become something that I do not wish to continue. (If you look at my prediction success rate over the past 7 years, there’s a steady decline in my accuracy that matches up with the slow degeneration of the Academy Awards ceremony. It’s an interesting correlation.) It’s hard to give up something that I’ve put so much love and investment into. I have a year to consider my options, but for now, this will have to be goodbye.