Have the Oscars lost their credibility?

To win an Academy Award, most commonly known as an Oscar, is more often than not the ‘Holy Grail’ for anyone working in the film industry – but has the credibility of the award, and consequently the show, been put into question?

The Academy Awards are an annual awards ceremony held in the States as part of its Hollywood culture. Achievements in cinematic excellence are rewarded in recognition for outstanding work in motion picture.

The first awards were presented in May 1929 and are viewed as a prestigious ceremony within the film industry. Actors, directors and producers alike have been striving to be recognized ever since its inception.

But, as the show has been on for so many years, it seems to have been forgotten that the Awards were put in place to reward excellence. The popularity of blockbuster releases, however, seems to have overshadowed this.

Photo: A.M.P.A.S

The Awards so regularly ignore the year’s best films to honour highly promoted and profitable mainstream films rather than shedding light on independent films with great stories.

The expansion of the ‘Best Picture Category’ is one of the contributing factors. This has weakened the validity of the Academy Awards by allowing many high-budget, even comedic blockbusters to drift into the category.

Not everyone agrees with this sentiment though – film critic Sebastian Thurley from Delirium magazine said: “The Oscars are more important today than ever because they’re encouraging quality films to be made, and setting a standard for [any] future film maker.”

The Awards protect and honour the reputation of film by encouraging improvement in the arts. This gives many actors and actresses a golden opportunity to promote the latest designer fashion, which in turn can become a boost to their revenues.

Because of this, the Awards now generate more excitement, but for the wrong reasons. Whereas the hype used to be about films, it seems to be more about what the stars are going to be wearing on the red carpet which has become just as important as the ceremony itself.

Mr. Thurley went on to say: “I watch the award show to see what all the celebrities are wearing on the red carpet as well as to know what films have gained the recognition they deserve.

“Also, for people who don’t know that much about film, it allows them to know what’s worth watching.”

Although everything about nominating is subjective, and distributing awards are linked to personal approval, there are still plenty of people who will debate whether a certain nominee was snubbed or inappropriately honoured.

The credibility of the show stems from the arrogance of referring to Oscar winners as ‘the best’. While it is my opinion that Colin Firth gave the best performance by a lead actor in 2010 in A Single Man, it can be appreciated how some would consider Jeff Bridges worthy of that honour.

When you are claiming that someone was the best, you cannot allow sentiment or politics to weigh into the decision making process. The Oscars should be for the Academy’s favorite performance rather than saying it was the best performance.

Justin Glancy

Filed Under: Entertainment

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