Uninspiring nominees undermine Academy Awards’ relevance

Every year, millions of eyes are glued to their televisions as they watch the Academy Awards. As always, this year’s nominations were a mixed bag of films deserving of their nominations, such as The Artist, and more commercial fare that felt safe and uninspiring. Movies like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Help fall into the latter category.

Every year there are upsets and shockers that send hard core fans into a tizzy where they declare that they’ll never watch the show again.

Last year, The King’s Speech’s Best Picture victory over David Fincher’s The Social Network sent me into a similar funk where I watched The Social Network over and over, cursing Tom Hooper’s win.

And yet, despite my rage and hurt feelings, this year I set my living room television to auto-tune to E! for the red carpet coverage and vowed to finish my homework early so I could spend the day watching the hours-long ceremony.

The Academy Awards telecast draws the second-largest television audience after the Super Bowl and is arguably the biggest event in entertainment.

Those of us who scramble to watch all the nominated films and argue over whether or not the winners deserved their trophies are probably way too invested in a show that really doesn’t have any bearing on our lives whatsoever.

Even the awards themselves seem to have lost a bit of their luster over the years. When cloying films such as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are nominated for Best Picture when more deserving films such as Drive are left without nominations it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

After a few years of seeing movies like The Help and The Blind Side rack up nominations, I’m left wondering whether or not an Oscar even means anything anymore.

The Academy Awards basically only exist to give Hollywood a sponsored, televised night to pat each other on the back and congratulate each other for being rich, famous and talented.

Regardless of whether or not certain movies deserve their nominations or wins, the Academy Awards are still a hugely popular event and for weeks leading up to it, the media coverage is constant.

Watching the nominated films and trying to predict all the winners is fun, but this year’s crop of nominees leaves a lot to be desired.

After years of nominating and awarding lackluster movies, maybe they aren’t so important after all.

Alexis Reza is a senior journalism major and opinions editor for the Daily 49er.


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