It’s a universal truth that you can’t possibly please everybody but, each year, the Academy proves it doesn’t even have the intention of trying to do so – while maintaining objectivity, of course. The nominations for the Oscars 2013 bring a fresh wave of complaints online for some of the most blatant snubs.
Here are my own.
As voices online rage that Ben Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Matthew McConaughey or Samuel L. Jackson (and many other talented individuals) were robbed of at least one nod at the awards show, I’d like to point out what many of you probably think as well: the Academy has a major hate-on for outstanding actors / directors / movies that are also popular.
In recent years, it’s become somewhat of a norm to have nominees niche projects: good projects that never attain international, wide success. It’s as if, for the Academy, if you’re popular, you’re no longer artsy enough to deserve at least a nomination, not to mention a win.
The smaller the project or the less popular, the more likely to be mentioned at the Oscars. An excellent example is how Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” when wide audiences didn’t even know what that was, but wasn’t even nominated this year for “Zero Dark Thirty,” a critic and fan favorite.
It's as if the biggest way in which you can wrong the Academy is by being so popular as to actually have movie goers crowd theaters – a paradox if I ever saw one.
In 2013, much like in previous years, we have Chris Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio as the biggest snubs. These guys can’t catch a break – and they certainly can get no Academy love.
Batman will always be too popular to be proper art, Tarantino’s films will always be too popcorny, while DiCaprio is, I assume, simply too young to get nominated. Oh, and “Skyfall” was too James Bond to even be considered, I believe.
In this context, in which the Oscars are ignoring more and more the public’s preferences, what is the relevance of this awards show?
In no way am I advocating for popular film franchises like “Twilight” to be included, but neither does it seem fair to exclude good, well accomplished, outstanding films merely on the grounds of how popular they are.
Nevertheless, I, like many other upset movie buffs, will probably tune in next year as well, if only in the hope that change – a breath of fresh air – will eventually visit the Academy as well.