Oscar Time: The Academy Awards and What They Mean as Entertainment

It’s almost too much. Award season, that is. I think that most award shows are superfluous and overrated. I can live without watching a bunch of celebrities congratulate each other over and over, heaping praise on one another like they cured the common cold. I mean, in what other profession is there such “basking’ in each other’s warm and fuzzy superlatives? In my job we don’t have numerous different events where we tell each other how much we like them. It can all be a little silly.

The Academy Awards, on the other hand, is an event always worth seeing. since a humble beginning in 1929, the event has come to dominate the awards season, as it should. There are some that favor other award shows. Many like the People’s Choice, because of the public factor. True, it could be considered more realistic of what viewers want to see. But come on already, “Best Hair?”

And I want to know what the experts think anyway. i don’t expect the Pulitzer or Nobel Prizes to be given out by popular vote either. And the Golden Globes can be interesting, giving an idea of what the international press thinks of the nominated films. Again, I want to know what the experts like. You don’t get to vote for the Oscars without having at least an inkling of how the industry works, and what should be expected from great work.

Sometimes, what the Academy thinks is the best is not what the public might be willing to consider. A prime example is “Brokeback Mountain.” Although it was the big winner at the Golden Globes and is expected to garner some Oscar gold, it would be hard to imagine it winning as a People’s Choice.

I have not yet seen it, so I can’t say myself, but it may well be a very good film, worthy of consideration. It’s sensitive subject matter would not allow that in the full public arena. Of course, there are many years the Academy and the public are in full agreement. Like when the third installment of the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy swept the Awards, putting New Zealand film making forever on the map.

I am very pleased that Jon Stewart will host. Sometimes called America’s best “fake” news anchor, he has a wit and delivery that I find immensely enjoyable. And interestingly enough, his news stories are often so close to home that they are on the money. It’s the same with his humor, it is so off that it’s dead on. And with so many of the films this year tackling serious subject matter, he is a perfect choice for comic relief.

So this March, join me with some popcorn in front of the home screen to see who wins, who comes close, and who is over the top with their acceptance speech.

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