At the end of January, nominations for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced.
For most, the New Year starts on January 1st. For those in Hollywood, the New Year only starts the day after the Oscars ceremony.
Apparently, at one point in history, those in the Academy simply voted for those films and performances they admired. While an Oscar was always welcome, the politics that now overshadow the accomplishments were nonexistent.
Today, there are “campaigns.” Yes, campaigns for a little golden man. Stars walk red carpets, go on talk shows and host screenings all for the chance of winning the big one. Producers such as Harvey Weinstein are notorious for fighting dirty. Whether it be informally buying out voters – by having stars make “house calls,” etc. – or by slathering posters saying “Please Consider” across the city, those in the Academy have forgotten what or who truly deserves the award.
In a recent article with Entertainment Weekly, George Clooney and Viola Davis spoke about the ridiculousness of “Oscar Season” and how it distracts actors from their work.
After all, while sports and politics have experts, the Oscars have pundits of their own, posting list after list of whom they think will get nominated and ultimately win.
These lists, in fact, will probably deter voters. Those who would want to vote for the film they actually enjoy might have their opinions changed if they believe that another will definitely win or if it’s a star’s “year.”
That phrase, in rotation for years, refers to when an actor’s turn is due at the Oscars. In 2010, copious critics thought that Colin Firth’s performance in A Single Man was Best Actor worthy. However, that year, Jeff Bridges was also nominated for his role in Crazy Heart, and most voters thought that it was “his year.” He, after all, was a Hollywood veteran, on the scene for decades. It was his time and Colin Firth would probably be nominated again in the future.
The next year, Colin Firth won.
This year, most believe that it is either Meryl Streep or Glenn Close’s “year.” Streep is on her way to her 17th career nomination for The Iron Lady while Close will most likely be honored with her sixth nomination for Albert Knobbs. While these two women are among some of the greatest actresses in movie making history, it’s sad to think that Viola Davis’ role in The Help has a chance of being overlooked.
As one can see, the Oscars have a whole lot of politics behind it. While we may have loved The Social Network, it simply did not have the star power, prestige and power of Harvey Weinstein behind it like The King’s Speech did.
Those wanting to keep updated with Oscar news should check out Dave Karger’s blog on ew.com or nymag.com’s coverage.