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Revise criteria for Oscars


ElCid
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When I look back at the movies and people that won Oscars, it amazes me how many were actually not the best that year.

It would probably be better for the Academy members to vote on movies, performers, directors, etc. for movies released at least 24 months before the Oscar voting.  This would give time for the hype and personality cult worshiping to be replaced with due consideration. 

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The Academy voters are not even required to watch the nominated movies and performances.

In fact, there have been voters who have admitted to voting for films that they have not even seen.

 

Based on the way that the winners are determined, an Oscar cannot be an award of merit.

An Oscar winner is merely the nominee who receives the most votes.

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I agree, an Oscar award mean very little.

I never decide to watch a film based on whether it received one or not.

 

I disagree. I think winning an Oscar, which for members of the film community is their highest award IS meaningful to them. Now, maybe not you or me, but for actors, and those working behind the scenes it probably means quite a lot.

 

Do you think that someone like John Wayne who toiled for years working in Hollywood did not appreciate the fact that he found himself nominated at the age of 62 for his performance in 1969's True Grit? I think he probably wished that he had been nominated for one of the films he did for John Ford or Howard Hawks, but I am sure that he was pleased as punch to even be nominated especially at his age.

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Do you think that someone like John Wayne who toiled for years working in Hollywood did not appreciate the fact that he found himself nominated at the age of 62 for his performance in 1969's True Grit?

 

Yes, it was a meaningful nod from the Academy and his peers but the award was not given based on the merit of the specific performance in TRUE GRIT.

As is often the case, the votes (and the nominations) are sentimental ones----which is fine but it is wrong to see the Oscars as a true competition to determine the "best" especially in the acting categories.

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When I look back at the movies and people that won Oscars, it amazes me how many were actually not the best that year.

It would probably be better for the Academy members to vote on movies, performers, directors, etc. for movies released at least 24 months before the Oscar voting.  This would give time for the hype and personality cult worshiping to be replaced with due consideration. 

 

There have been many a year when I look at the nominees and think "what were they thinking" when I saw the nominees. This past year when Emma Thompson was not nominated for her performance in the film about the making of Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks, especially after she had been nominated in many other award presentations. And who got another nomination? Meryl Streep. Give me a break.

 

But every year there have been surprises and people or films that I have thought should have been nominated but weren't. The excellent book by Danny Peary called Alternate Oscars where he explores each year of the Oscars from the beginning all the way up to 1991 is very good. He takes a look at just three categories, Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress and discusses who should have been nominated and who should have won. I really do wish that the nominating process was different but I truly believe that for many years now it has been more about what political party you belong to and to not what type of performance you made.

 

I also think the way they go about handling Lifetime Achievement Oscars is wrong as well. I remember the year 2002 when he along with Sidney Poitier were nominated for Honorary Oscars. Now I don't have a problem with Poitier being given an Honorary Oscar, because as an actor he was much better than Redford. But to nominate these two guys when Richard Widmark and Glenn Ford were still living and could have been recognized for their contributions is beyond me. Now maybe they were offered the chance to receive an Honorary Oscar and turned the Academy down, but really that was a golden opportunity to recognize two outstanding actors who had long and distinguished careers. Oh well.

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I disagree. I think winning an Oscar, which for members of the film community is their highest award IS meaningful to them. Now, maybe not you or me, but for actors, and those working behind the scenes it probably means quite a lot.

 

Do you think that someone like John Wayne who toiled for years working in Hollywood did not appreciate the fact that he found himself nominated at the age of 62 for his performance in 1969's True Grit? I think he probably wished that he had been nominated for one of the films he did for John Ford or Howard Hawks, but I am sure that he was pleased as punch to even be nominated especially at his age.

 

When I look back at the movies and people that won Oscars, it amazes me how many were actually not the best that year.

It would probably be better for the Academy members to vote on movies, performers, directors, etc. for movies released at least 24 months before the Oscar voting.  This would give time for the hype and personality cult worshiping to be replaced with due consideration. 

 

I think nowadays, the biggest thing that I have trouble with the Oscars is how lobby-based it is, and how obvious we are in on it. Now, I do believe that the Academy is peer-based and peer-voted, but it takes a certain amount of money for actors to throw themselves into the ring, and of the past few years, it is clear that the high lobbyist is Harvey Weinstein who influences the votes negatively. 

 

For example, in 2011, when Meryl won her third Oscar, she had to be in a Weinstein film for that to happen, and that film and her performance wasn't even that good to merit any recognition. The following year, Jennifer Lawrence got her Oscar for being in a Weinstein -produced film, but I don't think it should involve being Weinstein's flavor of the month to get recognition, no matter how much that performance was deserving the honor. 

 

But, you could say that the corporations who own the studios parlay these usually democratic processes have corrupted the process negatively, and like corporate lobbying in Congress, there needs to be a separation between corporation and state, at least in this case, corporation and art. Therein lies the problem, film is a commercial business in this country, and not considered an art form, even though it is. 

 

It shouldn't have to come to this: 

 

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post-29241-0-33825800-1402246153_thumb.jpg

Edited by hepclassic
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Well, perhaps I should have modified my statement to say, "An Oscar means very little to me." 

I've no doubt that to most of the actors, actresses, directors, and producers (and other people in other "categories" ) who win an Oscar, it means quite a lot.

But I was not talking about the personal effect winning an Oscar has on the individual who wins it, I was talking about how much significance an Oscar carries in terms of the quality of the film that won it (yes, I'm mostly thinking about the "best picture" category.)

And for me, whether a film has won an Oscar for "best picture" or not means very little.

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Well, perhaps I should have modified my statement to say, "An Oscar means very little to me." 

I've no doubt that to most of the actors, actresses, directors, and producers (and other people in other "categories" ) who win an Oscar, it means quite a lot.

But I was not talking about the personal effect winning an Oscar has on the individual who wins it, I was talking about how much significance an Oscar carries in terms of the quality of the film that won it (yes, I'm mostly thinking about the "best picture" category.)

And for me, whether a film has won an Oscar for "best picture" or not means very little.

 

I was not trying to start an argument or be disrespectful MissW, just pointing out what I think possibly many of those who have won may have thought about winning.

 

I do agree that for me as well it does not matter if the film has won an Oscar to which would make me want to watch it or not. Many of my favorite films have never ever been nominated or have won the "big one", Best picture, although I think many that have won were not so deserving. But that is for another thread?

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I think winning an Oscar, which for members of the film community is their highest award IS meaningful to them.

 

True.

 

Now, maybe not you or me,

 

And even more true, at least for me.  I doubt if more than a small fraction of my favorite movies ever won a non-honorary Oscar. Nor did Barbara Stanwyck or Cary Grant. Oscars are little more than a popularity contest and a marketing gimmick.

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Another consideration might be to limit it to one Oscar per person per category.  In other words, someone could win an Oscar for best actor only once, but could then win one for best supporting actor or for best director.

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Another consideration might be to limit it to one Oscar per person per category.  In other words, someone could win an Oscar for best actor only once, but could then win one for best supporting actor or for best director.

Or cap off how many nominations an actor is allowed to get within a five year span. 

 

Honestly, Meryl, 18 is enough, and the last five weren't even worthy of a nomination anyway. 

 

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post-29241-0-33825800-1402246153_thumb.jpg

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The Oscars matter to the winners because they're determined by their peers. We can all moan and groan over the ultimate choices, but with now over 6,000 members of the Academy voting, it seems illogical to blame/credit any one factor. Yes, the Weinsteins campaign vigorously, but if the voters are foolish enough to be swayed by advertising, so be it. If that really worked every year though, the most expensive campaigns would always win and that is not the case. Yes, the Oscars often are given as a sentimental tribute, and in those cases maybe not for a particular performance (but also an acknowledgement for a body of work)but that same year could see a Shirley Booth or a Jennifer Lawrence - a relative newcomer to movies being acknowledged. It's simply a different case every year and in every category. That makes the awards fascinating ( for me).

Personally, I don't need the Academy's opinions to steer me to see a movie or performance, but the Oscars are significant to me because of what they mean to the recipients and in the industry.

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I got my proof as to how meaningless the academy awards were back in 1980 when they failed to give the late great composer Jerry Goldsmith his 2nd oscar for his powerful and majestic Star Trek The Motion Picture score. 

 

 

 

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Nipkow - science fiction/ fantasy films tend to get neglected in general ( like comedies) i think The final Ring movie's win was an exception.

And yes that WAS a great Goldsmith score.

That is my point. :P If they can do such a lousy job judging such exceptional music, I would say that it would hold that they would too do a lousy job judging anything and everything else.  :)"Logically concluded; logically arrived at" -Spock  :)

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That is my point. :P If they can do such a lousy job judging such exceptional music, I would say that it would hold that they would too do a lousy job judging anything and everything else.  :)"Logically concluded; logically arrived at" -Spock  :)

Besides, I have always, in listening to fine motion picture soundtrack music, tended to disassociate fine film music from the movies they are attached to. Good music is good music, period. Who the heck would fail to recognize the grandeur of a fine score simply because the movie it's attached to is a stinker? Goldsmith's ST-TMP score is so great it should be held and appreciated quite apart from the film. ampas failed to award a 2nd oscar to Goldsmith because ST-TMP was such a huge miss??? I've always have been quite able myself to seperate a good score from a  lousy movie. Uh...they can't???  Figures.  :)

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Besides, I have always, in listening to fine motion picture soundtrack music, tended to disassociate fine film music from the movies they are attached to. Good music is good music, period. Who the heck would fail to recognize the grandeur of a fine score simply because that music has been tacked on to a stinker? Goldsmith's ST-TMP score is so great it should be held and appreciated quite apart from the film. ampas failed to award a 2nd oscar to Goldsmith because ST-TMP was such a huge miss??? I've always have been quite able myself to seperate good film music from a  lousy movie. Uh...they can't???  Figures.   :) 

 

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The Oscars matter to the winners because they're determined by their peers. We can all moan and groan over the ultimate choices, but with now over 6,000 members of the Academy voting, it seems illogical to blame/credit any one factor. Yes, the Weinsteins campaign vigorously, but if the voters are foolish enough to be swayed by advertising, so be it. If that really worked every year though, the most expensive campaigns would always win and that is not the case. Yes, the Oscars often are given as a sentimental tribute, and in those cases maybe not for a particular performance (but also an acknowledgement for a body of work)but that same year could see a Shirley Booth or a Jennifer Lawrence - a relative newcomer to movies being acknowledged. It's simply a different case every year and in every category. That makes the awards fascinating ( for me).

Personally, I don't need the Academy's opinions to steer me to see a movie or performance, but the Oscars are significant to me because of what they mean to the recipients and in the industry.

 

I agree with your statement here.

 

I always think back to the awards for 1998. There was so much talk about Saving Private Ryan winning for Best Picture and when Shakespeare in Love was announced as the winner, you could tell that it was a shock to most of those in attendance.

 

To me that year it did not really matter who won, in most cases especially the past ten years or so it has not mattered to me. Heck, this year was the first time I did not watch the program live. I caught it later on You Tube.

 

Often the case is that the film garnering the most nominations hardly ever wins the top prize. It has happened but in many years it has not happened. Look at 2010's True Grit. Great film, but with ten nominations I think it may have only received one win. Same for 1978's Heaven Can Wait. Ten or so noms, with no wins. Very popular films both, but the success at the box office did not translate into Oscar wins.

 

Another person has written about the great composer Jerry Goldsmith and his failure to win a second Oscar for Star Trek the Motion Picture in 1979. Clearly if you listen to the other four nominees that year, the Goldsmith score was clearly the best. But that alone does not guarantee a win. I have always felt that certain artists have had bad track records as far as Oscar nominations are concerned.

 

For example, because it is easy to do lets look at John Wayne. Simply the greatest box office star of all time especially if you take his success at the box office and apply current day dollars to his movies. He was nominated twice for his acting. In fact there are those (myself included) who feel that the two films he did get nominated for were simply not his best films.

 

In 1949 he was nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima. Definitely a solid box office success. And yet his best portrayal that year was clearly She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. So why was he not nominated for that performance instead of Iwo Jima?

 

Was it because Iwo Jima was the better box office performer? Or was it because the war had just been over for about four years by that time. It was still fresh in the minds of the nominating committees. If you look at the box office of the two films Ribbon actually made a little more than Iwo Jima made.

 

So what is the conclusion? A war film at that time was more popular in the minds of the nominating committees than a period western? There were several high profile war films in 1949. How many high profile westerns can you name?

 

But looking at Wayne's career, one could assume that based on the sheer volume of films he made he should have been nominated more than twice, right?

 

I am not going to sit here and list the films I think he should have been nominated for, but that alone would be interesting. Not only for Wayne but for many other more deserving actors.

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