Oscar Season: 8 Thoughts As We Come Into the Home Stretch

Awards Excess
Ryan Inzana

The compressed frenzy over the past jam-packed days of Award Season has raised some questions and some observations:

1. The hands-down winner for most annoying person: The individual who kisses you and then casually reveals that he or she is sick. Runners-up: The chronic coughers who always sit behind me.

2. Yes, there is something goofy about centering your entire life around awards. There is something equally goofy about awards season revolving around football. God forbid any group would schedule an event on Super Bowl Sunday.

3. My adrenaline is totally out of whack. After an intense season that started in late August, I hit the wall Saturday before the SAG Awards. I felt like a marathon runner reading a sign saying he was at mile 20. But the adrenaline started racing again on Sunday night when Ben Affleck announced that the PGA winners were a tie. During awards season, THIS is the kind of announcement one desires.

4. Film clip are crucial to awards shows, but often the studio supplies the same scene to multiple ceremonies. Try to vary them, folks! The Producers Guild showed two montages that were ideal: Eon and Empire Design provided a three-minute look at 50 years of James Bond, while Weta Digital showed how it creates effects. Each was amazing, and made you want to jump up and see those films. This is the underlying goal of all awards ceremonies, but sometimes endless acceptance speeches can blur that goal.

5. Acceptance speeches: Make them brief or make them interesting. Rita Moreno was a knockout as she spoke/sang her thoughts on SAG’s Life Achievement award. A few minutes later, Cate Blanchett was hilarious. Even after winning so many awards, each of her speeches is different — and spontaneous. Multiple announcements at the Shrine warned that speeches should be brief because the show was running long. Blanchett started her thanks, looked at the monitor and exclaimed “29 seconds? Matthew McConaughey was talking about Neptune!!”

This goes for presenters as well. Before handing out the final award at the Critics’ Choice Awards Jan. 16, Julia Roberts deadpanned, “This has been like some strange Fellini movie that I forgot was in my Netflix queue.”

6. Serious question: When do voters get to see a movie these days? Every spare moment seems to be consumed with a party or awards show.

7. Tip your waiter: The food staff at the Hilton deserve every award in the book. They are able to feed 1,000 tense individuals in a short time, in very tight space. And they remain far cheerier than I would.

8. I am thinking about awards entirely too much. On Sunday, I saw a bunch of tweets about  Richard Sherman’s rant. Seattle Seahawks weren’t even on my radar. For a few moments, I just assumed they were talking about the “Mary Poppins” songwriter — wondering if he was upset because “Saving Mr. Banks” only earned one nomination.

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  1. As a classic movie fan and a lover of classic tv, from the golden age of movies and tv. I find no relevance to today’s pop culture in general, and in this case the Oscars. I watched the announcements of the nominees, I found no one I could relate to , other than a brief mention of Robert Redford. I had no connection with any of the movies except for, say, the Star Trek movie, which I understand is up for a technical award. The issue for me then becomes does anyone over 30 or even 20 even care about any of theses awards. There are far too many awards theses days. It seems the Oscars, which used to be held in the highest regard by both the acting industry and the movie going public, now they’re essentially just another award in a sea of awards every year.

    • Jamie says:

      Well I’m 70 and still love to go to the movies, but finding something great to see is a problem when the market seems to cater to the uner 30 or teen boy crowd. Even the so-called Oscar movies with only a few exceptions feel repetitive. It’s probably just that this is a so so year without a true stand out film, but it is pretty dismal out there. I do agree that awards season is just too crowded and way over done with all the promotion, red carpets, gossip programs blah blah blah. By the time you get to the pinacle of the Oscars it just feels like overkill.

  2. Jamie says:

    If the movie didn’t come out in November or December, it might as well forget receiving nominations. It could be the second coming of the World’s Greatest Film and the short term memory Academy voting system and the back loaded schedule would doom it to the pile of films that hope to become classics some day after being among the annually forgotten. The average family can no longer hope to see potentially award winning movies in the theater before the awards ceremony for one simple reason: The Cost. Assuming a family of four, trying to see ten movies in 60 days and the bill comes to: $700 to a $1000.

    End result is that movie prices continue to rise. Concession prices continue to rise. Theater attendance by a percentage of the audience goes down while global profits get bigger. TV screens get larger and more and more people stay home to watch cable. What used to be a cultural group experience on almost a weekly basis, has now become the rare, expensive experience for the young or the few.

    • Dmknyc says:

      What family is going to see the Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, or 12Years a Slave together?

      • Jamie says:

        Admittedly you don’t take small children to these movies, but we have an older teenager so it’s pretty much 3 adults. Besides, how about just two couples who really like movies. Same group of four being gouged in order to go out.

  3. ted says:

    Americans have been hustled.

  4. Virginia Cerezo says:

    I don’t really want American Hustle to win things. I don’t consider it as good as the other movies, it is a so-so picture, to be honest…

    http://corleonesandlannisters.com/2014/01/21/american-hustle-review-con/

    • dian says:

      To each it own.

      I saw AH and I like it and I don’t like that kind of movies. Truthfully Adams, Bale and Cooper do own their rolls. Bale’s performance was so good that you feel for the guy, Adams portrays this fierceness and also vulnerability.

      Jennifer L contrary to all the fuss did and awesome work. One can forget about the Katniss character to see this unhappy-unstable-vulnerable-woman trying to make it in her own way.

      • Virginia Cerezo says:

        Lawrence was probably my favourite performance, along with Cooper. I think that is the good aspect about AH: the acting. I enjoyed the film, don’t get me wrong, but I have this feeling that it doesn’t have the “thing” that an Oscar nominee should have, besides powerful actors :)

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