Made Solely For Actors
Published: Friday, February 28, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:02
There is a very select group of people who should care about the 86th Academy Awards this year. There was a very select group of people who should have cared about the 85th Academy Awards last year. There should be a very select group of people who care about the 87th Academy Awards next year. The people whom I am speaking of are, of course, those who are actually up for the awards. They have every incentive to care: With this credential under their belts, they are likely to land greater (whether in scope or quantity, or both) opportunities and more people are likely to see their past work (which translates to more money – to the victor goes the spoils). The rest of us, however, really should not care (unless you simply want to see a good movie, in which case the list of best picture nominees is a good place to look).
This televised event annually draws millions of viewers. People flock to it, consumed with the pageantry and drama of the evening. And many people get caught up in the awards themselves.
While there is nothing definitively wrong about this, it is a tad bit shallow and ridiculous. Watching and reading critics and fans alike on the internet getting upset by the fact that their favorite film or actor/actress did not win an award is ludicrous. There is something bizarrely possessive about the entire thing: “Amy Adams should win best actress because I like her.” While it would be great for her if she wins, what does it mean for the rest of us? In the immediate moment, it might give us a temporary ego boost simply because somebody whose work we have enjoyed won, and we can align that victory (falsely) with one for ourselves. However, in the long term, it means nothing to us.
And as for the drama of the evening… So what if Leonardo DiCaprio does not win best actor? The man has starred in many memorable films and has entertained us for years. That said, we have always paid him for the pleasure, so why do we care if some board of judges gives him an award? That will neither diminish nor bolster him. Furthermore, it will do absolutely nothing for us.
The pageantry, while nice, is also a bit of a wonder. I suppose it’s interesting to see what fashion trends are coming up, but it is done to excess. Who cares if so-and-so shows up in an ugly suit or dress? It has absolutely no effect on your life at all.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t watch and enjoy the Academy Awards this year, but is merely a call to reflect on what the awards actually mean. They’re a fun distraction and a way to connect with the trends of pop culture, but beyond that, they are superficial as far as the average viewer should be concerned. While it’s easy to get caught up in everything and frustrated when whoever you are rooting for to win does not, don’t forget that it likely will not impact you. So, be happy for the winners, don’t cry for the losers, and don’t take the entire thing too seriously.