Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation?

Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherThe Academy Awards are on Sunday, Modern Philosophers, and I am surprised to report that I am totally not feeling it.

The Oscars are usually one of the highlights of my year.  I am a screenwriter, NYU Film School grad, and unabashed movie geek, so it makes sense that Hollywood’s biggest awards ceremony would be on par with Super Bowl Sunday for me.

By this time, I’ve usually sent my formal toga to the dry cleaners so that it’s ready to wear on the red carpet that I roll out at The House on the Hill.  I would have my entire Oscar menu planned and my predictions for every category down on paper and sealed away in a locked briefcase for safekeeping.

This year, though, I’ve got nothing.

When I lived in California, I would set the alarm so I could get up before dawn to watch the announcement of the Oscar nominations live.

This year, I didn’t even know they’d been announced until I saw an article online about The Force Awakens getting shafted in the major categories.

Maybe that’s part of the problem.  Movies that I like never seem to get nominated.  If the latest entry in the Star Wars saga were up for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director, I would be pumped for the Academy Awards.

I’d have a new formal toga made with a Star Wars theme, make Star Wars inspired food for the ceremony, and write countless blog posts about how The Force Awakens needs to win Best Picture.

Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherStar Wars Geek or not, you have to admit it was one of the best flicks of the year, and when they can nominate ten movies, how is it that the Force didn’t awaken something inside the members of the Academy?

Do you really mean to tell me that Daisy Ridley’s performance as Rey didn’t merit a nomination?

I sense a disturbance in the Force, and I think Kylo Ren will make Hollywood pay dearly.

Apparently, this was not the movie the Academy was looking for…

Chris Rock should have a great time cracking jokes about the lack of diversity among the Oscar nominees.  The man is hilarious any time he takes the stage, but you give him something like this to work with, and I am sure Rock will deliver a performance that people will be talking about for a long time.

Maybe it’s this outcry about diversity that has turned me against the Oscars this year.  I’m not racist, I’m a movie fan.  As naive as it might sound, I don’t look at the nominees and see skin color.  I simply think of the performance that earned the individual a coveted spot on the most prestigious short list in Hollywood.

Could I subconsciously be boycotting the Academy Awards because I’m upset that one of my favorite nights of the year has been turned into a political powder keg?

Am I pissed that this night that is supposed to honor motion pictures can’t be just about the flicks, and not about the ethnicity of the nominees?

After giving it some Deep Thought, I have to admit that very well could be the case.

Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherHow do we change things so that this issue doesn’t ruin future Oscar ceremonies for me?

We could have the Academy change the nomination process.  Or we could just see the Oscars for what they are: a chance for rich, attractive, talented people to put on fancy clothes and pat themselves on the back while we watch with envy.

Better yet, we could just turn the Academy Award into a Participation Trophy, and hand out one to every person who had anything to do with a movie released that year.

With that brilliant plan, no one gets left out, no one can make accusations of bias, and no one has to go home feeling like a loser.

Of course, if everyone gets an Oscar, the ceremony is going to run long, we’re going to have to listen to an insane amount of acceptance speeches, and Chris Rock is going to need a hell of a lot more material to keep us laughing!

Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherAre you looking forward to the Academy Awards, Modern Philosophers?  What movies are you rooting for this year?  Do you agree that The Force Awakens got robbed?  Do you think Chris Rock will be a good host?


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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26 Responses to Should The Academy Award Oscars For Participation?

  1. The Hook says:

    I only know one thing right now… the Oscars are going to be a sheep show!
    (My daughter coined that term, as she refuses to curse.)

  2. Yikes! Touchy subject. I will say that a white out in an industry full of tremendously talented minority, women, QUILTBAG, etc disenfranchised people is cause for lifted brows and hums of speculation, if nothing more. I think it bears some thought, but it is rather easy to state, “It should be about talent and not race.” The unfortunate end result is that a group of diversity-challenged board members nominate according to their tastes and interests (which, incidentally, can’t really be any different than other awards), and maybe their tastes and interests don’t lean towards Straight Out of Compton-esque movies. However, that then makes it about “my preferences” and not talent. So, if we are to judge on talent, then we should be willing to open our scope and see there are many talented, but underrepresented groups who deserve recognition. Does it politicize things? Yes. Should it? Probably. Life isn’t fair, but it can certainly be “fairer.” (These are my opinions only.) –Sondi

  3. Sessela says:

    Unfortunately these days it seems that nothing is removed from politics 😦

  4. You saw Christy’s post over at Drinks today, right? Crazy year…I probably won’t even watch 🙂

  5. stomperdad says:

    Why can’t it be “let the best one win” instead of “let the best one win but make sure it’s diverse”? Too much politics involved. Now that I know the Rock is hosting I’ll probably try to catch a bit of it. he’s hilarious. Love the idea of making the Oscars a participation award. That’s what they do at the kids sporting events now, why not do it for everyone? If you want to make an acceptance speech, post it to YouTube.

  6. Heheeeee! I had to laugh at your “participation trophy”! Might as well be true. Yeah…the Oscar’s have been a little bleahhh…
    The Force Awakens though is a winner in itself. No need for trophy!

  7. tildy1 says:

    Participation trophy! Ha ha ha!

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