I am less excited about this Sunday evening’s Oscar show than I have been in years. All I really care about is whether or not Julianne Moore wins Best Actress for Still Alice, just because she’s so awesome. But that’s about it.
The headline at Drudge Report dubbed it “The ‘Dullest’ Show on Earth” and then linked to this Hollywood Reporter article, which skewered the current crop of Best Picture nominees for being the lowest-grossing in years and which further illustrates the gulf between the Academy and mass audiences.
But this has been going on for years. There was once a time, years ago, when movies that really made an impact in the popular culture with the mass audience could also be nominated and win an Oscar — Rocky, for example, or Patton or The Sting or even Titanic.
But these days we seem to get two sets of movies — one set aimed at mass audiences (many of which are not that good, either), and another made to meet the narrow confines and standards of “awards season” voters and other upper-crust people. And for the most part, neither of the two shall meet in between.
And so we get Best Picture nominations for movies like Boyhood, and Birdman, and a host of others most people haven’t seen or really cared about all year.
This divide is exactly the reason why people are tuning out of the Academy Awards — because these days the “Oscar movies” appeal to the “elite” crowd and not the masses or ordinary moviegoers. About the only movie nominated this year for Best Picture that really appealed to both Oscar voters and a mass audience is American Sniper.
I am also almost willing to bet you it won’t win — because it’s too popular. I’d like to be wrong, though.
Anyway, that is my rant out of the way. Here is a link to the Grantland Oscar Preview page, which might help you get excited about the big awards show. Or it may not.