Friday, January 23, 2009

ON THOSE NON-POPULIST OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Well, my box office column, where I normally predict the weekend's hit movies, turned into a big rant this week about the Oscar nominations and how un-populist they were, and how there's a big divide between the movies that are up for Oscars and what the public actually goes to see. Quite a massive divide, in fact.

Not a SINGLE one of the movies up for Best Picture has won the weekend box office yet. In fact, as I pointed out, a lot of people haven't even seen these movies to begin with, because most of these flicks haven't started going wide until this weekend.

Meanwhile, three good movies released in 2008 that created the most excitement among audiences and critics alike (The Dark Knight, WALL-E, Gran Torino) either were relegated to the tech awards or got the shaft completely.

I'm not the only one spouting off on this subject. Steve Mason over at Big Hollywood said basically the same thing, except with more facts and figures to back his case up. He points to 2005 as the year the Oscars went off the rails as far as reflecting the general public's tastes, and he is predicting the TV ratings for this year's Oscar show will go in the sink.

Heck, I can go back even further than 2005 to see where the problems began. I think it all started going haywire back in the year that E.T. lost.

I mean -- I see E.T. at the cinema, and I'm in tears watching E.T. go home at the end of the movie, and I come out of there thinking this was the greatest movie I've ever seen. I was moved, it was awesome.

So what happens? On Oscar night, I'm sitting in front of the TV watching these stupid Academy voters give the Best Picture Oscar to, you guessed it -- Gandhi!!!!

I'm still mad about that.

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