“I find it distressing that we now live in a film-culture climate where a number of very talented film critics find their column inches reduced or themseves out of work at publications that think nothing of devoting reams of print and/or online space to awards-season speculating — most of which, as I further point out, isn’t so much concerned with the quality of the awards-season films as whether or not they’ll be to the Academy’s liking.” — L.A. Weekly critic Scott Foundas in a 12.11 posting.

As I’ve said numerous times, trying to make shrewd calls about likely Oscar contenders while knowing in my film-worshipping heart of hearts that many of the year’s real champs in terms of quality are being completely ignored by the Academy prognostication crew is…agonizing. Agonizing to watch this process in slow motion, I mean. A voice from deep in my chest says to me over and over, “You have to do this differently somehow because the usual-usual is wrong…the Academy decisions about some matters (like foreign-film qualification) are sometimes woefully ignorant and small-minded…you need to do what you can to try and lessen the noise and cut through the crap.”

But I’m trying to speak up for the right movies, at least. At least I’m not writing how wonderful and heaven-sent Amy Adams is in Enchanted — she’s very fetching and spirited but c’mon, calm down. Or how sublime George Clooney is in Michael Clayton. He gives a very noble and well-cut performance in a very well-crafted and 90% satisfying film, but is it right and proportionate to call it the stuff of legend?

This is a gig, a passion, a racket, a calling…and the advertising money that stems from the mythology of Oscar prognostication is very nice. Essential, I mean to say. I don’t know what else to say. It’ll be great, at least, to see at least some recognition for the right people and the right movies next February.”