“The general formula for most filmmaking could be broken down thusly: concept + stars + brute-force marketing = hoped-for payday. The studio system, with a need to appeal to plenty of people with huge opening weekends, does not generally lead to great cinema. But when the hydraulics of prestige are introduced into that equation, odd and wonderful things can happen.

“Big paydays are forgone by actors, directors work with (and for) far less money, and studios put money and promotion into films that have limited financial horizons. Actors, producers and directors know that when all is said and done, their obituaries are not going to mention their lifetime box-office tallies. The Oscars, by forcefully acknowledging artistic excellence, help people access the angels of their better natures.” — from David Carr‘s 11.4 N.Y. Times piece called “The Little Gold Man Made Me Do It.”