In a recently-posted piece about the award-season competition as it now stands, Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone offers the following about Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s Birdman: “Talking about this film is how the whole process gets dumbed down. No one should come out of Telluride saying Birdman won’t win because it will be too divisive. That might be true but they say that like it’s a bad thing. That it’s divisive means it’s doing SOMETHING RIGHT. It’s pushing buttons, challenging its audience. In short: delivering brilliant, groundbreaking, unforgettable CINEMA.

“Remember cinema? Remember when movies were judged on how great they were rather than their so-called ‘Oscar potential’? Think about what James Rocchi always says about how little he cares about the Oscar race because of WHO THEY ARE. Remember who the Oscar voters are, he meant. Remember how little what they think actually matters. If they huddle up to a film like Birdman (or if they had for Inside Llewyn Davis last year) that makes THEM look GOOD, not the other way around. They need to catch up to the artists, have their own realities shaken a bit, be given something other than a warm blanket and a cuddle and a goodnight kiss from mommy saying it will all be all right.

“Guess what? It isn’t all right. Nothing about our culture right now is all right. We can continue to look backwards in time and vote for films that reflect those moments we understand OR we can celebrate those sensitive writers and directors who are getting at truths that aren’t so comfortable. Life is a bucket of shit with the handle on the insides. The Oscars aren’t about rewarding that which denies this basic truth about life in 2014. It’s a mixed bag of beauty and shit. Let’s keep our aperture as wide open as possible, shall we?”