“The big winner, nomination-wise, was The Power of the Dog…12 nominations, one for every person who saw it. Lady Gaga was a surprise, not being nominated, but the biggest snub in my opinion…I’m actually even angry about this, I’m kind of embarassed to say…[the biggest snub was] the unforgivable omission of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
“How did that not get one of the ten nominations? There were only 11 [half-decent] movies made this year. Forget the fact that [Spider-Man] made $750 million [domestic] and it still going. This was a great movie, and there were three Spider-Men in it! One of them was Andrew Garfield, and he was a Best Actor nominee.
“You’re telling me Don’t Look Up was better than Spider-Man? It most certainly was not.
“When did we decide that a Best Picture [nominee] always has to be serious? This was not the point when they started making films. Ben-Hur…chariots of leprosy. Frankenstein…a monster powered by lightning. Fantasia…Mickey Mouse on an acid trip. The Wizard of Oz…flying monkeys and a witch. These are great, classic, Oscar-level movies. There’s northing wrong with serious movies, a lot of them are fantastic and deserving, but when did ‘serious’ become a prequisite for earning an Academy Award?”
From Richard Rushfield‘s latest Ankler post, “Behold, The Incredible Shrinking Oscars…Again“:
“So the Academy exists to ratify the esoteric choices of guilds and 400 critics groups; critics who themselves are largely now unread, except by each other. But of course, it was impossible to hold the theatrical category to any viewership standards once the floodgates opened to the streamers, which are a black hole of information from which only glimpses of light emerge. And instead of taking public reaction into account, it’s just thrown out the window, and Oscar can become…another critics’ film circle?
“Which, if you’re looking at it from a perspective of honoring craftsmanship in cinema, is wonderful.
“If you’re looking at it from a perspective of maintaining a mass medium’s connection with a mass audience, then well, what would you say is the level of public excitement for one’s local critics’ circle announcements? Have you sensed an unfulfilled public demand for more of those?
“As one friend put it, ‘For years the promotion of movies and moviegoing was the collaboration of studios and the press. That’s over. The press has taken up streamers and indies to ‘save’ indies [the Eric Kohn / David Ehrlich aesthetic] and studios have all but said fuck it.’
“So in the Best Pic category, we have a cluster of films that were…flops, disappointments, underperforms, at best given a Gentleman’s C for COVID. And then a bunch of films whose audiences are total mysteries.
“To put it another way, is there any evidence that there is a single person under 40 on the planet who has watched a single one of these movies?”