It’s award season and Hollywood is all abound with red carpets, dazzling lights, gorgeous gowns and million dollar jewelry on the stars of your favorite movies. Top it all off with a dash of politics, a smidgen of hypocrisy, and a lot of self-inflation and you have the Academy Awards.
At one time, these award shows garnished millions of viewers as people looked forward to seeing their favorite celebrities win top honors. The last time the Oscars had top ratings was in 2004 when Billy Crystal hosted the ceremonies. That year, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won Best Picture and the award show had 43.5 million viewers. This year, Oscar hit an all time low with only 23.6 million viewers.
Part of it (besides the hypocritical slant of rich actors standing on their soapbox telling everyday people how to live) seems to be that more movies get picked for their “artistic” vibe and not box office records. I mean, doesn’t that make a movie a success… The people who spend the money to go see a movie again and again. Am I right? I mean, Parasite, a foreign language film from Korea, won Best Picture. I never even heard of it before. Plus, they nominated The Irishman, a movie made for Netflix. Are we now counting streaming services the same as box office movies?
The standard seems to have gone down dramatically from the days of Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and On the Waterfront. I understand the world is changing and streaming services are now a part of everyday life. But what has it done to improve the quality of movies? Absolutely nothing. Does the success of these movies affect its award? No, because some really, really bad or unknown movies make it to the award stage.
Back in the heyday of Hollywood, it was the top grossing movies that made it to the Oscars. Now, all you have to do is be downloaded a few times on Netflix and you get an Oscar nod. Now, I’ll admit, I haven’t seen Parasite, nor am I interested in seeing it. But they are saying that this movie is better than 1917 (Hell no), Ford vs Ferrari (no), Joker (no, no), Little Women (eh, maybe), etc., etc. It’s a joke.
I mean, think about it. Do you know what the top movies of 2019 were? Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Frozen II, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Captain Marvel, Joker, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Toy Story 4, and that’s only the top 8. Out of those 8, only Joker was nominated for Best Picture, and Toy Story 4 won Best Animated Film. The rest were locked out. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was #23, 1917 was #29, and Ford vs. Ferrari was #39. Little Women ranked #1201 out of 1300 films released in 2019. And this movie was nominated for Best Picture. Best Picture! Really?
It’s a joke. I’m sorry, but it’s a joke. It’s Hollywood’s way of patting itself on the back and giving each other high fives, but otherwise, it’s a freakin’ joke. I know I’m ranting here, and I shouldn’t be, but it just makes you wonder why we have award shows anyway.
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series will be released on 28 February 2020 from Austin Macauley Publishing.