Why Do The Oscars Matter?

All the nominations for this year’s Academy awards, which take place at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood on 28 February have been released and….

I really don’t see why this ceremony exists.

Every year with the Golden Globes, the Baftas, The Razzies (my personal favorite) and the Oscars themselves, I find myself completely indifferent.

Maybe it has something to do with the judges, who, according to the most recent information are overwhelmingly elderly, white and male. And if I want to know what old, white, people think of films then i’ll ask my dad for his opinion.

Maybe its that I believe comparing these films on a like for like basis is insanity, How do you do a direct comparison between the insane beauty of Mad Max: Fury Road and the thoughtfulness of an indie film like Room and declare one ‘better’?

And this is direct comparisons, not reviewing them months apart and on their own merits but placing them next to each other and deciding to give the award via… sheep entrails? Coin Toss? We don’t know, as the judges have never revealed how the decisions are made.

Nor do we know how they decide which ones to nominate as far as I know, there’s no transparency nor discussion, just a bunch of old white men deciding via Voodoo who made the ‘best’.

And, lets be honest. Most of us don’t watch Oscar films. The vast majority of nominated films are pretty low grossing (with a few notable exceptions) and are probably not going to sell a lot of DVD’s or even be remembered in a few years.

So why do they matter? Why do hundreds of millions of people watch a few millionaires slap each other on the back over a fraction of films that have been released that year? Is it that they have the biggest party? Because we say they matter and therefore they do?

Or am I missing something here?



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