Let’s face it, The Academy Awards are a popularity contest. Out of all the nominees, there will only be one winner of each category. As for the big prize, we all have our opinion on which film deserves the “Best Picture” title. But only one film will receive the award. No matter which film wins, there will be people who are pissed and people who are glad. There’s just no way around it.
I’m going to play the peacekeeper here and just propose an acceptance for whichever film wins Best Picture. Whether it’s the probable The King’s Speech, or an upset from The Social Network, let’s celebrate how great both films are. Even if The Social Network is the better film (and it most certainly is), you can’t have expectations for it to win Best Picture. It simply didn’t play the game to win the Oscar. The King’s Speech has done everything right. With the genius backing of the Weinstein Company, its producers, actors, and director has been on the map all awards season. The Social Network, on the other hand, has been silent, often saying how they don’t deserve all the hype and playing the “humble” card. They never made a strong push to put themselves up on top. If you don’t work for the Oscar, you usually don’t receive it.
We can also bring up the debate how The Academy and the public have different tastes. I’m not sure if that’s entirely true since huge blockbusters like Toy Story 3 and Inception were both nominated (though they have no chance at winning Best Picture). But then there’s also that split between The Academy and the critics. The Social Network clearly was the best film in the critics’ eyes. Now let’s see who The Academy picks.
Anyone who argues the validation of the Best Picture winner is full of nonsense. I would expect it from the viewers of The Grammy’s who blasted The Arcade Fire for winning Album of the Year. It’s hard for me to take an awards show serious that gives out over 100 awards. I cringe at the thought of adolescence and teenie boppers watching the Oscars. Those who cried when Avatar lost to the superior The Hurt Locker… The Academy Awards are not for them. It is not for the stubborn because they’ll never understand how The Academy chooses the winners. It is not for the hipsters who wonder why their favorite indie film wasn’t nominated.
The Oscars are a celebration of great cinema year in and year out. This was, without a doubt, a great year for film. From the Best Picture nominees all the way to the summer blockbusters, this year had it all. The big winner throughout the Oscars telecast is the movie industry… and as long as the movie industry is thriving, we’ll continue to be able to enjoy creative films for a long time.