The Academy Awards are the most prestigious and most glamorous film awards to be held. They honor a seemingly wide variety of films and filmmakers. They define their winner and posses the power to change his or her career. They are totally unnecessary.
This is why:
- At the time the Academy Awards are held, most of the other award ceremonies have already been held. The awards season begins with such independent festivals as Sundance, Venice and later the Gotham Awards. These are some of the first festivals to be held, around late summer/ autumn, and normally this is where the finest independent pictures are first heard of. Then the more festive festivals start in winter. Included are the Film Critic’s- Writer’s Guild- Director’s Guild Awards and such big events such as the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s. Then at the end of the awards season, when everybody is tired and stressed out from all the festivities, the Academy Awards are held. BAD TIMING.
- This second point is a result of this bad timing. Because, once all the other festivals are held, the best motion pictures of the year have been thoroughly discussed and rated by several committees. The results start looking alike and once at the Academy Awards, the winner is already obvious to everybody.
- There are rarely any surprises concerning the winners, because the Academy likes to retain a certain image. In order to win the Best Picture award, a film must fulfill a specific criteria. It has to be widely popular and it cannot be very controversial. It also has to be somewhat independent and somewhat “deep”. And once you filter the nominations down with these points, you can only have one winner.
This is why neither Inception nor Toy Story 3 will stand a chance this year. But they are nominated anyway, which brings me to the second part of this point. The Academy wants to look like they acknowledge a lot of different films, and that they are very knowledgeable about the variety of such. The truth is, that they actually consider very few of the films coming out every year. The only films that come into their closer consideration are films that have been awarded by major independent festivals early that year. I guess that is also one of the reasons the Academy Awards are held this late into the awards season: They have an easier job in simply compiling a list of recent winners and choose the most fitting winner.