I loved everything about the Academy Awards. When I was younger I memorized the names of all the winners, and dreamed of someday being able to see such mysterious Best Picture winners as Cavalcade or Cimmaron. Thank you TCM for making that dream come true.
Over time I realized that the Oscars were less an unassailable Pantheon of Cinematic Greatness than an amalgam of quirky, ephemeral taste enshrined in awards. This really hit home to me in 1983 when Gandhi took Best Picture over ET. I remembered thinking at the time ‘People 30 years from now will shake their heads and say ‘What were they thinking?’ ” I am pretty sure that hardly anyone considers Gandhi more important or a greater cinematic event than ET. I also hope that people still remember ET.
However the point is that Oscars are pointless.
All the pundits and pontificators who weigh the artistic merits of one film or one performance against another are engaged in a fruitless exercise. 12 Years A Slave is no greater than any of the other 8 films nominated. Or at least I should say that it didn’t win because it was greater. It won because at this time it was the picture to win, for good or ill. I have no opinion one way or the other.
The only relevant punditry and pontificating re: Oscar is to try to best handicap the way industry insiders are feeling about things, and frankly who cares about that.
So, it is time to bid Oscar Love farewell. I will probably still try to see all the nominated films next year, but I won’t really care if I don’t.