How I learned to stop worrying and love the Oscars

Following high-falutin awards ceremonies like the Oscars, there is a phenomenon that takes place every year. As sure as thunder before lightning, the awards are followed by  outrage from angry fans. This year, let’s set the record straight and restrain ourselves from screaming at the academy. Not just because almost every film nominated this year deserves that nomination.

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The Oscars are awarded to the films and individuals who have been voted on by the academy. The academy itself is made of around 7,000 members so right off the bat you know that this does not represent the entirety of Hollywood. There is a notion that the Oscars are the most important award and socially that is held up as one of the greatest awards an actor can receive. However, this is just as important as the SAG awards or the Golden Globes. There is nothing in particular that proves something about a movie when it wins an Oscar.

Proof is easy to find, a film like Suicide Squad will generally be remembered as a lazy attempt to cash in on the celebrity of Margot Robbie and Will Smith. Whereas a film like Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee is a canonized film in the canals of film history and a wholly important film covering topics like Blaxploitation and police brutality. The difference here is that only one of them has won an Oscar and it isn’t the latter. Oscars are, of course, huge boons to a film’s legacy, but they are not the be all end all. If Moonlight had gotten snubbed last year, it wouldn’t have made it a worse film — it was still a revolutionary picture about black LGBT issues that had nearly never been explored before. When it was determined that Moonlight won and La La Land didn’t, it didn’t turn the musical into any less of a love letter to Hollywood musicals and the dreams of artists.

While it is understandable that when your favourite film gets snubbed you might want to yell that they’re wrong for having ignored a masterpiece, try to remember who you’re talking about.

The Oscars have, at best, a spotty record and even then — everyone is going to have a different opinion. There can only be so many ‘true winners’, or undeniable best films before it boils down to a set of values that you either recognize or don’t. So whoever won, don’t feel too bad about it. Try to recognize the prowess of those involved and be happy. Because no matter what other film didn’t get nominated that you wanted to, whatever film didn’t win on any of its nominations. Just be glad you got the film at all.

While it’s pretty tragic that a film as good as Lady Bird didn’t win any oscars this year, we did get a best original screenplay win for Get Out. Not only is this incredibly fresh for a horror film to win best original screenplay, but this is also the first time an African American man has won the award. So even if it isn’t your film’s time in the spotlight, be happy for those that do get that moment.

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