Chic-Flick Trailers

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...not exactly who you might think

This is not exactly in the chick flick area but the night of the 81st Academy Awards is the most important movie night of the year, so I think dedicating a post or two to it makes sense. Expect some of my Oscar predictions in the next post, but I thought the reasoning behind my predictions might be better understood if I explained my understanding of the Academy. I'm no expert but I do have some strong opinions, facts and tidbits to share about what I think these awards are really about.

The Academy Rules:

1. Just because a actor should win doesn't mean that he or she will win. The Oscars are all based on politics. Shocking, I know. This is the reason for the "Who should win versus Who will win" list that is used by many a reviewer and critic.

2. It is unlikely for an actor to win an award with his or her first nomination. For example, Johnny Depp was nominated for Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) and did possibly the most incredible performance of his career. Instead it went to Sean Penn in Mystic River (2003), one of the most amazing actors of this age, but he also had three nominations under his belt. It was just not Johnny's time to win and now that he has three nominations under his belt, his time may be coming. It may also had to do with the fact that it was a Disney film where he played a comedic character, which does not gain points with the ever-so-serious loving academy. It wasn't that Penn's performance wasn't good enough to win; it was, but it is not all that counts in the votes.

3. It is unlikely for an actor to win if they have won the previous year. One of the most heartbreaking examples that had me, at 15, screaming in shock at the television was when Russell Crowe was robbed by Denzel Washington. This is difficult for me to talk about because it is a definite rant topic. Russel Crowe didn't win for his mind-blowing performance in A Beautiful Mind (2001), because he had won the year before for Gladiator (2000). This brings me to my next rule.

4. When an actor has been nominated many times, they like to eventually give them an award even if someone else deserves it more. Denzel Washington had been nominated four times before and because he is such a loved actor, people believed he was jipped by the Academy. He had previously won for Supporting Actor in Glory (1989) but the two categories do not seem to overlap. This also leads to the next thing I know.

5. There is known to be certain themes in the kinds of recipients that recieve the awards in a certain year or in general. The year Denzel won, so did Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, the first African-American woman to win for Best Leading Actress, as well as being the year that Sidney Portier won the Honourary Award. These people are incredible actors but it seems like the Academy was trying to make a statement more so than celebrate great work. It is also known that the Academy seems to award beautiful women who make themselves uglier: Halle Berry in Moster's Ball (2001), Nicole Kidman in The Hours (2002), and Charlize Theron in Monster (2003).

. It is less likely that someone will will for a lone nomination. Basically, someone is less likely to win if they are the only good thing about the film and if it is not-so good and you just happen to be fantastic in it, it still makes you look bad by association. I think this might have also happened to Depp in 2003.

7. The Academy usually likes to surprise the audience with an unlikely winner just to shake up the show. So many predictions are made by reviewers and critics that it seems that just to make the show interesting they have to give the audience something unexpected. Some may think this is cruel to say but you can just wait and see. People thought that last year's Best Actress winner was going to be Ellen Page in Juno, which would have been well deserved, but she suffered from rule #2. Instead Marion Cotillard was the shocker for La Vie en Rose. There are a few possibilities for those this year as well.

All of this being said, I have stayed up
to watch them every year since I fell in love with movies and will continue to do so until something catastrophic happens and my brain is rewired to change the way I am.

Coming up next are the Oscar predictions...


  1. Ugh, all those rules you mentioned sadly all seem to be true. It's really too bad when actors don't get what they deserve just because some stuck-up group of people are too stubborn to do things the way they should.

    We need some riots!

  2. Yay, I'm glad someone agrees. I was afraid that people would be arguing with me about it. Unfortunately there is not enough room in a blog post to give the countless examples I have seen of these rules over my few years of watching them.

    I would riot! Movie-aholics unite!

  3. I am totally not an Oscar watcher, because I find the entire show to be a gigantic snore fest. Don't get me wrong, the people who are nominated (or win) deserved to be credited, but if it didn't take so frigging long, or they made it a lot more entertaining (like the year when Jon Stewart hosted, apparently that was hilarious as hell, but I believed I missed it because I was working) then it wouldn't be as big of a deal.

    What movie was Denzel in when he beat out Russell in '03? I saw A Beautiful Mind a couple of years after it came out, and I had been told a rather different plot synopsis from what actually happened in the movie (or, at least it seemed that way to me) so the movie, though good, wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. Mind you, I'm also not a Russell Crowe fan. I haven't seen him in many things, but the few things that I did see him in seemed rather lacking.

  4. Denzel won for Training Day. Booooohh! That's actaully not fair because I couldn't watch the whole thing. It was too ruthless and violent. And it's not that Denzel is a bad actor, but on his BEST day he comes nowhere close to Russel on his WORST. People have a lot of problems with Crowe, but I don't care that he throws phones at people, it does not dimish his acting skills in any way. Don't diss Russell to me unless you are very knowledgeable on the subject because I might just scratch your eyes out. I'm love him to death and it will be hard to convince me otherwise. So yes I may be biases, but just pay attention to his performance in the movie, I think it goes beyond any bias.
    And yes, a lot of award ceremonies in general are boring. The Golden Globes might be the exemption(it's fun and funny). But I still watch them.