Friday, October 17, 2008

The Oscars, Take II

Entertainment Weekly is gathering 7,000 Hollywood bigwigs to re-decide past Oscar races. The thinking is that, much of the time, the Academy gets it wrong (see Crash, 2005). A lot of other bullshit gets in the way - campaigning, politics, etc. - and films that end up becoming classics don't get their just due (see Citizen Kane losing to How Green Was My Valley, 1941). So now they're being redone. I love it:

Last summer, Matt Damon told EW, "The only way to judge a movie is 10 years down the line. I think they should do the Oscars that way. I wish this year we were voting on 1997." Funnily enough, EW's Sean Smith (who used to work with me at Premiere) had been thinking along the same lines: he pitched the idea of an Oscar revote to EW in July, 2007 when he was applying for the job of EW west coast bureau chief. It took this long to get this massive undertaking under way.

"Every year we talk about the effect of campaigns, and spending too much money and did they buy the Oscar, especially at the height of the Miramax era," says Smith, who was inspired by Brokeback Mountain's loss to Crash. "Would people stand by that five years later? Was it five years ahead of its time? We have all looked back and thought, 'they picked that?'" If a movie crosses time and generations and all that, does it still resonate? The object is, if you strip away everything, the campaigns, the timing, in terms of pure movie quality and performance, were the right films picked? If you voted again, would you vote the same way? It's voting without buzz."

The fact that Crash - literally one of the worst movies I have ever seen - beat Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture in 2005 will piss me off for the rest of my life. No exaggeration.

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