Andrew here, to talk about the Oscar nominations. It’s been one week since they were announced and are we all talked out? Of course not. The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences can't catch a break from its loudest critics each year. People often view the Oscars as some kind of monolothic entity and not as a group of individual persons with specific tastes, which grants them the aura of sinister agenda like a Bond villain. And given the weight of the crown -- Oscar remains the most significant film award -- they're subject to the sort of ardent scrutiny that would reveal flaws in even the most ostensibly immaculate of things.
Whether you're a lover or agnostic on AMPAS, there is no denying that they provide fodder for movie conversation the way few other things do. But there's one frustratingly circular and inescapable bit of criticism which comes each year that I find particular exasperating. I'm referring to the complaints which always follow a critically maligned film earning Oscar laurels, specifically for technical proficiency. “Did you hear The Lone Ranger earned as many nominations as Inside llewyn Davis.” or “The Transformers trilogy has earned more collective Oscar nominations than the Before trilogy.” or “The Wolfman has an Oscar, Peter O’Toole does not.” And so on. I almost always think it’s meant facetiously, until I realise these lazy claims are used as legitimate attempts to illegitimatise the worth of the AMPAS (an entirely different topic altogether). It’s all part of a yearly unchanging cry from movie lovers, “How can X (Terrible Film) be an Oscar winner/nominee when Y (Great Film) is not?" [more...]