Yes, yes, we all know the Oscars don't really matter. The whole idea of competitive awards for artistic achievement is a little dicey to begin with, and the Academy Awards broadcast is just a self-congratulatory Hollywood wankfest, in which they get nearly everything wrong. (This is, after all, the body that incorrectly deemed How Green Was My Valley a better film than Citizen Kane, Ordinary People a better movie than Raging Bull, and that Crash was in any way better than being hit repeatedly in the skull with a ball-peen hammer.)
And who the hell remembers who won anyway? Pop quiz: who won Best Actress last year? No cheating now, but I'll give you some context: it was the year that The King's Speech—a perfectly pleasant, artistically uninspired crowd-pleaser—won Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Colin Firth), and Best Director (Tom Hooper). It missed the sweep of the Big Five, however, when Helena Bonham Carter lost the Best Actress Oscar to…
If you answered, "Who is Natalie Portman," you either remember Black Swan way better than I do, or you cheated, or you're my freakish mother who never forgets a useless piece of trivia. (Or maybe you're Natalie Portman herself. In which case: Hi, Natalie. Loved you in Beautiful Girls. Congratulations on your Oscar last year. Please choose better movies.)
Besides, by this point we're just sick to death of all of it. When I was a kid, the Oscars were the one night of the year when we could see all these famous and beautiful people dressed up in one place, but cable television changed all of that. By this point in the year we've already seen Christopher Plummer win a Golden Globe, a Screen Actor's Guild Award, a Critic's Choice Award, a BAFTA, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and a Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. We know he's going to win the Oscar, and, by this point, we just don't care—especially since we know that we're going to have to sit through a four-hour endurance test just to see him win another statue for what must be, by now, an increasingly tacky mantle.
So, haters, I hear you: the Oscars are too long, utterly predictable, scandalously commercial, culturally insignificant, and almost guaranteed to be—as they are every year—a gigantic disappointment.
But you know what, Sachean Littlefeather? I could give a rat's ass: I still like 'em. Continue reading