OscarGuy wrote:I sometimes wonder why so many of you still follow the Oscars if they are abandoning all that you once loved about them. The Academy is diversifying and is still a representation of the Hollywood elite, just like it always was. They just happen to be embracing the modernization of filmmaking, not sequestering itself in the past. I will admit that some need to be educated on the films of the past better than they are, but let's also remember that the Academy gave The Greatest Show on Earth Best Picture. Claiming that they are somehow the arbiters of taste and only the critics groups of ages past could possibly still be adequately prepared to judge the best of the year. Just because your primary outlet is print doesn't mean you are a better film critic than someone whose primary outlet is the internet. I can name any number of former print critics who are now writing solely on the internet. Have they suddenly lost their luster because they are now a "blogger?"
Damien, Cam and John Harkness are gone. Only Tee and I, of those who turned forty before the proliferation of the internet, still post on a regular basis so I guess this means us.
I don't know anyone that loves the Oscars per se. People love the idea of the Oscars, but there isn't a single soul that hasn't groused about individual nominations and wins from the start. The critics' groups, of which the New York Film Critics Circle, established in 1936, is the oldest, have had a fractious history from the outset as well. The National Board of Review started out as a censorship group. Their annual best picture list goes back to at least 1930, but they have always been dismissed by the critical elite, their greatest claim to fame being that they are almost always the first group out with their awards. The influence NBR, the NYFCC and later the National Society of Film Critics and the L.A. Film Critics have had on AMPAS is that they give direction to the voting members to catch up with the films they champion, but AMPAS has always gone its own way with the actual nominations, sometimes agreeing with them, sometimes not. Studio and publicist prodding, stars mingling with people they'd never associate with otherwise, all factor in their consideration. Newer critics organizations, not so much.
With the proliferation of new organizations that continue to pop up, it's impossible for AMPAS members to know which ones to take their cues from, so they generally don't. They'll take notice of trends, but won't rush to see a film that some group they barely heard of gave an award to someone or something they hadn't considered, especially in these days of scheduling time to look at screeners during the busy holiday season before having to cast their ballots. Boston, Chicago and Kansas City critics' organizations, for example, have been around a long time, but AMPAS rarely pays attention to their non-mainstream choices.
Guild awards are important because they reflect what industry members think, but are not an absolute in predicting how AMPAS will go. SAG, The Globes, the Broadcast Film Critics and latterly, BAFTA awards, most of which are presented before final Oscar ballots are due, are important to the process because they are televised and project how the potential winners will act at the Oscars. These things can affect close races.
So, while awards from the Spokane Online Film Critics Association (is there really such a thing?) or at the other end of the spectrum, the AARP Award for Grown-Ups, might be nice for the recipients or their family and friends, it really won't affect the Oscar race. The point is that if we get worked up over the early NBR, NYFC and to an extent the LAFC voting more than we do the other organizations' choices, it's because we know that those are the things that influence AMPAS the most.