I think I have only seen one or two of the Oscar nominated films this year, and I like it that way. I actually do it on purpose. I don’t like seeing the films (for my blog) until after the awards show so that I know the winners. I like being able to comment on whether or not I agree with the win and what I think they did to deserve an Oscar.
A lot of people I know don’t watch the Oscars. They say that they don’t like watching Hollywood pat each other on the back and celebrate themselves. A small part of me understands that, but the rest of me doesn’t. I was a film student, and at the end of every year we had a film festival just for the students enrolled in film courses. As someone who has spent hours and hours (mostly outside of the classroom) working on short films (all of them under 10 minutes long), I really really looked forward to the festival because I got to celebrate with my fellow creators the absolute joy, heartache, physical exhaustion, and emotional devastation that creating a film does to you. One minute of film on the screen is equivalent to ten hours of work behind the scenes.
One minute of film on the screen is equivalent to ten hours of work behind the scenes.
The Oscars were originally not about the public. In 1929, they announced the winners before awards night and there was very little press at all about the event. Over the years, as television and the media became a whole other animal, it got more and more public. These hard working people can’t even celebrate their achievements among their peers without a camera in their face.
Whenever I participated in a film festival, I would be so nervous I would be nauseous. I would curl up in a ball in my seat and hide my face with my hands. I would avidly listen to the audience, blush when my character or my actor showed a strong emotion, or fidget restlessly when a plot twist was about to reveal itself. After the night I would be relieved and giddy and feel like a warrior who could take on the world. When you pour everything you have into something, it is hard to keep it to yourself. And yet when you are so creatively naked and vulnerable in front of your peers, it is terrifying.
I applaud every creator who finds success. I admire anyone who has the courage to put their work out there. If they have the immense honor to be nominated by the Academy, and therefore everyone who they admire in their industry, they deserve to get dressed up and feel good about themselves. I’m just the lucky duck who gets to watch their night from my couch.
I understand that the film industry is a unique animal. It has flaws. There are a lot of careers that are incredibly difficult and require a lot of bravery and are not celebrated like this. They get work parties or thank you cards. They get personal satisfaction. Maybe they will have an article published. The creative world is different, but most worlds require validation from others in order to obtain success.
If you win an Oscar, or I would argue, if you are even nominated for an Oscar, you know that the majority of your industry has acknowledged the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your baby, and you came out on top.
If you don’t like the Oscars, I won’t try to change your mind. But I love them, perhaps because I understand them, and also because I am a sucker for sparkly dresses.