Waste of time?

Award season a guilty pleasure

Casey Beal | guest writer

Some people think award season is nothing but a bunch of rich people dressing up and rubbing the public’s faces in how much more money they have than us. I, however, am not one of those people.
I love award season. It’s fun watching all these multimillionaires wear their fancy clothes and blubber all over themselves and act so surprised when they win their category.
People enjoy the awards for many reasons. Some like to watch just to see if their guesses are correct. Others watch so they can make fun of the losers. Then, there are those who watch to see if these people, whom we expect to be perfect in award-show moments, will trip going up the stairs or say something dumb during their acceptance speech or when walking the red carpet.
I like the award shows for all these reasons. I just love the competitive aspect award shows bring to what would otherwise just be the regular entertainment that music, television and movies bring.
The Oscars are my favorite because I love movies. They are more prestigious than the Golden Globes, which are also awards for movies. This is probably because the Golden Globes have a lot more categories than the Oscars.
The Globes split up the categories based on the movie genre. For example, the best picture awards are split up as best drama and best comedy or musical. The actors are divided in the same way. So for a film to win a best picture award at the Globes doesn’t mean it will win the Oscar because it is going up against more films from different genres.
I try to see all the movies that are nominated for an Oscar in the best picture category. I have not seen all of them this year but of the ones I did see, “Les Misérables” was by far my favorite. And I was surprised when it lost to “Argo.”
These two films won their respective best picture categories in the Golden Globes. Having seen both, I was rooting for Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, who gave the performances of their lives.
I was also not happy that Jackman lost to Daniel Day-Lewis (nominated for his performance in “Lincoln”) for best actor. This was the same situation as the “Les Misérables” vs. “Argo” debate. Jackman won a Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Daniel Day-Lewis won for best actor in a drama. So it was either man’s award to lose at the Oscars.
But while I don’t always agree with the outcome, I will still try to watch every award show every year.

No sense in actors awarding other actors

Taylor Patterson | guest writer

And the award for the biggest waste of time goes to …
Taylor Patterson, sophomore in communication.
Does it go to Learning Latin? Protesting Fred Phelps? Flossing? No. In this category, film and TV award shows definitely win it by a landslide. This past Sunday, more than 40 million viewers tuned in to watch a parade of ridiculously expensive gowns, self-infatuated celebrities and obnoxious commentators on the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
The most popular of these awards, including the Academy Awards and the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards give titles like Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and others based solely on votes from colleagues in the industry. This makes the entire process extremely political. It is impossible to prove whether these awards are based purely on skill, commitment to the Academy or popularity.
Because of the secrecy of the judging process, we’ll never know exactly whom Leonardo DiCaprio angered to create his historic streak of snubs from the Academy, including this year’s lack of nomination for Best Supporting Actor in “Django Unchained.” The judgment process of these shows is so bogus that their recognitions are losing credibility. Adding to the harm of award shows is their crumbling of the integrity of art.
Many performers and technicians of the film industry would consider their work to be a style of art, whether it’s Anne Hathaway’s performance in “Les Misérables,” Michael Kahn’s film editing in “Lincoln,” or the makeup and hairstylists of “The Hobbit.” Comparing these artists with their fellow nominees is, to put it plainly, unfair. How can you justify comparing the writing of Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” to Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and then claim which writer is more talented? They are apples and oranges.
You may have a preference for one over the other, but ultimately you cannot say which is best. Claiming these ridiculous awards as the highest honor for people in this medium only limits artists’ expression and encourages television and moviemakers to conform to what is popular to their peers.
Not only is the whole award system a joke, but so is the ceremony. For over three hours on Sunday night, viewers watched rich celebrities congratulate one another on their successful movies.
Commentators asked very seriously about what each star was wearing and we, as an audience, “ooh’d” and “ahh’d” over the crazy prices of these luxurious outfits. Think how much better our society would be if these celebrities, instead of wasting money on a one-night gown, put forth these tens of thousands of dollars to noble charities.
Some might say that these award shows shed light on the lesser known films like “Amour” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” However, because films are not required to be viewed nationwide in order to receive consideration from the Academy, chances are, most residents of smaller, less urban towns were never given the opportunity to see these films in theaters. And, yes, award shows can be entertaining; you never know when Jennifer Lawrence will trip and say something wacky or when Meryl Streep will enchant the audience with her stunning charm.
However, our society’s fascination with these celebrities only encourages idolatry to people who aren’t worthy of it. Where is the night of glamour for nurses and parole officers? Where’s the night of honor for my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Nester? What makes Daniel Day-Lewis more deserving of public recognition than my twice-as-hardworking Papa?
I’m not saying performers and technicians should not receive recognition for their stunning work, I’m merely asking to what ridiculous lengths do we have to go to prove that some movies are better than others?

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