Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Time Between the Oscar Nomainations Announcement and the Oscars- The things which are a given.

And we are off! Welcome to the official start of Oscar season!

Yesterday the nominations were announced for the 89th Academy Awards, which are to be held on Sunday February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Today, all the talk has been about La La Land receiving an incredible 14 nominations, Meryl Streep once again beating her own record with her 20th nomination, the abolishment of #OscarsSoWhite in glorious fashion and tales of where all the nominees were when they found out the news. Our favourite nominee story is that of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who chose to watch the Roger Federer Australian Open tennis match rather than the nominations announcement.

It's an extremely exciting time for all who live and love film. The nominations announcement is like Christmas morning for film fans and the actual Oscars is the event of the year when you shed a tear at seeing your favourites honoured in the most amazing way possible.

However, what happens during the month between those two days do I put it....interesting to say the least. There are certain things that happen and are talked about that are just a given in every Oscar season I'm not talking about how Hollywood and it's stars prepare for the big night and the parties that take place all week, but the things that you probably didn't even think about that take place every single year without fail.

Take a read and then try not think about this list next time you see an example of one of these!

Those who suddenly appear out of oblivion to have their say on EVERYTHING
Now everyone on social media will know exactly what I am talking about here. These are the people who show no or little interest in film all year until award season...then they all come out of the woods and have to vocalise their thoughts on all the nominees, the snubs, the Academy itself and then...why not....any conspiracy theory involving Hollywood and film because it just seems convenient.

To be honest, these people are generally the type to give their opinion on everything anyway so you shouldn't have too many problems identifying them. However, there is one thing an Awards Cynic will always say that makes them easy to recognise and this is:-

"I don't care about the Oscars, but...."

OK, if you are going to say something relating to the Oscars, you obviously do care enough if you feel you need to say something. If you really don't care about the Oscars, who don't you just roll your eyes and move along?! The internet has given everyone the ability to have a say about what they believe, but Oscars season always see's the appearance of those who are vocal film buffs for a month and really don't care about film for the other 11 months of the year.

These Award Cynics also flock to Twitter during the Oscars telecast to criticise everything about the event. The performances are terrible, the fashion isn't what it used to be, the winners aren't deserving, the host isn't funny.....etc,etc. Their pessimism is so overwhelming that paying attention to them almost puts you off the Oscars yourself...almost.

People start treating films like football teams
This is one feature of award season that I've noticed this year more than others, but it isn't by any means mutually exclusive to 2017.

So we have a pool of nine films in the Best Picture category. Right now, there are clearly two frontrunners and the dark horse. This doesn't sound to different to a football competition really. Seriously, people are either Team La La Land or Team Moonlight, with a few also being Team Manchester By The Sea. And this isn't just film fanatics taking part in this, the media has a large part to play in taking sides.This doesn't sound too bad, but people have been getting so passionate about these teams on social media that it is quite disconcerting.

In one instance, a friend of mine was not a fan of La La Land and was subject to a crazy amount of tweets from fans of the film who weren't happy about her dislike, despite her having justified why she didn't like it. I liked the film, but really...we are all entitled to our opinions and just like a football team we support, it isn't going to directly have any effect on our lives if La La Land, Moonlight or Manchester By The Sea wins Best Picture. And guess what? You can actually like more than one of these films and not base your awards happiness on whether one of them wins!

The outrage over Oscar snubs
This is an absolute given after the nominations are announced. Every year there is outrage from fans and media outlets alike (and last year from Jada Pinkett-Smith regarding her husband) about who has missed out on being nominated and who has received a nomination who shouldn't have. This year most of the Oscar snub talk has been surrounding Amy Adams missing out on a nomination for Arrival.

However, with five places available in each nominated category (besides Best Picture), people are always going to miss out. There have been some true snubs over history, but personally I think the word "snub" is often overused when talking about someone who has missed out on a nomination. Missing out and being snubbed are not the same thing. Sometimes other films or performances were just a little bit better. Yet, saying it was a snub sounds so much better and is always a talking point in the days that follow the nominations announcement.

Those who Hollywood has condemned
This is another source of outrage that seems to happen if not every year, every few years. It's the notion of whether someone who has a past offence is worthy of becoming a nominee or an Oscar recipient. This year this nominee and probable Oscar winner who is the focus of this outrage is Casey Affleck. I'm not going to voice my opinion on whether or not the backlash he is receiving is justified, but this isn't anything new during Oscar season. Woody Allen has been subject to this backlash numerous times. There is also whispers about whether Mel Gibson should have been forgiven and received his nomination for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge this year.

Again, I won't give any personal opinions on this, but it is something many other people are happy to do. This is not anything new and often during this time the past lives of nominees get dragged into the spotlight.

The sudden rush to see all the nominees
The cinemas become alive again! Once a film becomes an Oscar nominee, they experience a whole new life at the box office. People rush out to see these films which are approved by the Academy as being award-worthy and therefore certified wonderful (although at the same time, many find out that just because the Academy nominates them, doesn't make them the type of film they will enjoy). Many films are re-released into cinemas once they are nominated for an Academy Award, so while many people will tell you that awards mean nothing, they certainly don't do any harm.

Let the betting begin!
So this is probably the most inevitable of the award season givens. Everyone likes the have a say about who is going to win each of the major awards and many like to hold tipping competitions. My advice is to follow the awards shows (particularly the guild awards) closely, as an upset very, very rarely comes out of nowhere. Avoid betting with your heart, as our personal favourites very rarely win. It's all about who takes the awards along the way.

Happy Oscars season everyone!

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