What are the Oscars

Early this year, everyone was talking about how this year’s Oscar hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway had been real duds. Any host in an Oscar Awards ceremony should entertain the audiences with smart jokes and some nice comments. But all the two able actors did was joke around lamely on the stage. But if the entertainment runs dry, we turn our attention to the big winners of the night. Sure, it is really inspiring to see the deserving actors, filmmakers, writers and technicians get their due for the effort on films. But sometimes, the more deserving people have been sidelined in the race for the golden trophies. This is rather unfortunate and unfair as well.

The Oscars are also known as the Academy Awards. These have been widely recognized as the ultimate trophy or accolade for any major filmmaker, screenwriter, actor and technician. The Oscars were formally inaugurated in 1929. Today, more than 80 years after its official inauguration, the Oscar’s ceremony holds the recognition of being one of the most anticipated events on national television. People plug in to their TV sets to watch the hosts and also applaud the winners of the trophies. This explains why Franco and Hathaway failed to draw in more crowds. This also suggests that the older hosts were bigger entertainers and made up for some grand time for TV viewers.

But it is not just a good host that has brought in big bucks to the ceremony exhibitors and broadcasters. As a study of Nielsen ratings indicates, people watch more of the Oscar ceremony if their favorite film, or a film much lauded and also successful, goes on to win the coveted Best Picture trophy. Think about the time when ‘Titanic’ went on to win a whopping 11 Oscars. The reports indicate that the ceremony had an equally big share of 57.25 million viewers. In sharp contrast, the lesser known and independent films went on to excite lesser attention.

Such differences illustrate some of the Academy’s choices and nominations itself. On one hand, one can see that big-budget blockbusters like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lord Of Rings’ have won so many awards, whereas the more deserving films have lost out in the competition. On the other hand, the Academy has also lauded smaller films, with stronger plots. We can see in the some of the recent Oscar ceremonies how films like ‘The Departed’, ‘The Hurt Locker’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ have won the major accolades.

Being an avid movie watcher, I would say that some of the Oscar’s choices are rather unfair and biased. Often, big budget films with good scripts and performances are not considered to be good enough for good wins. But the Academy does one fair thing. Its Best Picture choices may be a bit unclear, but it gives the rightful credit to the writers, technicians and actors who struggle so much.


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