What’s Really Wrong With the Oscars?

I don’t know why I would read an article in Vox magazine entitled “This is the most populist Oscars in a long time.  So why doesn’t it feel like it?   I guess it’s because sometimes I wonder what Hollywood thinks about its own destruction.  I really should stop wondering.  But anyway.

This article is centered around a recent Saturday Night Live skit about how no one can name any movies in the last five years.

“This is an interesting problem for me, a film critic, to think about. I watch more movies in a year than some people watch in a lifetime, and hear about hundreds more. The situation is different for most ordinary folks. In the SNL sketch, Yang asks Pascal to “name three movies from the past five years.” Stunned by the challenge, Pascal ventures, “Oh, wow. Three? Okay.” He contemplates, and comes up with Top Gun. Then he tries another: “The Hangover?”

“That was 20 years ago,” Yang says.

“The Night … Man,” Pascal says.

“Sounds like you’re just saying words. Come on, all you need is one,” Yang coaxes. “Can’t you just name one more movie?”

“Nope,” Pascal says, resigned.

“That’s right!” Yang crows, jubilantly. “Nope! You won the speed round!””

So, this is supposed to be funny but it’s just reality.  Hollywood can no longer make a good movie.  At this point if one happens it’s an accident.  All we’re left with are sequels and superheroes.  When they stray away from those mainstays we end up with a dreary story about tortured people that have some affliction like transgenderism or Tourette’s syndrome who we’re supposed to cheer on as they bravely struggle to force the world to struggle along with them.  Or maybe it’s a genre film; science fiction or film noir where the protagonists are transgender or have Tourette’s syndrome and the people who aren’t transgender or don’t have Tourette’s syndrome are the evil villains.  Or it’s a story about lesbian or gay love.  Or it’s a documentary about a woman who was being kept down by “the man” but now she’s the head of a multi-national non-profit that makes bean bag furniture for everyday people.  Or it’s a documentary about a mostly peaceful riot during the Summer of George Floyd.  Or best of all, maybe it’ll be another story about slavery in the antebellum South.  What a joy that would be!

But, no!  The authoress then reveals the real problem, it’s just poor marketing!  So, get that.  In a world in which you are bombarded with ads on every device you can possibly own, on every site you enter, giant media companies aren’t able to tell you they have a movie coming out.

“The abundance of options and possibilities tend to strip the context and intentionality away from the viewing experience; you didn’t have to talk to your friends about what movie you wanted to see, buy a ticket, and create an experience out of it. Now it all just flows toward you, content in an endless stream.”

This is gibberish.  I suspect this woman was dropped on her head at some point in the past and never recovered her wits.  Or maybe she thinks we were.  Of course, people heard about movies from friends.  The problem is all the movies are now unwatchable so our friends don’t have anything to tell us.  It’s like what happened to broadcast television.  The profit model changed so they stopped making things that were good and filled up the time with reality shows and police procedurals where the police are all young women who have really nice hair and clothes and only arrest straight white men who are keeping the BIPoCs, LGBTQ and women “down.”

There are no good movies to see.  Even the superhero movies have become infested with woke characters and plots.  And that why Top Gun made a bazillion dollars last year.  It was an old-fashioned movie with a plot and likeable characters and it didn’t show you anything weird that you had to make believe you liked.

“It’s okay if you haven’t seen most of the Oscar nominees, or even heard of them. In 2023, that probably means you live a normal, well-balanced life, one full of going outside to toss around a softball and maybe, I don’t know, reading books and whatever normal people do. But if you find yourself wondering why you can’t name three movies that came out in the past five years, remember, it’s not just the movies’ fault — and it’s a fixable problem, with a little effort.”

It’s not a fixable problem because Hollywood cannot be fixed.  It has been in a death spiral and that’s now approaching impact.  When it splats it will leave a lot of stupid emotional people without jobs.  Good.

It can only be replaced by something willing to provide entertainment that people are willing to pay for and willing to watch.  And that is why no one with half a brain will be watching the Oscars this year or any other year.  Pass the popcorn.

 

 

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Chemist
Chemist
1 year ago

I came to answer your question “What is wrong with the Oscars”? (Although I agree with the rant about crappy movies.) 1) Too long. If you can’t get it done in 2 hours – don’t do it. People have lives, they need to get up in the morning. 2) Too woke. Stop awarding movies no one is ever going to watch just because they are woke. 3) Too much self preening. Take your award. Thank you mama, high school drama coach and your spouse – then get off the stage. We don’t want to hear about your current pet project.… Read more »

ArthurinCali
1 year ago

I might get rotten produce thrown at me for this, but I really enjoyed Denis Villeneuve Dune re-make. He is the director of Blade Runner 2049, Sicario, and Arrival.

Neil Dunn
Neil Dunn
1 year ago

My wife and I like to watch the Oscars because of the commercials. Oh wait–that’s the
Super Bowl.