The Oscar. It is the most prestigious award in the film industry. It
is given out as a symbol of excellence. The best of the best are
supposed to be the ones who get these little statues. But is it really
like that in real life? Do the most deserving always get the awards or
is Oscar nothing more than a popularity contest? While we will in no
way attempt to answer that question, since it could never really be
proved, we are going to take a look at some of Oscar's more dubious
moments that left people wondering if this award is really nothing more
than a poorly disguised popularity contest.
You don't have to go
any farther back than this past years ceremony when Brokeback Mountain
was the overwhelming favorite to win the award for best movie. Critics
from all over almost agreed unanimously that it was the best movie of
the year. But there was a big problem with Brokeback Mountain. It
focused on a theme that the powers that be at Oscar land viewed as very
controversial, that of homosexual cowboys. Plenty of people, especially
in the Mid West were up in arms over this movie. Ultimately, the best
picture award went to a movie called "Crash" that most people never
even heard of. One can't help but feel that Brokeback Mountain lost
because of the controversy surrounding it.
In 1998 there was a
powerful anti war film by the name of "Saving Private Ryan". It was
said that the first 15 minutes of the film were such that if it didn't
make a lasting impression on anyone seeing it then they were either
brain dead or without feeling. This movie was the clear favorite to win
that year's award, except for one problem. The movie was extremely
violent and showed war as it really is, ugly and disgusting. You needed
a strong stomach to be able to watch this powerful film without getting
sick. Well, when Oscar time came, the winner for best picture went to
an obscure film by the name of "Shakespeare In Love". This had many
people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.
one of the greatest action movies of all time was released. This movie
brought back the old time serial cliff hanger days and literally had
people on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. The movie was
"Raiders Of The Lost Ark". This movie was the clear favorite to win the
Oscar for best picture. But that same year, a sentimental movie by the
name of "Chariots Of Fire" came out. It was nowhere near as great a
movie, but the sentimental theme made it very "popular" with the
academy and it ultimately won for best picture. Again, people were left
wondering what happened.
All throughout the history of the
Oscars, upsets like these have been going on, either because one movie
was controversial or another movie tugged on some heart strings, even
though it was not a technically great movie. So one has to wonder. Is
Oscar really nothing more than a politically correct popularity contest?
One will never really know.