And the winner is…

Come onnnnnn, 'Old Dogs'...

It’s movie awards season time, and by the time you read this the Golden Globes are done and dusted. For the record, ‘Avatar’ won Best Drama, ‘The Hangover’ won Best Musical or Comedy, and James Cameron won Best Director.

Now OFFICIALLY an award winning film

I love the furor and debate these shows spark. This year you’ll hear a lot of “I can’t believe Kathryn Bigelow wasn’t Best Director!”, or “Avatar was terrible!”, or “But I hated Meryl Streep in all of those fucking movies!”

Which is fair enough.

But you know what? ‘Avatar’ will win a truckload of Oscars this year. Sam Worthington could get nominated for playing a large Smurf. Meryl Streep must get nominated for Best Actress, regardless of the movies she’s been in. There has to be a tearful acceptance speech. ‘Precious’ will be their ‘little-independent-film-that-could’ (see ‘Sunshine, Little Miss’) of 2009. And none of it matters.

Why?

Do you really think at the end of the day these awards have anything to do with quality whatsoever?

News flash people: Art is always going to be 100% subjective. There are people out there who will tell you that, without a shadow of a doubt, ‘2012’ was “the best movie, man. Sooo good!”. And they’re right, in their own mono-syllabic way. There is no way to gauge the ‘best’ of any art form, least of all film.

Guess what? Film companies are brilliant at lobbying for award season nominations. They advertise shamelessly for them in a big, bad way. They send out awesome ‘For Your Consideration’ packages to Academy voters. They spruik the ‘prestige’ of particular projects, and time their release and media exposure to the second. Why do you think the majority of films nominated hit the cinemas between December and February?

Academy Awards = money. Lots and lots of money.

For an insight into this process I highly recommend Peter Biskind’s book ‘Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film’. The Weinstein brothers practically created this shameless approach to awards season glory. Don’t believe me? They produced and promoted Oscar winners ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘The Piano’, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘The English Patient’. Harvey and Bob Weinstein would often spend as much on marketing and promotion to win these awards as they did on a film’s entire production budget.

A case study: Remember when ‘Saving Private Ryan’ missed out on winning ‘Best Picture’ in 1998 for THIS movie?

Remember when Gwynnie cried? And we all groaned?

That was Harvey and Bob.

I’m not saying don’t have your favorites. Just know that there’s no such thing as an accurate or just awards show. The Oscars and the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s and the DGA Awards et al, aren’t actually about crowning the best of anything.

It’s about Hollywood and Hollywood-types celebrating themselves for 2 or 3 months. James Cameron asking a room full of actors and filmmakers to applaud each other for their collective awesomeness at Monday’s Globes may have been the most fitting and appropriate symbolic gesture you’ll see all year.

Besides, that dude can officially now do anything he wants to. Anyone who can convince this many people to see both ‘Titanic’ AND ‘Avatar’ must truly be one of God’s Chosen, and thus not a man to be trifled with. Either that, or Satan’s producing his flicks.

And Satan has a slightly better marketing department than the Weinstein’s. But only slightly.

See you on the blue carpet (like what I did there, Mr. Cameron?!)

BPM

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