The Oscar of Despair | The Press

The Oscars are elitist, the Oscars are out of touch, the Oscars snub the general public. The Oscars have been blamed for everything since the 94 finalistsand Awards were unveiled last week. And that the box office champion, Spider-Man: No Way Homewas not there.

Posted at 6:00 a.m.

On Monday, the famous Academy which oversees the Oscars announced the creation of a new prize in anticipation of its gala on March 27, in Los Angeles. The award for the most popular film of the year, which will be granted by virtue of a public vote on Twitter. They will be allowed to vote up to 20 times a day for their favorite film.

And that’s how you turn an event that still has a minimum of credibility into a popularity contest (one more). By selling off its reputation, by devaluing all of its prizes and by shading its true winners. Fortunately, ridicule does not kill, because I would not give a lot of skin to those who participated in this Zoom meeting.

No one is going to stay up until midnight to find out if a road movie Japanese subtitled three hours on the mourning of a director of Chekhov will win the Oscar for best film. But what to do ? Let’s organize a contest on a social network that Gen Z does not frequent and hope that in the end, Zendaya and her boyfriend come pick up a prize!

Genius. I’m well aware that the ratings for the Oscars have been in free fall for the past few years. But what a lack of subtlety. What a clumsy way to thank Spider-Man for saving Hollywood cinema from the pandemic.

Ten million viewers attended the Oscars in 2021, a 56% drop from the previous edition. This is the smallest audience in the history of the ceremony. the excellent nomadland by Chloé Zhao won the most prestigious statuette of American cinema.

“When did we decide that the best film had to be serious? When did it become a prerequisite for being an Oscar finalist? asked 2017 and 2018 Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel the same night the 94 finalistsand gala have been announced. He was offended by the lack of Spiderman among the finalists.


Host Jimmy Kimmel

What’s ironic is that Kimmel asked these questions when Don’t Look Upan incredible satire, and Licorice Pizza, not very “serious” as its name suggests, are finalists. And that since the category of the best film welcomes up to ten finalists, we have seen works as little “serious” as Up, Toy Story 3, Hugo, Mad Max: Fury Road, La La Land, Get Out, Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther and Jojo Rabbit.

Two years ago, Parasitea hybrid of social comedy and genre film – Korean Bougons finding themselves in a horror film – won the Oscar for best film.

I saw Spider-Man: No Way Home, as soon as he returned to the poster at the beginning of the month. It’s great entertainment, filled with special effects and references to other superhero movies. It’s arguably one of the best films in the “Marvel Universe”. It is not, however, a masterpiece of the seventh art.

My 15 year old son, who is a fanboy of Marvel, might say the opposite. But to revive Jimmy Kimmel: since when should the Oscars go to films obsessively loved by 15-year-old boys?

The Oscars are not the MTV Movie Awards. I’m not saying superhero movies should be excluded from the Oscars. As proof, Heath Ledger won an Oscar (fully deserved) for his role as the Joker in The Dark Night. Nor would Andrew Garfield have been an intruder in the Best Supporting Actor category for Spiderman. No more than JK Simmons for Being the Ricardos. I had fun seeing Spidermanbut it’s not The Power of the Dog.

This did not prevent Jimmy Kimmel, again him, from ironizing that Jane Campion’s film had been nominated as many times for the Oscars (12 times) as it had spectators.

Only one person would have seen The Power of the Dog and it still deserves to win the Oscar for best picture. The Oscars ceremony is not the Artis gala. If it remains, in general, consensual and American-centrist – despite the exceptions that confirm the rule – it continues to reward artistic merit at the expense of popularity (which is measured weekly at the box office).

If fewer people watch the Oscars, it’s not so much because the finalists are less popular (a gala dress is a gala dress). Apart from the exceptional years, when the choices of the Academy agree with those of the general public and that a film like titanic is acclaimed, the candidates in the advanced categories are not the heavyweights of the box office.

So why are people watching less and less of the Oscars? In particular because more and more possibilities are offered to them and because, in a television landscape which has evolved enormously, the evening of the Oscars remains a desperately boring show.

In recent years, there was no longer a host to greet the audience with a comedic, failed, or controversial opening monologue. The turn-by-turn entertainment of Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes doesn’t inspire much confidence in me, but it’ll still be better than a mute DJ filling the time until the break.

Surely there are more ways to rekindle public interest in the Oscars than a desperate attempt to entice it by letting anyone vote (up to 20 times a day!) for anything.

I may be a pure and hard cinephile, who admires the various trades of the cinema, giving so many technical prizes on the air to illustrious strangers is anti-television. If we subtracted half the prizes awarded, and at the same time, half the duration of this interminable gala of awkward thanks, I am convinced that there would be more viewers at the rendezvous.

Until then, what I wish for the leaders of the Oscars, so that they take the full measure of their stupidity, is that a film as bad as Dear Evan Hansen — among the lowest-rated of 2021 on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes (33% favorable reviews from critics, vs. 88% from audiences) — wins an Oscar.

With that, you will excuse me. I have a mediocre musical to win.