Gold Statues and the Actor

I am an actor.

Apparently, that simple fact means that I’m really supposed to care about the Academy Awards. Would I go if I was invited? Yeah, sure, seems like a good career move. Do I actually care who wins and who loses? Not really. Movies can certainly be judged according to craftsmanship and artistic merit, yes, but it’s all subjective in the end. Sure, most of us can agree that “Critters 4” is a hunk of garbage, but whether Birdman is a better picture than Boyhood is beyond me. I didn’t like either of them, personally, but that’s more because these kinds of movies are not my thing. If they are your thing, I’m sure the Oscar race is really entertaining. But just like a person doesn’t really care who wins the Super Bowl because his or her favorite team didn’t make the playoffs, I don’t care who wins the Oscars because neither John Wick nor The Equalizer were nominated for anything.

Are my kinds of movies inherently less classy than the “important” dramas that get celebrated year after year during awards season? Yeah, probably, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t made well. And John Wick is certainly more entertaining than Boyhood or Birdman, and at the very least a helluva lot shorter. I’m not above enjoying a good drama, so don’t get me wrong here. But, see, when I sit down to watch a movie because I’m in the mood for a damn movie, I tend to lean toward these genres: action, horror, sci-fi and sometimes even comedy (usually the indie ones, as studio comedy fare tends to get stale real quick like.) And in all these genres, there are the movies that transcend the trappings of the type of story they are telling, and even people who don’t normally like these kinds of movies will be entertained. However, if I watch one of these things that is less than perfect, I can find plenty to forgive since it is my type of movie. A lot of people lean towards dramatic films as their favorite genre. For some reason this is the genre that gets celebrated and put on important lists and heaped with golden statues. I would say the people that love dramas are more likely to enjoy the imperfections of Birdman and Boyhood because the drama is their thing. I’m not above admiring some elements of these movies, either, but I just don’t understand why drama is generally the only genre represented by the Academy. (And yes, I know that Wes Anderson movie is a comedy, but it is a quirky thing with weird flare that the Academy is willing to consider because it went out of its way to be “different.” Even though maybe, perhaps, I don’t know…there were funnier movies in 2014.)

In any event, I at least get invited to this slam-bang Oscar party every year filled with a lot of actors and writers and snarky comments that make me giggle. (This year, there was a lot of complaining about the telecast’s joke writing from my particular peanut gallery.) So I can drink and be merry with the Oscars. Why not? But I don’t really feel like some outsider who hasn’t been let into the special club, and only gets to sadly watch through the window of television. Like I said, going to the Oscars is a great career move, but I don’t pine for the day when I finally get invited. They aren’t celebrating my kind of movies.

I guess it’s up to me to celebrate them. And maybe it’s up to me to celebrate me, too.

Yay for me!


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