My two cents about that article, and because I'm avoiding things I should be doing now:
The Oscars: Who calls the shots?
"For most of the history of the Academy, going back to 1927, the film that wins best picture tends to be the one that makes you cry. That gets you where you live. It says something that's true and recognisable about the state of our lives that gets you on an emotional level. But [Ampas president] Tom Sherak has been aggressively bringing in newer members, and over the last few years the emotional gut-punch movies have not been winning. Except when Brokeback Mountain lost: that was the last surge, the last stand of what I call the 'geezer vote'. That was basically the people like Tony Curtis, the 70-plus crowd who couldn't abide the idea of two sheep-herders getting it on. That was the last time."
This article is interesting, but I think it lacks a lot of credibility, whether it's true or not, because it lacks something.
When I write about Brokeback Mountain not winning best pic because of homophobia, I always include the
evidence available to make my points about that. This article totally just believes what it says without providing
one stick of evidence. And I have to disagree with this above notion that 1.) The film that makes you cry usually
wins. Huh? Without naming all of them, an example or two from each decade The Broadway Melody, It Happened
One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Lost Weekend, Gigi, Around the World in 80 Days, My Fair Lady, A Man for All
Seasons, The Sting, Annie Hall, The Last Emperor, Shakespeare in Love, Lord of the Rings, Chicago, Slumdog Millionaire,
crash--well it made me cry for other reasons...
Some of these are dramas, sure, but dramas do not always mean crying--some are idea based or history based, etc.
The last few years the "gut punch" movies have not been winning? I submit that The Departed, No Country for Old
Men, Slumdog Millionaire and The Hurt Locker were all of that variety and not only that, expected to win.
The more i think about it, what do these things really mean anyway, especially without evidence--circumstantial or factual?
As for "they vote for the babes," it is true that younger women are more apt to win a best actress award, but then, older women don't make as many movies, as older actresses always say. And then, I guess you'd have to count Helen
Mirren, Jessica Tandy, Shirley Booth, Shirley MacLaine, Marie Dressler and others as Babes. Jessica Tandy won against
Michelle Pfeiffer for pete's sake.
I also submit that in 1990 Annette Bening, who was nominated, WAS a Babe. She lost to Whoopi Goldberg whom I
have never heard described as a babe. The other actress who won that year was no babe either: Kathy Bates.
This article does what people accuse me of doing (I don't mean here, although that has happened) when I write about
BBM's best pic loss. It has a theory and then uses the actual results of what wins to prove their theory. In other words,
they come up with an explanation, but do so without the evidence, factual or circumstantial, to make the case. They
just write. Under scrutiny, some of the statements in this article don't hold up.
And the author phrases this sentence like there is something wrong with it: "For most of the history of the Academy, going back to 1927, the film that wins best picture tends to be the one that makes you cry. That gets you where you live. It says something that's true and recognisable about the state of our lives that gets you on an emotional level.
I don't see any reason why a movie deemed Best Picture shouldn't make you "feel" something. That it shouldn't say
something that's true and recognizable about the state of our lives and gets you on an emotional level. Duh! That is
not a bad thing. But it is wrong to say ampas ALWAYS does that. If so, E.T. would've won. I didn't see people
emotionally involved in the oscar boring Gandhi. The ampas body does have it's prejudices that come in to play.
Sci-fi, comedy, communism (High Noon and Reds didn't win), unsavory real-life people bio-pics don't win (The Aviator,
Raging Bull, Bugsy, Reds (again), Midnight Express, Goodfellas, The Social Network?), they have to be noble or worthy,
like Gandhi, Emile Zola, Chariots of Fire, Out of Africa...
And, yes, there is an exception, here or there, but they are exceptions, not patterns.
And if I totally believed the article I would conclude that gay people don't eat at the Sizzler. I am not
saying this academy element doesn't exist nor that it may have been responsible for BBM losing best pic
to crash, after all, it was this group of people that did NOT nominate Brokeback Mountain in the film
editing, sound, art direction and other technical categories that this group is most a part of. It didn't
even get nominated for the costumes, and a "costume" is one of the iconic remembrances of this film!
Imagine if they'd gotten that wrong and it made the film less memorable. We take it for granted, but
someone had a vision for those costumes. At the time people said it wasn't nominated for costumes
because people just assume westerns are the same, the clothes aren't hard to design, or that it's not
anything different or whatever. I say "True Grit" was nominated.
What I'm saying most about this particular article is there is evidence, circumstantial or factual, to back up
the statements made in it. So I have to take it less seriously.