The Oscars, which aired on March 24, came and went without too many surprises, with the exception of Denzel Washington beating out the favorite Russell Crowe.
Some critics argue that the same basic movies are nominated every year. There is always a foreign movie that only a handful of Americans actually saw. There’s the long four-hour drama that only the “smart” people liked. And once in a while even a big high budget blockbuster gets nominated to increase the ratings.
It even seems like the same actors, or same kind of actors, are nominated every year. You should not have been too surprised that Will Smith didn’t win. In light of the fact that he had starred in mostly comedies or action films before stepping into the dramatic role of “Ali,” it is even shocking that he was nominated. His old TV show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” didn’t help his chances. It is very hard for an actor who mostly stars in comedies to win or even get nominated for an Oscar.
The only exception is Tom Hanks who starred earlier in his career on “Bosom Buddies,” a T.V. show about two men dressing as women so that they can live in a single-sex apartment complex, and of course, the raunchy comedy “Bachelor Party,” before hitting the big time with “Splash” and “Big.”
Some feel that the Oscars, like the Grammies, aren’t in tune with public tastes. Of the all time top ten grossing movies only two, “Titanic” and “Forrest Gump,” have won best picture, and the original “Star Wars” and “E.T.” were the only others even nominated in that category. When I went around the Yuba College campus asking people what their favorite movies were, almost all of them had never even been honored with a nomination.
A possible solution to these issues may be to get the public’s opinion, at least on the nominees. But as I found out myself when I spoke to the students of Yuba College, not everyone has the same taste. It is very rare to find two people that have the exact same taste in movies. My brother and I, for example, normally agree on movies, but when we saw “American Beauty,” it proved to be the exception. I thought the movie was just as good as it was hyped up to be, my brother on the other hand, thought that it was “a B-rated movie with good actors.”I discovered, after speaking to a few students, that a trashy movie for some is a classic for others. Alice D’Ambroso of Marysville, for example, thought that the original “Star Wars” was the most overrated movie of all time. “I didn’t really see why so many people liked it,” she added.I also found out that the Oscar nominated film, “The Lord of the Rings,” was not very popular among students. Walter Foster from Arbuckle said, “That movie was just too long! After the first two and a half hours I was ready to leave.”
One thing the movie industry should consider is lowering ticket prices. When I asked students if they have ever walked out of a movie because of boredom or disgust, only one person did. Matt Peterson of Marysville said the only movie he ever walked out on was “Legally Blonde.” “That movie was just stupid. There was no way I was going to watch all of that!” But most students, who already live on a tight budget, feel that even if a movie was really bad, they wouldn’t walk out on it because it cost so much for tickets.
I don’t think that the Oscar Committee should just nominate the popular movies, but I feel they should at least consider some of them. I guess the day that happens, everyone in the world would pick the same movie as the best of all time.