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Have the Oscars reached their sell-by date? With the handing out of the little golden guys marking the end of the annual awards season this week, many viewers have once again been left with the same sense of “was that it?” that seems to have taken hold of this once “not to be missed” event in recent years.
Both the exasperating chip-on-shoulder and bleeding-heart-liberal brigades have once again leapt on to their high horses, by declaring the root of the problem lies in the majority-white racial slant that exists within the academy’s selection panel.
But while it may be true that over 80 percent of said panel is of the “fairer” shade of skin, to suggest that this alone is the key factor for the Oscars’ progressively lacklustre offerings demonstrates a distinct case of “selective focus” on the part of these flag-flyers, who seemingly make it their mission to seek out a racial undertone in just about anything and everything.
Heck, at this rate, you could well find yourself being branded a bigot if you opt for white, rather than milk or dark chocolate – so ridiculous has this whole issue of supposed discrimination become!
If it’s prejudicial foul they’re wanting to cry, why does this same band of brothers and sisters not make as much of a fuss about the fact that, of those voters, 77 percent are male – so much for women being afforded an equal standing within the industry – and the median age is 62! (Which could explain just how an old-fashioned silent film that hardly anyone has seen got the gongs for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.)
For my money, the real problem rests in:
(a) the show organisers’ increas- ing deviation from the Kiss (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle, what with a constant juggling of contrived scripting – and hosts! – as well as ever more elaborate stage sets and skits that fall completely flat (the Cirque du Soleil troupe are certainly talented, but just how they tied in to the movies in contention this year – or the motion picture industry, period – still has us scratching our head);
(b) the advent of the Twitterati and other self-styled industry commentators.
Where before, nominees and audiences alike were left to wonder in nail-biting anticipation as to whether their favourite film, actor or director would get the final nod on the night, any sense of suspense has now been completely eliminated.
Thanks to the plethora of online articles, TV programmes, SMS lines, random blog sites, Facebook profiles, Twitter pages and YouTube videos dedicated to pre-awards discussions, analysis, tongue-in-cheek commentary, scandals and scandals about the scandals, we pretty much already know how the evening will play out before it actually happens.
And where’s the fun – or interest – in that?
Perhaps the academy should consider simply staging a virtual awards ceremony in future if they’re to have any hope of holding on to some element of surprise.
And as an added bonus, it will certainly save them a cool million or two on post-party gift packs…
LARA DE MATOS