Friday, February 22, 2008

A Category Without An Oscar

Imagine this.

Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt take the stage. They are there to announce the Oscar for a category. Could be Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Picture, whatever. They open the envelope and instead of saying "And The Oscar Goes To..." they say "the runner up in this category is (INSERT POSSIBLE RUNNER UP HERE)... there was no Oscar awarded in this category. Can you imagine the gasps? Would there be silence or would there be outrage? I don't know, but I bet the category would be better next year.

Or what if no one got nominated for a category? What if on the morning of the nominations they announced that no one was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor Category? See, I work in advertising and it's not uncommon for whole categories to go without an award. One year, not one single TV spot received an award. Sure there were drunk advertising professionals crying fowl and yes, even I was pissed. But damn if I didn't work harder the next year to make the work better.

The truth is, as I've been writing some pieces about Oscar I've had a chance to look back at past winners and nominees and sometimes the pickings have been pretty slim. And when Ruby Dee is up for an Oscar for only three and a half minutes of performance and she might just win? Makes you wonder how much better the work might be if there was one less naked golden guy adorning a mantle somewhere.


pacheco said...

See, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Because while I understand the idea that some things just weren't "worthy" this year, the category is "BEST *insert category*." So technically, you could have 20 TERRIBLE performances, but one of them was the least terrible, therefore making it the "best." Stupid, I know, but that's why I don't see this ever happening, and I understand why people would go nuts when it does happen.

Part of me thinks a small compromise might be being okay with less nominees. Say the Academy really only felt there were 4 worthy nominees for Best Supporting Actress. Don't feel the need to throw in another to make it 5, just nominate 4! Haven't they done this in the past for some technical categories? I think that may have been more out of necessity (not enough that met the qualifications).

Piper said...


where you been?

Good to have you back. And good points. To me if it's going to be The Best, then it needs to be The Best. That's the bar and it shouldn't waver. Anything that compromises it being The Best should be dropped. So if that means fewer nominees then that's what it should be.

brian said...

This post tracks for us guys in Advertising who get dissed all the time. "And the Bronze Pencil for Small Space Ad goes to... nobody. And the Silver Pencil for Small Space Ad goes to ... nobody. Nobody... don't take your seat. We have another award for you. And the Gold Pencil goes to Nobody. Congrats."

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