Sorry Oscar Pundits, Film Critics Don’t Think About Awards

When looking at the jobs of people who work in or around the entertainment industry, it’s easy to miss out on distinctions regarding who does what and why. Robert Altman famously stated that his idiosyncratic films often went against what the studios wanted. “They sell shoes, and I make gloves.”

Film Twitter has seen many people who don’t seem to get that, while both film critics as well as Oscar-minded entertainment journalists write about current movies, there are no similarities. To extend Altman’s metaphor: Some people are reading the tea leaves of critics’ awards for clues about the Oscars, while critics are drinking coffee.

Since I was a member for over 20 years of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, handicapping Academy Awards is not something we think about when we gather each year to select our winners. If our tastes should happen to align with the Academy’s – over the past decade, both organizations chose “Spotlight,” “Moonlight,”And “Parasite” as the best picture of the year – well, that’s a fine coincidence. But at no time during my tenure has the group ever given an award in the hopes of boosting someone’s chances to walk the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre.

Drive My Car

LAFCA was awarded the top prize by the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics and LAFCA. “Drive My Car” – Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s gorgeous, contemplative, three-hour Japanese-language drama about love, loss, and Chekhov – it flummoxed those prognosticatorsOutliers are those who realize this. “Parasite” notwithstanding, the Oscars tend to focus on upbeat, middlebrow studio product that’s in the English language.

Critics, say the awards journos, are being contrarian, ivory-tower snobs — or even (gasp!) Globalists:

The divide between critic and handicapper widened even more when The New York Times published a piece by Manohla dargis, A.O Scott titled “And the 2022 Oscar Nominees Should Be…” There’s nothing revolutionary about critics applying their personal choices to “Hollywood’s biggest night”; for years, Siskel & Ebert hosted an annual episode called “If We Picked the Oscars.”

The fact that Scott and Dargis mentioned performances such as Fabrizio Roongione is somehow a surprise. “Azor”Toko Miura in, yes “Drive My Car,” was treated by the internet’s awards-industrial complex as shots fired across the bow. Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 called it the list “ridiculously elitist”Sasha Stone from Awards Daily was grousing on Twitter, “I hate when they do this. I hate it so much. They pretend like they are above the Oscars except that they are just as eager to rub up against them as anyone else.”

Drive My Car

Phew. Let’s take a breath here. According to my experience, critics tend not to “rub up against” the Oscars for two reasons: 1) Years of hype and attention have turned the Academy Awards into the most well-known and talked-about annual barometer for quality and achievement in the film industry, and if critics want to borrow that spotlight to shine it on lesser-known but still-deserving films and performances, it’s a way to get readers interested. 2) Getting readers to read is the primary job of most print editors. They will often tell staff film critics. “Hey, write about the Oscars, even if you don’t care about the Oscars, because our readers do.”This will often cause critics to return to 1.

It’s not the job of critics’ groups to help Oscar handicappers. It’s not cultural snobbery to use the ballyhoo around the Academy Awards to elevate movies that the Academy Awards won’t touch with a 10-foot For Your Consideration ad. To be clear, film critics and awards pundits are not the same thing. different jobs.

And as for anyone who thinks that great movies shouldn’t be praised by critics because those films don’t fit into the mold of an Oscar contender and won’t be part of the awards conversation, critic Chris Evangelista of /Film perhaps says it best: “If you approach movies this way, I have to say it again: [Y]ou don’t like movies. You like gambling.”

Latest News

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here