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Hustling for Oscars; Enough Already

by Leonard Maltin
January 10, 2014 4:13 PM
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With a new year comes my newest YouTube rant, about the absurdity of awards season here in Hollywood. There’s no avoiding it, in any medium, and it’s far from over. Please allow me to vent…and I encourage you to respond.

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  • evan jeffrey williams | March 3, 2014 5:03 PMReply

    I remember 2 time winner Shelley Winters on a 1960's talk show telling an Oscar loser that "you have to campaign for it"in order to win. That same era Bobby Darin was on Steve Allen's syndicated show with a clip from his PRESSURE POINT-a film that had already been released. I found that strange but it was just before Oscar nominations. (He didn't get one). But the recent campaigns are over the top.
    Although Bogart proudly won an Oscar he said it was an unfair determination to find a best actor. They should all dress up and play the same part.

  • Norm | January 11, 2014 7:03 PMReply

    You gotta love that "Rock" look LM gives.Ranting , really? Upon further review the Academy members can only vote so they must mostly be local, who else would go to these events ? I won't ever get to vote on any of these ballots, unless someone posts then on "Deadspin", ha...ha...
    I have to admit I really enjoy the background of these videos. I spotted the Lone Ranger, Snow White, and Baloo..good stuff...LM always on the cutting edge,(pun intended).

  • Norm | February 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    I stand corrected, thank you...

  • top cat james | January 15, 2014 8:01 PM

    That's Brer Bear from "Song of the South", not Baloo.( as I recall, LM didn't care much for "The Jungle Book").

  • Lisa Nesselson | January 11, 2014 5:39 PMReply

    Very well stated. Editors should only require their writers to write or broadcast about the Academy Awards: When the nominations are announced and when the Oscars are actually handed out.
    You're correct that these awards have taken on much of the irrelevant (and tedious) nuttiness of political campaigning. Commentators say that such-and-such a film is a front runner or a winner because "they ran the best campaign."
    But the eventual campaign is NOT the movie or its performances or ideas, should it convey any.
    The European Film Awards, which were held on December 7th (covering films released in Europe from June to June) are lowkey and fun. Campaigning is not permitted! There are no "for your consideration" ads.

  • Jakob | January 11, 2014 8:03 AMReply

    Right, Maltin, the movie should be enough. I totally agree. The movie should talk by itself.
    A suggestion: Migrate to Copenhagen for some weeks every year around this time; much less Oscar-hype here, naturally, + this year you can see Nymphomaniac in theatres here months before the US gets to go nuts and probably ban it when it arrives there in March and April.
    You can still make it!
    Fly, Maltin, fly!

  • alan aperlo | January 10, 2014 7:24 PMReply

    I am with you on this . ! man art is a other man art.

  • mike schlesinger | January 10, 2014 6:58 PMReply

    But let's look at the bright side: It's a three-month respite from Adam Sandler!

    On a more serious note, I would take slight issue with your contention that "small films don't stand a chance." We recently had a run of four consecutive Best Picture Oscar winners that were not only made outside The System, but three of them were foreign: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE HURT LOCKER, THE KING'S SPEECH and THE ARTIST. And if 12 YEARS A SLAVE wins, which is looking likely, that's five out of the last six. The indies are doing all right.

  • Richard W. Bann | January 10, 2014 6:49 PMReply

    Totally agree. Loved MUD. I should say, I liked it, it was "good."

  • Jason | January 10, 2014 6:28 PMReply

    "Shouldn't making a good movie be enough?"

    Yes, and thank you!

  • Michael | January 10, 2014 6:01 PMReply

    I think it feels very different in New York. A DGA or WGA screening after which Scorsese or Payne or the Coens speak and answer questions is a rare treat, and I'm always disappointed that I am too busy to attend them. As for the excessive praise and repetitive nature of the hype -- isn't that just representative of the news trend across the board? If you are interested in sports, or politics, or anything else, the same story is inevitably covered by all major media outlets plus 50,000 bloggers. I'm sorry that you feel that you have to continue to "raise your voice" to champion a film like Mud, but I think it is very noisy all across our culture today, and it may well be noisiest in Los Angeles.

  • Cynthia | January 10, 2014 5:38 PMReply

    Wow, how refreshing! I do wish some of the smaller films and the actors in them had a shot as they deserve. But like everything else, it not what you know or even who you know, its how much you have in your pocket. So sad. Thank you for your thoughts Mr. Maltin!

  • BeeGee | January 10, 2014 5:21 PMReply

    Awards that pit one work of art against another are stupid. Historically everybody has known this. That's why comics always hosted the shows. We were all smart enough to get the joke but enjoyed it because it bolstered movie star culture and drew attention to films and performances we may have missed. This all changed when the cottage industry of making cash off hyping awards grew out of the internet. The art took a back seat to "the race." The studios quickly jumped in bed with these bottom feeders and now the award cart is being placed before the film horse.

  • Creighton Bernette | January 10, 2014 4:28 PMReply

    Thanks for taking over now that 'Treme' is off the air!

  • No | January 10, 2014 4:15 PMReply

    Ah, yes....award season...

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