For years, I have paid very little attention to the major Hollywood award ceremonies because, as a fan, I feel that their selection of winners very rarely reflects the choices of the majority of the average moviegoer. I mean, when you look at the lists of winners over the past decade and compare it to the lists of the highest grossing films of that particular year, you can see a clear discrepancy between what the Hollywood press and voting bodies enjoy watching and what the average person enjoys. That’s not to say that films shouldn’t be viewed as works of art – far from it, even I believe that films are modern works of art; but when it comes to choosing what is artistic and what is popular, the Hollywood Elite very rarely listen to the voice of the people.
There has got to be some kind of common ground between the critics and voters and the common person. I thought that maybe this year we would some of that at the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony this past weekend, but it turns out that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association still wanted to separate what the establishment enjoys and what moviegoers enjoys. Especially given the universal praise that Black Panther received from both critics and moviegoers. Then take into account the critics’ Rotten Tomato scores where Black Panther received a 97% score versus that of a 62% score for Bohemian Rhapsody – this year’s winner for Best Motion Picture Drama – and I am really confused as to how the voting for these ceremonies is accorded.
Granted, the Hollywood Foreign Press isn’t as bad as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences… there is something about the Academy lately that really has it out for the more popular pictures of the year – but the Foreign Press still follows a pattern of not recognizing what the average moviegoers enjoys over the artform films they seem to love. That’s why, year after year, I care less for the films that are nominated and I am less inclined to watch the televised ceremony more and more. I mean, seriously, why should I watch a show that is not reflective of how I feel about films? Why should I care about a group of critics who seem more out of touch with the average moviegoer and what they deem as “best”?
Just take a look at the list of winners for this year’s 76th Golden Globe Awards and, personally, according to my taste as a film fan, student, and critic, there is are one two winners that I agree with this year of all those nominated and who won – and they are Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in the film Vice who won for Actor Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Into the Spider-Verse that won for Best Animated Feature Film. Out of all the film categories that were presented at the ceremony, those were the only winners that I agreed with. Then again, I also didn’t agree with some of the nominees in each of the categories either, so, that is of very little surprise.
I just wish that the Hollywood press and elite would listen to the voices of the people more often. That’s not to say that only box office revenues should decide what films are considered “best”, but to ignore what the common moviegoer enjoys year after year and give those films less consideration throughout the years, that doesn’t bode well for these voting bodies and associations and how they relate to the people they are trying to write to. It goes back to the whole “why should I care about what you say when you don’t care about what I like” argument I was making above. And it seems like the more years go by, the bigger that gap seems to get. That’s why I haven’t watched a movie awards ceremony of any kind in the past five years. Of course, I am not suggesting that these ceremonies copy what the Academy has done by creating a new category for Best Popular Film – that is a pure act of pandering to the public and another excuse for them not to consider popular or high-grossing films for their Best Picture category, much like they did years before when they created the Best Animated Feature Film category – but it would be nice if they would consider what the average fan likes in film as opposed to always looking at the genre as an elite form of entertainment.
I remember a time when I couldn’t wait to for awards season to come around and watch all these shows. Hell, my friends and I even made these into party nights where we would get together and enjoy these ceremonies because we genuinely cared about who was nominated and who won. But in recent years, we haven’t even discussed doing anything close to what we used or even watch the ceremonies at all because the shows just don’t feel they represent who we are as movie watchers anymore. And until that changes, you won’t catch me watching these award shows any more – just shaking my head and criticizing what I see as a separation between those who are in the business and those who fund the very business they are in.