The list of this year’s Oscar nominations just came out a couple of days ago & some milestones have been achieved. Finally, the Academy is ready to appreciate comic book films and all that. Isn’t this great? On the surface, the Oscar nominations seem pretty decent, maybe even rather good. However, the sad truth is that if you look a little deeper at the eight films nominated, you will see that hiding behind the big titles, is a huge hole that the Oscars are trying so hard to patch.
In case you’re a little out of the loop, the eight films nominated are: Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, The Favourite, BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, Vice, A Star is Born and Roma. Now, if the average citizen looks at this, he may be thinking to himself, “Wow, I’ve actually watched some of these films”, and that is something that is so rarely attributed to the Oscars. The thing is, the Oscars have been undergoing a sort of crisis these past few years, with their ratings and their global audiences declining rapidly. They seem to be trapped in a hole that they just can’t come out off. Don’t believe me? Right now, their condition is so bad they can’t even get a host.
As a solution to this problem, the Academy decided that the best way to get more viewers interested in the award ceremony was to actually give the viewers what they want. These eight Oscar nominations together have one of the biggest combined box office tallies ever, with super-hits like Black Panther, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody leading the way in numbers. The total gross of all eight films is well over 1.2 Billion Dollars, second only to 2011, where the combined gross was 1.3 Billion that year (It’s worth noting that this was the combined total of 10 films, not 8). This is clear proof of the Oscars trying desperately to connect with an audience fed up of the typical Oscar-bait dramas/biopics winning it every time.
Personally, I’m really happy that Black Panther was recognized for best picture, but I am not completely for the Oscars’ new approach. Well firstly, there may have been one or two films that snuck into the top eight, which didn’t deserve to be there (looking at you, Bohemian Rhapsody). Another bigger demerit is the impact this has on Indie filmmakers. 10 years down the line, if these low budget films don’t get the appreciation they deserve, they may just die out. With blockbusters dominating both the box offices and award ceremonies, upcoming filmmakers could struggle to produce original content in a world saturated with sequels and franchises even more than it already is.