Awards represent the Academy’s opinion only

By:Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

This Sunday is the 84th Annual Academy Awards. It is a night to honor the best films of the year and a night forfashion at its best. But, how many of the Best Picture nominations have a majority of the public seen, or even heard of? Only a few of them were hyped enough to have been widely known, but not even that, or the nomination itself, helped their box office. “The Help” grossed barely $26 million in its opening weekend and that is one of the best hauls of the nominee pool.

Sometime over the last decade, the audience has become irrelevant in picking nominees. The movies that bring in the highest gross are no longer considered artistic enough to be considered for a nomination, possibly due to the fact that most of the movies with the highest box office are comic book movies or something similar. Popularity is no longer a factor in determining nominees, it seems.

When “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” won for Best Picture and pretty much cleaned up at the Oscars in 2003, it broke the idea that a bookend of a series could win anything in the Academy. This provided high hopes for “Harry Potter” fans that hoped that the multibillion dollar franchise that was beloved around the world could win an Oscar for its legions of fans. But the end of the series has come, and it was nominated for a few categories, but none as prestigious as a Best Picture nomination.

Why has the audience become irrelevant? Is it not the audience that makes or breaks the movie industry? Movie fans determine what fails or succeeds at the box office, yet their opinion does not matter when awarding the biggest awards available in the industry.

“Avatar” received a nomination in 2009, but lost out to “The Hurt Locker” in the final race to the win. ‘The Social Network” was nominated and won a few of its categories, but the “Best Picture” win eluded it when it lost out to “The King’s Speech.” The black horse of the 2012 awards season has been “The Artist.” Perhaps we can count on Uggie the dog to win the Academy over for a Best Picture win.

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