Sunday 19 January 2014

Why I Stopped Caring About Award Shows

By now, you've already learned that Monsters University was not nominated in the Best Animated Feature category for the Academy Awards. And that the same thing happened for the Golden Globes. Judging by the reactions I saw on twitter among animation fans, I would say there's a very good chance you are angry about this. Well, I'm not. Because I stopped caring about award shows. It wasn't always like that; there was a time when I cared about the Oscars and the Golden Globes. That wasn't so long ago, but it's now a thing of the past. No, it's not a sad story.

This editorial is in reaction to the Monsters University snub by the Academy, but it's not an angry reaction. I'm not furious, outraged or resentful (unrelated note: online synonym dictionaries are great). I wouldn't even say I'm annoyed. This is how little I care about these award shows now. In fact I would have been surprised if all my favourites had been nominated; I remember being shocked last year when my five favorite animated films were nominated for an Academy Award.

So why do I not care anymore? The reasons are pretty simple. What are these award shows, really? Basically, it's just a bunch of people I don't know (some of them I respect, some of them I probably never heard of) getting together in their fancy clothes, trying to tell me which movie is the best; trying to tell me I'm wrong for liking a movie more than the one they chose. Well, I'm not having any of that, thank you very much.
I'm not saying the other people's opinions are not interesting, or that they're less valuable than mine. Far from it. I like discussing films, hearing what other viewers think. But the Oscars are just not that. It's not a discussion. There's no explanation, no reason behind the award. You're just left with what is supposed to be the best animated film of the year, whether you agree or not.
Also, why does it matter who wins? I'm not asking a rhetorical question here, I'm genuinely curious. I'm guessing there is some kind of financial aftermath for the winners, but is that even measurable?

In the end, the awards a film gets - or doesn't get - is not what matters. What is ultimately important is the film; the pleasure you find when you watch it. The Academy Award results don't affect my opinion on the films - one of my favourite animated films wasn't even nominated in 2012, and I've been watching it five times a year since.

That's why I don't care anymore. Because I know whatever happens - even if The Croods wins the big prize over Frozen - I'll still enjoy my personal favourites for years to come. I know I'll watch Frozen and Monsters University more than The Croods; The Adventures of Tintin more than Rango; and WALL•E more than… wait, no… Bad example.

I still get angry at plenty of things, animation-wise. Making a list of all the things that get on my nerves would bore you to death, but thankfully the award shows are no longer in this list. I'll keep enjoying the ones I enjoyed before; and I'll keep hating the ones I already thought were dull, laughable, tedious (really, these synonym dictionaries...), no matter who gets awarded the little golden statuette. The award winners don't dictate anyone's taste in movies.
I don't care about the Oscars, but I love watching animated films, and, to me, there's plenty of good ones. Not just a select few.
I told you it wasn't a sad story.

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