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The Plot Thickens

Photo: Taelar Pollmann ⋅ The Sentry

And the Oscar goes to…

I won’t lie to you, reader. Someday I hope to be introduced as Academy Award Winner Alexander Elmore. What would I have won an Oscar for, you ask. Well, my dream is that it would be for writing, but I would also humbly accept for best picture, directing, or maybe even acting. Who knows?

Yes, I am being both completely serious and completely not. I’d love to win an Oscar because that means I’ve “made it” in terms of recognition from other filmmakers, but also because it means that hopefully, I am able to make a living from making films. I put “made it” in quotation marks because I’ve learned in film school that it is entirely possible to be a filmmaker, be awarded for it, and also still have a day-job. That future is not my desired outcome, but one I am willing to accept.

If winning awards means little for your career, then why do awards matter? I’d like to think that they do. So many movies come out on a yearly basis and so many of them are good that awards can be helpful to sort through the enormous pile of releases and find the very best. Of course, art is subjective so there is no way to ever actually pick a single film as the “best” of a group. That in and of itself is why the Academy Awards don’t quite work on a fundamental level. Yes, the Oscars honor very good movies, but not any very good movies. Ask a film enthusiast and they’ll tell you that science-fiction, horror, and most blockbusters are generally shut out of non-technical award categories at the Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does provide much deserved recognition to films, but only a certain type of film. A few common characteristics of Oscar films? A character-driven drama, often set in a different time period, and based on the life of a real person or a series of real events.

Despite all of this, I still find myself invested in the Oscar race. I read articles predicting winners, try to see all potential nominees, and since junior year of high school, have made a point to watch the ceremony. Overall, I’d just like to think that the Oscars matter as much to other people as they do to me. And no, even among my film major friends, they don’t. Maybe I just like the title of Academy Award Winner, even when the Oscar goes to a film or performance I think is undeserving.

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