Sunday’s 95th Annual Academy Awards brought home huge victories for films such as
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022) and for actors such as Brendan Fraser, who won best actor in a leading role for his performance in “The Whale” (2022).
I didn’t watch it. Instead, I watched recaps of it and regularly checked Twitter for updates
on who won. I was, of course, rooting for Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, who became the first and second Asian actors to win their categories, respectively. But other than that, I had no real interest or care for the other categories. It made me think back to when I would watch the Oscars with my family, and we would sit in anticipation of each category. I would stare in awe at the screen, gazing at celebrities and hoping that my favorite films and actors of the year would take home a golden statue.
Now, I’m wondering just how far the Oscars can really go in the future. I’m wondering if it’s
possible that eventually, as we’re already five years away from a century of these awards, the show and the award itself will become too mundane and cyclical to carry any real weight in our culture. Perhaps an awards show like the Oscars isn’t really necessary after all.
Of course, the Oscars are a pivotal aspect of our film culture and a great acknowledgment of
the film industry and the people that work hard to produce life-changing movies for people of all ages and backgrounds. That’s why I’m feeling a bit hesitant to outright say ‘no more.’ But I can potentially see a future in which we collectively come to see that maybe, just maybe, there’s
another way to recognize great artistry that isn’t built on such a showy and subjective display.
Something I know I’d like to see is more progress in representation. While great strides have been made in the last few years, it’s still not good enough. It still feels like barely any women
get nominated for best directing, and it’s still a rare occasion for a person of color to win in a
major category — so much so that it becomes newsworthy. If the Oscars are here to stay, I
would at least like to see them incorporate all parts of our culture and society, since after all,
isn’t that what they’re meant to appreciate?