How do you decide if a movie is good or worth seeing? Based off of the previews, how Roger Ebert rates it, by what a friend told you or maybe you simply see what you like. But for many, the award season dictates the box office’s success.
With the Golden Globes and Screen Actors’ Guild Awards down, the grand finale of the award shows airs on Feb. 27: The Academy Awards. Nicknamed the “Oscars,” it has been called the most anticipated night in Hollywood.
Everyone has seen the rebirth of movie commercials during the award season, now featuring the film’s Oscar nomination count, to draw an audience into the theaters. It almost seems movie commercials are completely composed of titles versus actual teasing clips.
Typically this marketing technique works, as many Oscar viewers do not want to be left in the dark when the envelope opens.
Knowing who’s who and who’s from what makes the show more than a fashion commentary or comedy bid.
I must admit that I am one of the many tuning into the movie madness, screaming at who does or does not win.
However, my devotion to the Academy lies in my love for the movies, not for the stars.
Through my Oscar watch over the years, I have found interesting trends in the winners and losers. The Academy has taken on a predictable pattern, giving nominations to movies released at the right time.
A movie in theaters a few months before the Oscars is almost certain to receive a nomination over an April movie.
Nearly all of the 2005 Oscar big names were released in the winter months, including “The Aviator,” “Closer” and “Million Dollar Baby.”
And of course, it is these big name movies that always seem to steal the spotlight from the smaller films worth recognition.
My own prediction for this year’s show will be Leonardo DiCaprio winning over Johnny Depp for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
No doubt DiCaprio did an excellent job portraying the dynamic Howard Hughes in “The Aviator”, but considering Depp’s long résumé of complicated, diverse characters, he should receive some credit.
From the deranged Edward Scissorhands, to the swashbuckling Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” to J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, in “Finding Neverland,” Depp has proven his versatility in nearly all of his work.
But, then again, who decides who the best is and who the worst is in Hollywood?
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s website, www.oscar.com, membership in the Academy is limited to those who have achieved the highest level of distinction in motion pictures.
And even though these people obviously know their films, it is essentially up to the viewer to decide how they really feel about the movie.
Don’t let the award season hype carry you away from the little indie movie you wanted to see or lure you into a big name movie you couldn’t stand since the first teaser.
On Oscar night, enjoy the show, but choose your own winner.
Nicole Knight, a sophomore communications major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.