It’s every ,OK most, actors dream to win an Academy Award. But winning the golden statue does not mean you have “made it” either. If you look up the actors who have never won an Oscar you would surprised. (ACADEMY AWARD MISTAKES) You need much more than a great performance to win. You need to be well liked by other actors, you need to have a good back story, the studio needs to be willing to spend money on an Oscar campaign, you have to schmooze at dinners and endless luncheons.
It is very much a political game. Rumor has it that Meryl Streep told the studio for THE IRON LADY that she wanted the Oscar for Best Actress and to make it happen. Well they did, she won over the front-runner Viola Davis in THE HELP.
When I write about the Oscars I try to forget the politics and write what I think will persevere through awards season. This brings me to Joaquin Phoenix and his comments this week about the Oscars.
“I’m just saying that I think it’s bullshit,” Phoenix says. “I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it. It’s a carrot, but it’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot.”
Pitting people against each other . . . It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when Walk the Line was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don’t know how to explain it — and it’s not like I’m in this place where I think I’m just above it — but I just don’t ever want to get comfortable with that part of things.”
He is right, it is all bullshit, but many young actors still dream to win an Oscar one day and very few ever will. Phoenix is one of the lucky. Yes he is a great actor and deserves a nomination for THE MASTER. His comments might turn off a few voters, but most of the voters were Oscar contenders themselves and hate the game too. While the process may not be fun, he should remember how lucky he is to have his problem.
So for the remainder of the season I will praise the best in movies this year, even through the bullshit.