Every year the American film industry gets together in expensive clothes and jewels to pat themselves on the back in a three hour celebration of their ability to play the child’s game ‘Let’s Pretend.’
Some people get awards for it. Most get disappointment.
But the thing you have to remember most about the Oscars is that despite all the glam and glitz there is an underlying current of shittiness that permeates the whole thing. It could just be me being a grumbly-ass hater. Or maybe I’m just bringing the bullshit to light. You be the judge.
Female directors get no love
In the entire history of the Academy Awards only three female directors have been nominated. Fortunately, one of them actually won. Kathryn Bigelow beat her ex-husband James Cameron with The Hurt Locker. I like to think that’s payment for his inflicting Titanic on us.
The application process is shitty and awful
In order to have your film nominated for an Oscar is has to meet a long, stringent list of rules. Some of them are that your film must be at least 40 minutes long, be on 35 mm or 70 mm film and a whole other bunch of technical shit neither you or I give a fuck about. You can read the rest of them here:
The thing that surprised me most is that you have to submit your film for consideration. They’re not looking for the best ever. They’re looking for the best ones that submit their work for discretion. Ugh. That explains why…
Foreign films kinda get screwed
If you want your film to be considered, you have to satisfy all those criteria I linked to previously including one major one: The movie has to open in Los Angeles County in the year previous to the awards. If you have budget to make the movie and pay your staff, but not to get it screened in L.A. for a week go fuck yourself and hope they will consider you for…
The Best Foreign Language Film category is the only one that doesn’t require the movie to have opened in Los Angeles. However, it wasn’t until the 29th Academy Awards ceremony in 1957 that they actually started giving out awards specifically for that category. Before then? You got a certificate like you’d just finished a season of Junior High baseball. Yay.
While we’re discussing the Best Foreign Language Film category you should know that Italy has produced the most winners in this category with ten. Don’t tell Bollywood though. They produce twice as many movies as Hollywood annually so that kind of news might depress them.
That trophy ain’t yours, bitch
So you won an Oscar and you want to keep it? LOL, don’t be stupid. Before you can accept your Oscar you have to sign a piece of paper stating that if you should decide to sell it you have to give the Academy first dibs for the almighty price of $1. If you try to sell to anyone else it they will sue the shit out of you…unless you won it before 1950 when they started up that rule.
Who’s voting anyway?
There are more than 5000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. About 1,000 are actors. So if you’re an actor 4,000 members that don’t act are voting on your performance. Likewise, if you’re, say, a sound engineer there are probably about 5,000 people who don’t do your job voting on how well you do it. Makes winning that much more sweet, huh?
Never gonna win
Kevin O’Connell is a film sound re-recording mixer. He’s received 20 Oscar nominations for his work but has never won. You’d think a large contingent of those 5,000 voters would smile down on him and hook him up, but at this point they’re probably all in on the joke. Congrats Kevin!
Seat-filling is a great gig if you can get it
The Academy Awards show has about 3,000 seats that could be on camera at any time. They don’t care if Kevin Spacey has to take a shit, they don’t want his seat looking empty during those pre-commercial camera sweeps. That’s where the seat-fillers come in. Their entire job is to make the theatre look full in case the camera is watching. And for this most difficult task, seat-fillers are paid $125 an hour. Wanna be one? Here’s how.
One time, the winners were announced beforehand
The Academy Award results are kept private like the tax records of a multi-billionaire. If you wanna see all the shit they do to protect ‘em check this out.
They have to do it this way though because back in 1940 the LA Times managed to get a hold of the results and published ‘em prior to the ceremony. Ooooooh. I’ll bet That sucked.
8 minutes and an Oscar
Cate Blanchett portrayed Queen Elizabeth I of England for most of 241 minutes of screen time in two movies: Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. For this she received two nominations and one Oscar.
Judi Dench portrayed Queen Elizabeth I of England for 8 minutes of screen time in Shakespeare In Love. She received both the nomination and the Oscar.
Oscar voters be weird, yo.
Dude…Nicholas Cage has one
Peter O’Toole has been nominated eight times for the Best Actor Oscar and never won. In the history of the Oscars he’s been nominated the most and won the least. But they gave him a lifetime achievement award though so that makes up for it right? Right?
If you wanna win an Oscar, be White
The Academy has awarded around 2,800 Oscars to date. About sixty of them have gone to Latinos, forty of them to Asians and thirty to Blacks. Unless Native Americans, Indian/South Asian and other non-White races are some Oscar winnin’ motherfuckers, your best bet to win is to be White.
George C. Scott is badass
George C. Scott won the Best Actor Award in 1971 for portraying US Army General George S. Patton. He refused the Oscar though. Why? He thought the politics of the whole Oscar process were demeaning and called the ceremony ‘a 2-hour meat parade.’
You know, I’m not so sure this is so much a shitty Oscar fact as much as it is an awesome George C. Scott fact.
Not to harp on Titanic, but…
James Cameron won a Best Director Oscar for Titanic. Meanwhile, some of the most iconic directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa never did. Five thousand Oscar voters can’t be wrong, right?