2023 Academy Award Criticisms

Catherine Rile, Staff Writer

The award show season is upon us. In recent years, the shows have become much more controversial, with concern that they are rigged or otherwise unfair. This has overall decreased their popularity and led to many strong opinions being formed. Awards Daily found that “over 80% of our survey takers find movie awards shows offensive or at least distasteful.” 

This poll is a reflection of a common shift in societal opinions as people begin to question award shows and their accuracy in representing the industry and its achievements. 

Specifically, this year, the number-one-grossing movie was Top Gun: Maverick. During its time in the box office, the movie grossed $1.488 billion, making it the most profitable movie of the year. 

Tom Cruise, who starred in the movie was praised for his role as Pete Mitchell, a fiery and bold mentor to the incoming ranks of Navy fighter pilots. He is credited with making the movie iconic as many viewed him as its backbone. However, he was not nominated for a single Academy Award. 

Meanwhile, Ana de Armas was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Leading Actress for her role in Blonde, a movie about famous actress Marilyn Monroe. The movie got terrible reviews with the majority of viewers attributing its failure to the unique way in which the movie was shot. Similarly to Top Gun: Maverick, many believe that this nomination is not an accurate representation of this year’s film industry’s successes. An anonymous Minnetonka sophomore claims that, “Ana de Armas should not have been nominated.” 

This seemingly aligns with many other beliefs of the poorly rated movie. However, there is some order to the seeming chaos. 

Many do not know this, however, each branch chooses the nominees for the award. Meaning directors vote for other directors, writers for writers and so on. This group of people is referred to as Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is considered to be the most eligible to decide the nominees and winners for the academy awards. 

Contrary to popular belief, the awards are not merely a representation of how well a movie does in box office or how famous an actor is. They’re a representation of the respect and acknowledgement of the film community who ultimately decide the nominees. The question then becomes, who is best suited to decide the winners and the losers, the public or the organization?