Hey! Oscar Nominees! You won! That’s right, you already won. The nomination is winning. The rest doesn’t matter. Why do I say this you ask?
Because of my almost two decades of Oscar voting and knowing how often it is that you have two or three or sometimes five worthy candidates, any one of which could and should win the Oscar.
Right now, as I prepare to vote, (using the Academy’s new electronic voting system), there are several categories I am struggling with; trying to make an impossibly tough decision between several very worthy candidates.
But unlike a presidential election, where I think most of us pick one candidate over the other from the start, depending on our political leaning, voting for excellence in the arts is different. How do I feel today? What speaks to me today? How does the film I saw yesterday or last week, still impact me today? In a very tight race, as objective as I try to be, those things color what I perceive to be the best performance, cinematography or directing. etc., of the year.
Sometimes it’s impossible to even compare the nominees. In the manner of this question; which is better; coffee and a warm cinnamon roll or beer and a pizza or fine wine and a steak? Well… it depends. And I’ll probably pick one thing in the morning and a different one later in the day.
And that is how it sometimes is with Oscar voting. I remember one year, specifically in the short film category, where there were five films that could/should have won the Oscar that year. They all were that good. It was impossible to pick one. So how do you? In that case, for me, I started to look at things I usually don’t even consider, like running time, to answer the question, “how effective was this film at telling it’s story in the shortest amount of time?”
These are very narrow distinctions. Ones that again, with all art, change daily. I have a friend who recently voted for the SAG Awards and then several days after voting said that she wished she had voted differently in one of the categories. But, too late. It’s the same with Oscar on occasion.
So Oscar Nominees? The rest doesn’t matter. Enjoy the rest of the ride this week and all the fun that comes with it.
Remember, receiving the nomination is winning. What happens this coming Sunday is simply revealing who “the Oscar goes to…” And that’s something entirely different.