Academy awards - a mark of quality?

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Just a thought triggered by some of the answers to the 'Great actors at work' thread:

    Do you consider an Oscar to be a mark of quality?

    • 26th Mar 2009
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  • Antonio Rochira

    Actor

    Not necessarily

    • 19th Mar 2009
    • 1
  • Noel Burton

    Actor

    It's a peer judgment thing. Members of the Academy judging, no, voting for each other. Whatever quality exists is relative to them and their values. It's a great way to advertise movies though.

    • 19th Mar 2009
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I think it's rare that something that is *totally* undeserving gets an Oscar - the Academy do know their jobs - though, occasionally, when something like 'Titanic' sweeps the board, I have to wonder! But it's fair to say that they primarily promote the films/performances etc. that everyone has already deemed to be worthy of awarding laurels to in the first place. I don't know so much about actors receiving Oscars, but it has been famously said (by David Thomson? - can't recall) that Hitchcock never won an Oscar - and for a man whose imprint did so much to define the 20th century cinematic idiom, I think that speaks volumes. The truth was, he was just not acceptable enough to the Academy of the times. All in all, most Oscar winners are probably worthy, but the amount of great stuff that the Academy misses hugely outnumbers the little (and obvious) material that it elects to award!

    • 20th Mar 2009
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  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    Not necessarily quality but certainly recognition. I think we all need recognition sometimes - acknowledgement for the hard work put in. Oscars are not only for the actors anyway - but for the wonderful crew who make the actors appear in the best light and make the overall image - sound, light, music etc. spellbinding to the audience and create the fantasy world we all live in for a couple of hours. As I say - recognition.

    • 20th Mar 2009
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    It's self congratulatory & promotes films. Hitchcock I'm sure got a life time achievement academy award...at the end of his life! To actually have an award given to someone 'acting' better than anyone else is a complete nonsense

    as the quality of a performance is subjective & determined ultimately by the audience.

    Crew should get academy awards only.

    Directors,D.O.P.'s,even producers but actor's...forget it!

    As already stated,it's part of the publicity machine & the system needs 'Stars'. Having said all this,I have absolutely no problem accepting one

    & look forward to seeing you on the red carpet!!!!!!!!

    • 20th Mar 2009
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  • Reuben Liburd

    Actor

    It is and when I win one I would like to thank myself all my hard work and of course I wanna thank all my friends so thankyou Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Kate moss, Victoria Beckham, Lilly Allen, Johnny depp, Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, Daniel craig, Cheryl cole, Simon Cowell.

    Thankyou you all

    sorry I was just day dreaming I dont really know all these people

    Reuben Liburd

    • 22nd Mar 2009
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    ...there's at least two on your list you wouldn't want to surely ?!

    • 22nd Mar 2009
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  • Reuben Liburd

    Actor

    I wonder who those 2 could be?

    Reuben Liburd

    • 22nd Mar 2009
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Get an award and your money sky rockets.

    What's wrong with that? Bloddy one footed footballers with half a brain earn more in a week that some actors with training and talent earn in a lifetime. Where is the justice in that?

    Bring on as many awards as you can. Let's all push for them!

    Scorning through envy or any other reason only belittles the tough work actors and directors have to fight every day to produce. Let's celebrate the work. Not look down on awards because they are a small snapshot of the effort that must have been laid down long before that piece of work was created!

    Too many people seem to think that an actor/director just appears out of the blue, untrained, no past history, and goes on to get acclaim for the first bit of work they do!

    Come on. How many hours/days/ years of heartache, effort, sacrifice was put in to make the companents of that piece of work achieve greatness??

    Do not knock or mock achievement lest you in your certain knowledge can say with all truth 'I am better than that'.

    • 22nd Mar 2009
    • 9
  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    Many of the comments on this thread have been said in jest surely?

    There isn't anyone being envious or scornfull.I too think many footballers are overpaid & legless most of the time.

    I am better then that!

    • 22nd Mar 2009
    • 10
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Have to agree with Pole on this one, Alan. The issue to me here is not whether or not awards being given to actors in recognition of their work is a good or bad thing. It is simply whether being given an Academy Award is a useful reflection of an actor's talent. And my personal opinion is: naturally, you don't win one if there is nothing to be said for the quality of your performances, and, naturally, winning one (even being nominated) is perhaps the highest accolade this industry can bestow on anyone. But no-one should be under any misapprehension that, as Pole says, the Academy is an essentially self-regulating, self-promoting body, and those it chooses to support are always supported for politic reasons, and those it doesn't choose to support always fail to be supported for politic reasons. This has nothing to do with their merits as performers, and everything to do with where the Academy's money is invested. And that, for me, I'm afraid, taints the Oscar, and I never fully trust it. I think we can all sense the inquity sometimes - at the moment, it is pretty obvious to everyone that Kate Winslet was just being awarded for a film ('The Reader') that most people (critics and public alike) are basically agreed is not very good, and certainly not her best work. Why on earth is she being forward for awards on the basis of it? Because the Academy has decided it's about time Kate Winslet got the recognition they feel they denied her in earlier years in which she did better performances in better films, and they are using the current piece as the peg from which to hang the offer of the award. End of argument.

    This is not meaningless low-level axe grinding - it's at the very least high level axe -grinding as well. William Friedkin, himself an Oscar winner, has called the setup 'the greatest promotion scheme that any industry ever devised for itself,' and he wasn't being complimentary at the time.

    And it has been pointed out that none of the people below, regardless of nominations, ever won an Oscar:

    Richard Burton (nominated 7 times); Kirk Douglas (3 times); Albert Finney (5 times); Greta Garbo (4 times);Cary Grant (twice); Peter O'Toole (8 times); Peter Sellers (twice); Robert Altman (5 times); Alfred Hitchcock (5 times); Stanley Kubrick (4 times); George Lucas (twice); Spike Lee (never nominated); Orson Welles (nominated once) etc.

    Given the incalculable contributions that each made to the whole modern experience of the cinema as we know it, it a list of damning omissions, and one reason why I never take the Oscars seriously.

    In recent years, they seem to have been ever more eager to follow the money, and support the 'faddish' thing - for all that the films may have *some* merits, most consider the support given to films like 'Chicago', 'Braveheart', 'Titanic' and 'Shakespeare in Love', for instance, thoroughly undeserved, if one is simply addressing the question of whether these films have any lasting impact to make on the evolving state of the movie industry.

    • 22nd Mar 2009
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    Excellent Appraisal Lee & appreciate you

    seeing my point of view.

    How can these great actors be ignored

    by the academy? Because they dared to be contrarian & innovate without playing the political game.

    It's all about the work itself; The rest of it is hugely inconvenient;I'm not sure Michael Sheen is entirely comfortable doing the rounds for 'The Damned United' at the moment!...

    • 23rd Mar 2009
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    There is no better way of raising your Profile in this business than to be nominated for an Award. Even if you don't win it then the result is very similar...your money goes up!

    So those who work hardest or get luckiest to work with great crews, directors etc are always going to be 'wanted'.

    What always ticks me off are those people who don't know how much effort goes in to each award. You don't win an olympic medal for griping about how hard you have to work to get it. You get on with it. Even then there is only one medal every four years!

    Recognition for achievement is neccessary to keep standards high.

    I am probably past the age where I have enough time or opportunity to achieve any award. But I will still fight hard to make sure my work is the best I can make it.

    I think that by raising standards we can only make this job we have chosen to do satisfying, enriching and hopefully profitable enough to pay the bills! Sadly too many people think that it is easy to get to the 'top' and that 'Work' is not involved in it.

    It is HARD work. Surely no-one could knock someone's efforts and deny them some recognition for that.

    • 24th Mar 2009
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  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    I'd love to think the Academy Awards were more than industry politics, but.......

    M.

    • 24th Mar 2009
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Some very interesting points . . .

    It seems obvious that some actors / films that are truly great do not get Oscars, and some that aren't do; and that the reasons for this are sometimes murky at best. But I don't begrudge actors / films the recognition and promotion they get as a result of recognition by the Academy.

    As for footballers - those actors that can command a similar global audience do get similar pay.

    • 24th Mar 2009
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    My point is that sometimes extremely talented actors NEVER even get seen. They will have to scrape a living as best they can from whatever work they can find.

    However with the chance of some recognition they can at least have something to aim for...

    How can anyone truly judge one performance against another? Sometimes massively different in the style of performance or even totally different genre? Of course it is a political issue most of the time. But it is the best there is for now. Overnight success? Yes. Sometimes it takes years and years to become an overnight success. But it is a Success that is recognised. Isn't THAT what keeps us going? Audition after bloddy audition hoping someone will recognise what our skills are?

    Of course it is! Then suddenly...wow. ..an Award. Overnight success? Now THAT is the Myth! That is what we need to debate!

    • 24th Mar 2009
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I don't think there is any real argument with where you are coming from, Alan. I (personally, at least) wasn't suggesting that having an industry standard which encourages the recognition of the hard work that goes into crafting a part or a production is a bad thing. I believe this whole thread started on the basis that we were all agreed the Paul Schofield was a massively deserving Oscar winner. There will always be carping about some Oscar winners - partly, it's professional jealousy, I suppose, but also because people are sometimes justifiably angry about how much expense etc. is squandered on the event, some winners etc. (it may be true that people deserve remuneration for hard work, but there should be limits, when so many other actors are struggling to survive, and the claim is simply 'the money isn't there'). It may also be because people find many actors terribly self-indulgent at these ceremonies, and it is probably mostly a matter of personal taste - I love Daniel Day - Lewis and so am justifiably inclined to think him deserving of an Oscar; I don't like Gwyneth Paltrow, and am so inclined to feel her an 'unworthy' winner. This is purely subjective, and I wouldn't wish to argue any differently. It is *my* problem that I have always admired Terry Gilliam, whom I find to be an inspired maverick who has never had any truck with (or respect from) the Hollywood studio system, and that I thought 'Titanic' was a load of codswallop, and I don't expect everyone to agree with me.

    BUT I think we started by asking 'is winning an Academy Award a mark of excellence?' And my reply remains - only as long as you imagine that the Academy is awarding excellence i.e. that the Award is principally given because the Academy has made a thorough assessment of all major films released that year, and elected to give the actor who made the most remarkable choices/ the cinematographer who displayed the most remarkable vision etc. the Award. Of course, this is a subjective call, too. But we all know years in which the Oscar has gone to movies and performers who seem ridiculous, when we compare them to the other nominees who should have won. And this is because there is always internal politics dictating who the Award goes to, there is always inbuilt bias against products that are not directed towards the US style of movie-making and against non-commercial ventures, there is a discernible move in recent years towards supporting 'populist' choices and the movies that have made most money, and the members of the Academy selection committee themselves have vested interests. So, as I think Antonio said right at the outset, when the Award does go to the especially deserving, it's more a result of happy coincidence than great judgement.

    But I appreciate that you're saying it's better to have this system than nothing, and you are undoubtedly right.

    • 24th Mar 2009
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Academy Awards are obviously over the top in their lvish scale.

    BUT let's look at the simple facts of film in America.

    If you are filming on a SAG (Screen Actors' Guild) contract undoubtedly you will be assigned many things not on an Equity contract. You will be followed around by a guy whose job it is to carry a chair for you (I kid you not!) and if you say you don't want him he is fired. That means someone is out of work because of your choice to stand! Everything you need is supplied. Drivers to drive you twenty yards to the cafeteria. Want to walk?Oh ohhh, driver gets sacked!

    So it would be ridiculous of us to rail against what happens in America. We need to look at what we are doing over here.

    Awards are not the bench mark of achievement if you disagree with a judges decision. If you do, what about all of the other performances that judge never got to see? Or what perameters are they using to make their selections?

    Let it run. Just hope that one day YOU get a nomination. Then good luck. The subjectivity of the selection process works either for you or against you. In all, who cares? The winner takes a pay rise and the rest of us carry on trying to raise our standards. That's all.

    • 24th Mar 2009
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    ...Personally I put 117% into any project; I aim for 'excellence' & the the best way to guage if I've 'stepped up to the plate' is the response & opinion of the audience.(..& a couple of mates whose opinions I value)

    If the project,by happy coincidance does the rounds & gets picked up for 'gong' nominations,Great,but this isn't an acting motivator for me.

    ....but as I said earlier,I wouldn't have any problem with winning a 'gong'.

    Be a good night out & will get smashed!!!

    • 24th Mar 2009
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