Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

62° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Resnick: Movie awards shows useless, but I’m still watching

Each time a Christmas present gets vigorously unwrapped in America, another lonely Jew orders Kung Pao chicken.

Having a membership card to this sect of the population, I find that nothing goes better with Christ-ridden holiday angst than a trip to the movies. This season always ushers in a barrage of films that have been given the seal of approval as awards hopefuls by production companies.

These movies are mostly easy to identify based on trailers filled with soaring horn sections and distant, tear-streaked gazes into the camera.

Studios want people to see these films to pick up clout on their road to Oscar gold. And why not spend hard-earned cash for two hours of the Weinsteins’ time? For the most part, far better movies are released during the awards lead-up than any other season.

No matter how self-congratulatory and meaningless every single film award show is, there is more than a guarantee that I will be eagerly warming seats in front of movie award candidates every weekend.

Around this time – despite overt, irrepressible cynicism – I avidly check film award nominations as they stream in by the day. Mostly they induce wrath and confusion, as the nominees are a mixture of A-list stars who “really got out of their comfort zones,” biopic snoozefests and the perennial favorite underdog.

The Golden Globes always seems like the ditzy, attractive friend: fun to look at, but doesn’t really bring anything to the table. For starters, the Golden Globes suck because they separate films by genre, dividing the best movie of the year award into drama and comedy categories. This never results in a wider pool of excellent work from which to choose, but rather a weird mix of the year’s cream of the crop and the scraps you leave for your dog.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association shouldn’t even be given an opportunity to weigh in on the quality of work produced by actors and filmmakers. Requiring no direct experience with filmmaking or acting as a prerequisite for work, Hollywood corespondents are an illogical judging committee. That’s like saying the videographer at a basketball game can also be the referee. If the Golden Globes ever decide to stop pretending that they are anything but a popularity contest, they should let the public vote in the future. Then Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can finally get that long-deserved shiny statue.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are less guilty of idiocy, but equally susceptible to sweeping notions of film quality presented by the press. It provides actors an opportunity to hand out nepotistic high-fives to their peers in the form of sexy, bronze statues. The only outcome of these awards is attaining a sort of cumulative barometer for predicting success at the Oscars, making it all the easier to win your office pool’s “guess the winners” game.

By the time all the movie stars show up to the “Big Dance” in February, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the only surprise of the night will be how much longer it gets every year.

Despite all of this, I have no doubt in my mind that I will sit spellbound in front of the television for all of these award shows, hopefully with Chinese food in hand.

Gideon Resnick is a Medill freshman. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Resnick: Movie awards shows useless, but I’m still watching