"Those sons of bitches got it easy," the Academy Awards say as they notice every category at the Grammys is studded with stars. The Grammys' bench of culturally relevant awards packed with big names runs deep. The same can't be said for the Oscars, which has booted the Best Cinematography and Best Editing categories from its broadcast and tucked them neatly into commercial breaks so the poor viewers at home don't have to suffer the indignity of watching people who aren't movie stars win awards. But there's a logic to it if you're a producer trying to figure out how to sustain interest in your nine-and-a-half-hour masturbatory award show.
The Oscars have maybe six categories before no one knows who the hell is up there giving a speech. You have Best Picture, which is kind of its own star. But then you have the categories with real star power: Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, both divided by sex. So now we're at five. The next down the line is Best Director. There are usually a couple of names every year that general audiences are vaguely familiar with, but already things are getting obscure. The Favourite is a fine film, but most people will have no clue who Yorgos Lanthimos is, or even what a director does. There's a degree of recognition inherent in all those categories.
Cinematographers and editors aren't the kinds of people on the cover of the magazines at the grocery store checkout lane. Any other show would have long ago moved such awards to a separate ceremony which the live broadcast would recap with a dispassionate one-minute montage jammed in before a commercial break.
If all this sounds like a mean way to look at their incredible work, you're absolutely right. This is the difficult line you have to toe when you're a producer trying to honor people who rightfully deserve to have their work recognized before the world, but you're also trying to entertain an easily distracted home viewer who just wants to see beautiful movie stars seethe with fury when they lose an award. In summation, the Oscars are just the worst.
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