Academy Awards leave one viewer with unanswered questions

A March Sunday night tradition brought me to the couch alongside my mom to watch, like millions of others, the famed Academy Awards. This year, though, the awards felt a little differently for me.

Not only did I fail to see many of the nominated movies, but I began to question how the award show works.

The nominees for best picture this year included only one movie that I saw; I watched Gravity the night before the Oscars anticipating it would take home the prize. I was wrong though, and for at least the third year in a row, I had not seen the movie that earned Best Picture of the Year (the previous two years have included Argo and The Artist.)

To be honest, it was difficult for me to get too roped into the show because I had seen so few of the movies. Still, I always enjoy the performers, which included Pharrell Williams and P!nk this year. I also was amused by all the jokes cracked by the host, this year of course Ellen DeGeneres, at the expense of the rich and famous movie stars in attendance.

That brings me to the next thought I had during the show. “Why am I watching these people, the richest, best-looking, and most famous people in the world, celebrate a big party and further flatter themselves with little golden statues?” I still today, several days after the show, cannot answer that question and probably never will be able to. It is a question of why Americans so idolize famous people and care so much about their day-to-day actions.

Finally, I feel confused about why some movies are considered for big awards while others are thought of as unworthy. My favorite movies of the year included The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Not only were these movies my personal favorites, but also they were some of the most-anticipated and highest-grossing films not just this year, but ever. Why then did I only see Iron Man 3 nominated for a special effects and not a best picture or some other big award? I have no idea.

This year’s awards were different for me. Instead of staring into the television, hypnotized by it, I thought about what I was watching and asked questions. Maybe I should start doing it more often, and just maybe some of my thoughts will change not just how I watch TV, but what actually plays on the set.