The winner takes it all

Awards like these are a representation of achievements in the entertainment industry. Photo courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter


Awards season is in full swing with the Golden Globes on Jan. 7 and Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 14 just picking their top movies and TV shows of 2023. These award shows act as a precursor to both the coveted Emmys, which occurred on Jan. 15, and the Oscars, airing on ABC on March 10. These award shows indicate which movies and TV shows are frontrunners and which will be forgotten. 

The Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards build excitement for the Emmys and Oscars. The movies and TV shows that win at these award shows indicate and influence the Emmys and Oscars, like Ayo Edebiri winning Outstanding Supporting Actress at the Emmys after scoring the same award at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. 

Oppenheimer” is the current frontrunner for the Academy Awards, racking up 13 nominations. “Oppenheimer” also won both Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes and Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards. The critically acclaimed movie also picked up some other impressive wins at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, such as Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Editing — to name a few. 

Junior biology major Charles Winiecki believes that “Oppenheimer” is an extremely deserving candidate for Best Picture. 

“I thought that ‘Oppenheimer’ was a well-made film that balanced the complex science and the character drama well,” Winiecki said. “I do think the film is deserving of Best Picture at the Oscars because there are so many beautiful shots, like the series of images shown after they test the atomic bomb. There is so much color, and they seem to embody the feeling of witnessing something powerful quite well.” 

However, the “Barbenheimer” fight is not over. After battling at the box office this past summer, the two rival movies are only heating up for awards season. “Barbie” trailed “Oppenheimer’s” eight wins with six at the most recent Critics Choice Awards, winning Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Comedy. These two movies are predicted to fight at the Oscars, as “Barbie” was only nominated for eight Oscars to “Oppenheimer’s” thirteen. “Barbie” was snubbed out of receiving a nomination for both Best Actress and Best Director. 

The Best Actor and Best Actress awards are also a close race. For the Best Actress category, Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone are head-to-head. Both delivered fantastic performances in their respective films, “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Poor Things”. While Emma Stone won Best Actress category at the Critics Choice Awards, Lily Gladstone won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, so either could win at the Oscars. 

As for Best Actor at the Oscars, this category should — in theory — be a lock. Paul Giamatti for “The Holdovers” and Cillian Murphy for “Oppenheimer” are the current frontrunners for the Best Actor award, both delivering spot-on performances. Murphy won Best Actor for a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes while Giamatti won at both the Golden Globes for Best Actor for a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and Critics Choice Awards for Best Actor. The winner will be determined by the voters’ taste on whether they prefer Giamatti’s comedic acting or Murphy’s dramatic acting. 

While many focus primarily on the Best Picture and Best Actor or Best Actress categories, Anna Rowell, a senior journalism major and film studies minor, prefers the more technical categories. 

“I care most about the Best Animated Film category or Best Original Score,” Rowell said. “I think those are probably the most unique, or, at least, interesting. They add an entirely new [and] more creative level to the medium that takes films just one step further.” 

This year, two movies are head-to-head in the Best Animated Feature category, with “The Boy and the Heron” winning at the Golden Globes and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” winning at the Critics Choice Awards. Either one could take the cake at the Oscars because “The Boy and the Heron” is Hayao Miyazaki’s final masterpiece while “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” transformed animation forever by animating different characters in different frame rates, a feat that has not been done before. 

However, some are starting to question the legitimacy of the Oscars. After years of underrepresentation and major upsets, many movie lovers wonder whether the Oscars are even worth watching. The Oscars have a long history of having primarily white male voters, who are incredibly out of touch with current audiences. This narrow-mindedness of voters has excluded many deserving films out of Oscar nominations

Violet Ross, a junior English and philosophy double major, believes that the Oscars prohibit viewers from truly expressing their own thoughts. 

“I think that every individual person should be dictating for themselves their own taste,” Ross said. “The Oscars, the Golden Globes [or] any other award show are unfortunately being decided by groups that are often out of step with the general public’s taste, so it’s hard to say that they’re accurate. Movies that get higher audience and critic ratings get snubbed all the time, but winning or not winning an award should never be the determining factor for anyone in whether or not they’ll see a movie.” 

At the end of the day, these award shows are an elegant display of Hollywood glamour, but their verdicts for any award should not be the final say on what is the best. These award shows are meant to inspire discussion, not end it. 

The 96th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. EST on ABC


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