Whenever Oscar season rolls around, certain people are always eager to remind us that the awards are “meaningless” and that they never honour the right movies anyway. While the idea of quantifying art is always questionable to a certain extent, the fact remains that awards like the Oscars and Golden Globes provide a huge boost of exposure to the kinds of movies that can’t usually afford multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. They also help to promote cinema in general, reminding us why going to the movies can be an unforgettable experience. On the other hand, Oscar nominations can arguably have the reverse effect, convincing moviegoers that a movie is simply boring and pretentious.
This year both Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company were caught running misleading ads claiming that their respective films had “won” Golden Globe nominations. Clearly some studios are a little too dependent on these kinds of accolades to help sell their film; Harvey Weinstein in particularly seems to rely almost exclusively on them. Still, an argument can be made that major awards usually do at least offer some indication of quality and that these movies are worth seeking out. What do you think? Do award nominations ever persuade you to see movies you wouldn’t otherwise see? Have you ever discovered a great film through the Oscars or are they always overrated? Can the Oscars act as a gateway to great cinema for more casual movie fans? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.