The 90th Academy Awards will be taking place on Sunday. It is a time where we celebrate the best in cinema from 2017 and watch films and performances cement their place in Oscar history as they become awarded with the coveted golden trophies. However, the Oscars can also become a time of toxicity as well. From the deafening backlash of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to the debacle over Lady Bird’s perfect Rotten Tomatoes score being broken, this year’s Oscar season has become so mercenary that a lot of us have forgotten to just celebrate the movies that we love.
Every awards season, it is always fun to have a pony to root for in this horse race. But at the same time, it’s still okay to love other movies in the conversation and it is completely irrational and childish to attack anyone who admires a film that you dislike and that you hate seeing win everything. On Twitter, I may have expressed my dislike for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and have problems with the way it handles its themes but I still haven’t spewed venom at anyone that likes it. Call Me By Your Name is still my favorite film of 2017 and as passionate as I am about it, I understand that not everyone is. But am I going to malign anyone who think it’s overrated or just okay? Absolutely not because that’s not going to help the film’s Best Picture chances and it’s certainly not going to force more people to love it.
If Call Me By Your Name were to lose Best Picture to Three Billboards, then I’ll be upset at first. But at the end of the day, Call Me By Your Name will still have a special place in my heart. Also, if Lady Bird goes home empty handed, then I’ll still revisit it and quote it from time to time. If Get Out doesn’t even win Best Original Screenplay, it still won’t suddenly lose its cultural importance and its accomplishment of being the most profitable film of 2017 won’t be taken away. Lastly, if it loses Best Picture, then The Shape Of Water will still be a magical love letter to cinema.
The Oscars may be the biggest awards show in the film industry and it’s always fun to predict what wins and gets nominated every year. But at the end of the day, the Oscars shouldn’t alter the way we feel about the films that we love whether they win or lose. I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was eight and I’ll continue following them. I just don’t want to see a season devoted to celebrating the best in film each year become a season of hostility.
Once again, I recognize that the feeling of seeing a film or a performance you’re not fond of win over your passion picks is disappointing. Admittedly, I still have not let go of the fact that The King’s Speech won Best Picture and Director over The Social Network. But it is possible to express disappointment without ruining it for those that might be happy with a film’s win.
In closing, I’ll just say that on Sunday night, root for your favorites and just like every year, remember that not every win you want to happen will come true. There will be disappointment in that regard but don’t lose your passion for the films that you love because once the ceremony ends and the cameras turn off, the movies will still live on.