The wildest part of this year’s Oscar race wasn’t the unpredictability; it was the noise. I’ve been watching the Oscars since 1997, more than half my life now, and I don’t think there’s been a race so obfuscated by feelings over facts, by reactions to reactionaries, by minute-by-minute “momentum shifts” that never really felt like they were there. Plus, Moonlight’s historic win last year over a loved—but also hated—La La Land has given professional pundits and amateur watchers pause in predicting the picture that every indicator suggests is the winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.
With the main exceptions of The Silence of the Lambs and The Exorcist (which in my opinion should have won the Oscar it was up for), horror films are nearly always ignored come awards season. This is no longer a disappointment to me. In fact, it makes perfect sense given what these awards have become compared to horror’s B-genre classification. Horror used to be considered only a notch below comedy. But, the comedy genre (when done artfully, intelligently or heartwarmingly enough) can actually still get elevated by Academy recognition—think Little Miss Sunshine or even this year’s American Hustle.
The Golden Globes has, in my mind, always been the reckless and rebellious cousin to the Oscars, with the Hollywood Foreign Press’ celebration of cinema and television seeming not quite as stuffy and serious as the Academy’s affair. The party this year, however, got a little out of hand and in not enough of the right ways, either. Some of my criticisms may seem pointlessly unsolvable, and I realize that, especially given my growing and deepening investment in all things film seeming to correlate with my feeling that awards, in general, have grown increasingly predictable.