SCHS discusses the history and disparities of the Oscars awards show throughout the years

The Oscars have a long history in America. Beginning in 1929, the awards show annually recognizes actors for their skills and movies for their perfection. The art and technical caliber of each movie and actor are addressed through these awards.

The first time SCHS drama teacher Angelo Reyes learned of the Oscars, he was piqued.

“It was exciting to see the best people getting awarded. If you don’t watch the movie… you can’t have an opinion,” Reyes said.

Senior Julia Chavez shared that she decides whether or not a movie should be nominated for an Oscar after she watches it. Chavez watched “Babylon” and believed that the significant effect it had on her made it worthy of an Academy Award.

“I walked out of the theater being like, ‘This is getting an Oscar.’ It made me cry, the ending 15 minutes,” Chavez said. “I felt like I lived an entire lifetime and not many movies are doing that now.”

Within the last decade, Reyes has progressively become less invested in the Oscars.

“I haven’t followed in the last few years. I have not been following the way I did in high school,” Reyes said. “Maybe 10 years ago I would follow it a little more.”

Chavez stated that in the past 10 years, the Oscars have begun to distribute awards based on how famous the actors in the movies are instead of an actor or movie’s true talent.

“Compared to a decade ago, the talent is drying out for the Oscars now. I just feel like it’s people in the industry who you want to be famous being nominated to push their career,” Chavez said. “You don’t see it (the famous nominees’ work) and go, ‘They should get an award for this.’”

Junior Andrew Chandra, on the other hand, expressed that the Oscars are headed in a positive direction since adding more entertainment factors to their show, helping to bring in a larger audience and keep them engaged.

“It’s definitely improved over the years. Back in the day, I think it was just more basic of ‘Here’s your actors who won,’ but now they’re adding musical numbers and monologues and humor, having different hosts,” Chandra said. “I think it’s definitely great that we’re adding more talent and creativity into these Oscars, and hopefully down the road, we’ll have more.”

Senior Grayson Davis also noticed the recent efforts to increase entertainment within the ceremony but believes such elements are being prioritized over celebrating and recognizing deserving works of film.

“I feel like there’s this sort of recent tilt away from how much filmmaking is a craft that involves lots and lots and lots of people, and it’s kind of all just about actors and publicity stunts now,” Davis said. ”It’s drifting more that way, and it’s kind of depressing.”

Junior Sireesha Dandamudi believes that there should be more recognition for international films. In Damdamudi’s opinion, the Bollywood movie “RRR” should have been nominated for an Oscar. However, because there is only one section for international films, it did not have much of a chance.

“It’s (“RRR”) literally the reason I’ve been following the Oscars because I really liked their performances,” Dandamudi said. “Even though they didn’t get nominated, which is unfortunate because there were a lot of really good contenders.”

In addition to international films only having one Oscars category, thus one chance to be recognized, Davis believes it is senseless that animated films can also only win in one section despite the often wide variety of animated films produced. Davis thinks there should be more subsections for animated movies and feels it is unrealistic to label one animated movie as better than another if they are of different genres.

“One thing about the Oscars that really bothers me is the animation category. It’s just one category when animation isn’t a genre, it’s a medium,” Davis said.

Another problem Dandamudi has with the Oscars is that there are many backend issues and complications regarding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s judging boards.

“One of the facts is that, they don’t have a person of color on their board, which doesn’t lead to true diversity being shown on screen,” Dandamudi said. “Then, there was a whole thing with Brendan Fraser. He said that he was assaulted by one of the board members and that’s why he wouldn’t be attending the Golden Globes.”

According to Chandra, a negative moment in the Oscars was during the 2017 Oscars when “La La Land” was mistakenly recognized for an award intended for “Moonlight.”

“I think the most memorable controversy (was) between ‘La La Land’ and (‘Moonlight’). They said ‘La La land’ won, but then they overturned it to another one (‘Moonlight’) because the award was supposed to go to ‘Moonlight.’ I think that was a really embarrassing moment for ‘La La Land’ because personally, it was a really good movie. It’s about LA. I love LA. I felt sort of bad,” Chandra said.

To Reyes, winning an Oscar does not hold as much meaning or significance as it did 10 years ago due to the various issues surrounding the Oscars.

“I like Kristen Bell and I liked Daniel Day Lewis and I like Sharp. I like these actors, and it doesn’t matter to me if they win or not,” Reyes said. “To be honest, I don’t think it matters as much any more to the more seasoned actor.”

Many have found the Oscars experience is not nearly the same as it was a decade ago. Dandamudi commented on how the interest in the Oscars has declined and does not have enough diversity in it. She believes that along with the experience, the image of the Oscars has also changed.

“Honestly, (the image of the Oscars to me is) prestige and honor, but in recent years, probably corruption,” Dandamudi said.