Identifying And Fixing The Problem Of The Oscars

Identifying And Fixing The Problem Of The Oscars

And the award for worst award show goes to....
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I’m fully aware that I am not the first writer to critique the Oscars, and most likely won’t be the last. However, this topic still compels me. There is a lot wrong with the Oscars. They tend to favors actors and actresses who are caucasian, have a clear pro-Hollywood bias, and exclude the two biggest film markets: comedies and action films. Most egregious of all, is their constant failure to give an award to the people/films who actually deserves it.

Let’s start with the best picture award. Rotten Tomatoes lists the best 5 films of all time in the following order: 1. Wizard of Oz, 2. Citizen Kane, 3. The Third Man, 4. Mad Max: Fury Road, and 5. All About Eve. Now remember these are ranked using a variety of reviews from critics and audiences, and have come out as the 5 greatest films of all time. Whether they all deserve to be there is another debate, but they’re all clearly fantastic films if they are able to reach such a position on such a list. Only one of them won best picture (All About Eve). That means the top 4 films of all time we’re not considered the best picture of their respective year. That’s ludicrous. However, the more disheartening thing is to see what films each of these lost too. They lost too Gone With the Wind, How Green is My Valley, All the King’s Men, and Spotlight ( respectively). While I’m sure these are all fine movies, I can personally attest to the fact that these films are all clearly dwarfed by the movies that they beat (with the notable exception of Gone With the Wind).

Other notable best picture losers: Vertigo, Raging Bull, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, There Will Be Blood, E.T., The Shawshank Redemption, Apocalypse Now, Gangs of New York, and The Dark Knight. All films that have not only stood the test of time, but are commonplace on many people's greatest movies of all time lists. While I understand that a snub is bound to occur now and then, this is happening all too often.

Moving onto the actors. The biggest problem with the Oscars approach to actors is a refusal to take their performance for what it is and instead choosing to account for career context. Allow me to explain. In 2013 Daniel Day Lewis wins Best Actor in a Leading Role for Lincoln, beating better performances by Hugh Jackman in Les Mis and Bradley Cooper in Silver Lining Playbook.

So why does DDL win? Because he lost in 2002 to Denzel Washington, Washington won for Training Day and DDL starring in Gangs of New York. DDL’s 2002 performance is far superior to his role in Lincoln but he got the award in 2013 because the academy thought that they owed him after not giving him the award in 2002.

In Daniel Day Lewis’ case this helped him, because he eventually won the award, but it more commonly than not hurts actors who actually deserve the role that year ( Just take a look at Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper, who still haven't won). It can also hurt actors who have had controversial careers/ lives outside of film. A great example of this is Mel Gibson. I’ve seen many of the major films that came out this year, and can say without a doubt that Hacksaw Ridge is the best film of the year. It’s shot extremely well, the story is fantastic, the music is great, and Andrew Garfield is amazing in it.

It's probably the best film I've seen in theaters in the last 5 years. However, despite all of this, I know it won’t win Best Picture, and most likely won’t win Best Actor or Best Director ( even though it deserves all three awards). Why is this the case? Because Mel Gibson directed it. Now I am not defending Mel Gibson, he is a terrible person. That being said, I think letting past personal issues of someone attached to the film determine whether or not a film can really win any major award is childish and unfair.

(Vince Vaughn gets it)

I could go on and on about the Oscars. They have an innate bias towards films about Hollywood or the entertainment industry, refuse to give comedies/ action films their due ( 14 nominations for La La Land and no best picture nod for Deadpool, come on) and favors caucasian performers.

So how do we fix it? I have one proposal, make the Oscars have a five year delay. Have movies that came out in 2012 be voted on in 2017, 2011’s films voted on in 2016, and so on. If this happens Midnight in Paris never loses to The Artist, because 5 years later everyone can see Midnight in Paris is the superior film. Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street would never have lost to Gravity for best director. I realize this isn’t a perfect system, as it would make the Oscars a lot less interesting.

But it does give the voters a chance to see how history will remember these films, which in the long run is far more important than any award.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

farm2.staticflickr.com

If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

www.imdb.com

This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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