Alta Live: Are the Oscars Obsolete?

"So who needs the Oscars anymore?”

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It won’t surprise those who’ve read his latest Alta story that Will Self isn’t a fan of this year’s batch of Academy Award nominees, which the noted British journalist called an “awkward compromise on all fronts.” In Self’s words, the Best Picture nominees include “the big spectacle film—Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. You’ve got this doggy film about Montana in the 1920s, curiously, with hard-bitten ranchers played by nice young men from North London. I have no idea what Drive My Car is doing on this list at all, a film that was as boring as watching brown paint dry.” When Alta Live host Beth Spotswood asked Self what films he would have liked to see among this year’s nominees, Self suggested that the academy should have taken 2022 to pay tribute to the 1920s, the decade of silent film that pioneered movies as an art form. This would have made for a better Oscars ceremony than the traditional affair, he argued: “Looking at a lot of highly paid show ponies cavorting around on a red carpet is not my idea of entertainment.”

But Self claimed not to judge anyone for viewing the ceremony (“For heaven’s sake, let people have their enjoyment,” he said), though he predicted that this year’s spectacle will be dull and attract even fewer viewers than last year’s, which had a record-low viewership. “Nothing that happens at this year’s ceremony will really be that amusing, that revelatory, or that moving,” Self said. “If I’m wrong, I’ll be confidently wrong.”

Check out these links to some of the topics Self and Spotswood brought up.

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