I’m a dilettante when it comes to cinema, but despite my ignorance I still find myself interested in what and who people describe as being the best every time awards season comes around, like my opinions on such matters are just rough drafts waiting on the validation of someone more qualified.
Most of us are at least passively interested in what’s considered a “good” movie, as evidenced by how quick we are to passive aggressively cite Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb ratings when friends question our taste. And how else would you explain the phenomenon of watching a game of Monopoly-length awards program on a Sunday night when you have work the next day? Nearly every year I tune into the Golden Globes and the Oscars to see the fashion, get emotional over acceptance speeches, and find out if my personal opinions are in line with a shadowy group of presumed taste-makers wielding their power like the Wizard of Oz. The issue of representation in Hollywood is a hot topic lately, with an all-white roster of acting nominees for the second year in a row, #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter, and Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee calling for an Oscars boycott. Increasing diversity in casting, directing, writing, and acting in movies is easier said than done, but if we keep glorifying familiar white actors and actresses in the same formulaic movies, we don’t stand a chance at discovering and celebrating new talent.