Last night was the Oscar Academy Awards, a grand night in which movie actors, producers, and directors congratulate each other on TV and announce the academy’s thoughts on what were the best movies of the year in regard to qualities such as acting, sound design, and the all-around best movie of the year. I for one have never been too invested in the academy awards. I do not watch movies that often in the first place, as most of my free time (when I do have it) is taken up by reading comics and watching anime (which the Oscars have been infamously unkind to in the past whenever anime movies are nominated, if ever, for “Best Animation”).
However, unlike almost every other year, I felt like I had some reason to be interested in who won the awards, for I had actually seen two nominees for best picture (Moonlight and La La Land.) I was at least curious to see if any of the movies I saw would actually take the award. If I were to be honest, however, I wasn’t much of a fan of either of the movies. Neither of these movies were ones that I would have seen myself (I was asked out to the theater for both of these movies). To be clear, I had nothing against the award nominees or any of the people who garnered enjoyment from them. However, neither of these movies were really my style. My taste in movies come down to favorites such as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Spork, and Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I could enjoy movies like La La Land or Moonlight on a production level, but they didn't touch me emotionally like the final race in Taladega Nights or the final dance-off in Spork. Both La La Land and Moonlight surely attempted to invoke emotion, and the people around me at the movie theater were touched by these nominated films, but I just wasn't grabbed by them. I rarely find that my feelings about movies match what critics say about them.
Just because I hold a different opinion about what constitutes a best picture doesn't necessarily mean either party is wrong. Someone had to have enjoyed movies such as Manchester by the Sea or Arrival, right? Movies don’t need high-budget production work to still be impactful such as Napoleon Dynamite or Tarnation. Tarnation is a 2003 documentary that was made for $218.33, and that year it was the most celebrated documentary of that year and won several awards, including one from the National Society of Film Critics and the Independent Spirit Awards. What matters is how well the movie put its message across and its ability to suck you into its universe.
Do not get too caught up in who won, lost, or didn’t make the cut because everyone will inevitably have their own “Best Picture” if they were their own academy. On that same vein, do not be afraid to enjoy your favorite movies no matter what critics such as The Rotten Tomatoes or the Oscars say. Just as you may have not seen the magic in their choices, they may not have seen the magic in yours. The awards should not define how much you should enjoy your taste in movies. In fact, I'm proud to say that my tastes don't necessarily match what the Oscars say perfectly.