The glitz. The glamour. The flashing lights. The sparkling dresses. The classy tuxedos. The red carpet. This is the grandeur of awards shows, a time when celebrities gather together to acknowledge the best in their field. Awards shows, such as the Emmys or the Academy Awards recognize the talent of all professions within the acting/show business world: the Emmys has an award for best lighting; the Academy Awards has awards for best sound mixing and special effects; and of course, no one can forget the importance of best actor or best actress in a lead role.
The 2012 Academy Awards pulled in aroud 81.0 million viewers during its primetime Sunday airing. What is it about celebrity awards shows that pull in so many viewers each year? Perhaps it is the musical numbers; perhaps it is the emotional speeches the awards winners always give; or maybe it is simply the natural sense of appreciation for extreme talent. This was the case in point for the 2012 Academy Awards. That year, a black-and-white, old-style film entitled “The Artist” was up for a very large number of awards. In an era of iPhones and Twitter and electronic zombification of the masses, “The Artist” won five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Lead Role, Best Costume Design, Best Directing, and Best Original Score. The actor who won for Best Actor, Jean Dujardin, was not even well-known in America at the time – in fact, he was the first French actor ever to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (IMDb: Jean Dujardin biography). Personally, I had never even heard of the film. Now, some critics argue that the organizers of shows such as the Academy Awards are stuffy, white, old men and that the public does not get enough say in the determination of who gets what award. These worries assume that the organizers of the Academy Awards have no idea what they are doing; one has to remember that being a critic is a JOB for those people. And, if you’ve spent your whole life perfecting a skill such as that of critique, you probably are adept at such a skill. I have the utmost respect for the people who decide the winners of television awards. Needless to say, The Artist deserved every award it won. Why? It excelled the most in each of those categories. Sure, personal bias is somewhat inevitable (what exactly does “Best Actor” mean, after all?). However, as they say, only the most fit shall survive.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip of “The Artist”, taken from Youtube.