Have you ever wondered why the Academy Awards (Oscars) never seem to recognised A24 movies? Well, you aren’t alone.
Getting snubbed by the Academy Awards can be a nightmare for most movie studios. Considering that the Oscars are still perceived as the ultimate achievement in cinema for some filmmakers, not getting a well-deserved nomination can feel like your movie simply wasn’t up to par with the standards of the Academy.
The Academy Awards have received their fair share of controversy over the years. One of the most notable examples of this is the apparent disdain of the Academy for animated films. Some film buffs consider that animation shouldn’t be relegated to a category of its own, with more films deserving the same treatment that Pixar’s Up got some years ago.
However, an issue that’s become clearly evident in recent years is that the Academy Awards seem to be actively ignoring the achievements of A24. One of the leading distributors and producers of indie and arthouse films, A24 has been involved in the production of some of the most influential movies made in recent memory.
From Uncut Gems to Midsommar, the Academy Awards has overlooked the accomplishments of these A24 movies while nominating some frankly questionable titles for some of the most prestigious honours. Just recently, the critically mediocre Netflix flick, Don’t Look Up, received a nomination for Best Picture — the second worst film ever to receive the nomination in this century according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Part of the reason why the Academy Awards seems so intent on overlooking most A24 productions is that the Oscars are still mostly commercial accolades. For example, a few years back there was a whole discussion surrounding the possibility of the Academy Awards establishing a new category — Most Popular Film.
While this might sound like a logical decision for an entertainment-related award ceremony, it would certainly leave out some of the most deserving indie films out there — you know, the kind of movies that A24 is most known for. It’s safe to say that the idea of cinema held by the Academy Awards and A24 are somewhat different, with the latter keeping a more auteur-oriented production while the Oscars commemorate the achievements of Hollywood films in a more commercial/popular sense.
One thing is for sure, the Academy’s dismissal of A24 doesn’t mean that the studio’s films have lesser merit than their Oscar-winning counterparts. For what is worth, the Academy Awards have recognized the achievements of A24 in the past. In 2017, the A24 film, Moonlight, won the Academy Award for Best Picture — after a minor confusion between it and La La Land.
Another issue that’s emerged in recent years — and one that could get some points for A24 in its struggle with the Academy Awards — is that the Oscars have lost a good chunk of their mystique in recent years. The Awards don’t have the same “divine” status they once held in popular culture — just one look at the diminishing audience numbers of recent ceremonies will tell you all you need to know about how relevant the Academy Awards are right now.
The Oscars don’t dictate which movies are “better” than others — they merely recognize which films are the favourites of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A24 is set on the right path to make a meaningful impact in the landscape of modern cinema. The studio has worked on some of the most beloved indie films of recent years, not to mention how flexible they are with different film genres. Perhaps next year’s Academy Awards will be the year that A24 returns to its rightful place between the nominees, but for now, let’s just enjoy the quality productions the studio releases constantly.