One's taste in movies is a highly subjective thing. We all have preferences as to what we want to spend our money on when we go to a movie theater...especially if that movie is costing $11.50! Personally, I tend to rent most movies these days. But I stay in tune with much of what is happening with films, actors, directors etc. It's always been an interest of mine and having went to film school and gotten a degree in film and television production, I am always interested in what the "industry" is offering the general public.
The people in films (those who vote on the Oscars) definitely have different tastes, sensibilities and priorities than most of us. They generally look at the craft, the art, and integrity of a film when it comes to nominating a film for an Academy Award. It has little to do with popularity at the box office. That's why the "Dark Knight Rises" and "The Avengers" don't really have no place at the Oscars. The film community is funny. When it comes to awards, they kind of look upon popular films that made a grip-load of money as being too "common" or "populist". Yet they all want their films to be popular and make money. It's a conundrum. What are you going to do?
The Academy voters also love to pick films that the average person has not only, never seen, but will probably never see. Films like "Amour", "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom". Their implicit message is, "see, if you had our taste and knew films like we do, you'd pick these too." I guess that feeds their insecurities, although I can't say for sure. In some cases, they will nominate a few obscure films that deserve to remain obscure. But that's my opinion.
So the 85th Academy Award nominations have been announced. Nine films have been nominated for Best Picture. Four of them probably deserve it. The others are there to get people to go to the theaters and spend their money on films that the industry is having a hard time marketing. That's the reality of it. The bottom line is about increasing the profit. Artistry is not really what the awards are about. Still, that doesn't spoil it for those of us who enjoy movies and like to see how these awards play out.
As of this writing, I have seen none of the Best Picture nominees. I will be lucky to see two of them before the Oscar ceremony next month. Of those on the list, I am most interested in seeing "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty". I may see "Beasts of the Southern Wild" because I discovered that it is available for rent at Redbox for $1.30! (You can see why I don't go to movie theaters that often...I don't want to pay $9.00-$15 for a movie!)
There is always a big deal about the films that get the most nominations, but that doesn't really mean anything. Yes, "Lincoln" received the most, followed by "Django Unchained", "Les Miserables": and I think, "Zero Dark Thirty". But "The Color Purple" was nominated for 12 Oscars the year it qualified and took home none! It can happen. So don't place the big bets on any "sure thing" because, aside from Daniel Day Lewis as a lock on Best Actor (and I could be wrong on that!), I'm not sure if there is a sure thing this year! Nonetheless, I think many of us will enjoy the Oscar "circus" for the next month regardless of how many of these films we get to see.