I've been noticing a weird meme sweeping around the media both in major outlets and in websites about what is "relevant" when it comes to awardage. If you diss any one of the perceived frontrunners for Oscar's "best picture" Sideways, The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby you are considered "irrelevant." So, the OFCS is irrelevant. Cinemarati is irrelevant. The BAFTAs are irrelevant. DC critics are irrelevant. If you don't champion one or all of those three you are irrelevant. Never mind that this is all subjective, matters of aesthetic taste, etc...If you aren't predictive of the Oscars. You are UNIMPORTANT. The funny thing is this: If there is a surprise snub on Oscar nomination morning of one of the perceived frontrunners are the Oscars themselves than irrelevant?
The attacks on the Golden Globe (who nominated all three) have been going on since time immemorial but it seems to me that influential people in the BFCA (not just David Poland) would really like to see them falter significantly so that they could be replaced by other 'precursors' that are more 'relevant'. The issue of course always hinges on how "predictive" any awards group is. That's the true meaning of the world "relevant" in all of these discussions. Since the Globes now take place after Oscar balloting has closed, they are currently perceived as having lost their influence.
This is an absurd notion of course. The truth of the matter is that all of the "major" precursors (Globes, NBR, BAFTA, etc...) are relevant in that they continually narrow the field and they cast some films as winners and some as losers. By the time Oscar nominations arrive there are only six or seven choices that are "relevant" (popular) for any group of five nominees. It's really irritating that there's so much homogeny... but people tend to move towards where the buzz is. As I said on Poland's blog:
"--what's relevant and what's not--at some point the conversation really SHOULD shift to matters of aesthetic taste rather than predictive power.
So there is definitely some discussion to be had in that we'd all be better off (in terms of seeing "quality" films nominated) if all the precursors awards (BAFTA, critics, Guilds, GLOBES, etc...) would stop trying to predict and really start focusing on what they perceive to be the best."