‘Tis the season of award shows and red carpets yet again as the 89th Academy Awards airs Sunday night

It is the time for people to gather around their TV sets to watch the beautiful celebrities commend themselves on the past year’s hard work. An Oscar is the highest decoration a film or celebrity can hold, but according to whom?

As the award show approaches, it may be time to question just who decides on the films that are known and loved.

The Academy is made up of 6,000 members separated into 16 branches. According to the Oscars website, one can become a member only if they become sponsored by two people who are already in the branch that they want to be a part of in the Academy. Once one has two recommendations from the appropriate Executive Branch Committee, their proposal is submitted to the Board of Governors for final approval.

Sean O’Leary, professor and film production coordinator for the radio, television and film department at Rowan University, spoke about his view of the Oscars.

“There’s this concept of ‘Oscar-bait,’” he explained. “You have to remember that the Oscars ceremony is the industry giving awards to itself.”

O’Leary went on to say that he had not seen any of the movies up for Oscars this year and he was not criticizing their eligibility, but was explaining the process of how they get to the Academy Awards.

“They’re nominated by people who work in the business; it is very much an economic process,” he said. “Studios lobby hard for certain kinds of movies to get nominations, and that raises their profile and they get more money.”

Some movies up for awards have certainly captivated the public, though Karlyn Harlow, sophomore radio, television and film major, discussed the success of “La La Land” and the leading actor in the movie.

“It’s impossible to ignore the success of ‘La La Land’ and those who took part in it. More specifically, Ryan Gosling revealed himself as a classic Hollywood style triple threat,” Harlow said. In ‘La La Land’ we saw him cut a rug, play the piano, and sing about a girl.”

“La La Land” has 14 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, and is sure to be one of the recurring topics of the night.

Harlow went on about Gosling’s role in the movie, “His work in ‘La La Land’ is by far his best, due to the variety of talents he used to tell the story.”

Harlow is not the only student captivated by the musical drama’s storyline; Jaryd Leady, sophomore radio, television and film major, discussed what makes the film special for him.

“I think what makes up a good movie is the story behind it,” Leady said. “Of course it needs to be shot well and look good, but I prefer a good story that comes together at the end.”

The Oscars is a night of celebration for those in attendance, and a night of entertainment for viewers at home. It is hard to decipher if the nomination process that the movies go through is fair, but O’Leary believes one thing for certain.

“If everyone in the world got to vote on their favorite movies, I think we’d see a much different list.”

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