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Academy Awards speculation in the air

Hogan is a junior English major and can be contacted at erin.hogan@drake.edu

While winter weather may have been enough to cancel work and school in parts of the Midwest this week, it will take much more than that to postpone the upcoming Academy Awards on Feb. 27. Floods in Los Angeles postponed the ceremony one week in 1938, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968 pushed it back two days. An attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life in 1981 was the most recent cause for delay. Aside from these instances, the ceremony has occurred annually as scheduled for the last 82 years.

As a kid, I remember quickly becoming bored listening to jokes I didn’t understand and hearing accolades for movies I’d never heard of. But, I was fascinated by the idea of the Oscars. I loved watching the previous winners that aired on Turner Classic Movies and wondered what would shape the film industry in my lifetime. There never seems to be time to see movies in college, let alone to watch them be honored on a Sunday night with Monday’s deadlines looming. But, I still love this tradition, even when I can’t watch it unfold on live television.

There is so much history and drama that goes into planning the awards themselves. While political elections may be wrapping up in November, producers and studios are just beginning their own campaigns. They rush to expose their films to the 6,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The more members that see a movie, the better chance it has of being nominated.

According to the Academy’s website, nomination ballots are mailed to members in late December and returned in January. All voters nominate a film for the Best Picture award and the awards in their fields, as designated by the Academy. The top nomination recipients in each category receive the official nominations that are announced to the public in the third week of January.

Then, the speculations begin. Every Movie bloggers and entertainment publications begin placing their bets. But, despite all of the speculation, you never know what curveball the Academy might throw. This is the part I love. In an age where the audience has control over every winner of “American Idol,” I think it’s refreshing to leave these awards up to the professionals. That’s why receiving one is such an honor. While actors definitely seem to care about what audiences might think, to know that those trained in your craft respect your work is an even greater reward for many in the industry.

Film is a wonderful tradition that helps us preserve history, reflect the culture of our own generation and explore new ideas and possibilities. So, even if you don’t have the time to watch the ceremony, I would encourage you to check out some of the nominated pictures and test your own preconceptions and held notions through the film medium.

If you’re living on campus, you have the opportunity to watch “Inception,” “The Town” and “Despicable Me” on RHA’s Drake Movie Channel this month. “Inception” was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and “Despicable Me” was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. Actor Jeremy Renner in “The Town” was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Oscar Facts

Official Name:
Academy Award® of Merit

Height:3½ inches

8½ pounds

Number of Awards Presented:

First Recipient:
Emil Jannings won Best Actor for his performances in “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh” in 1929


A knight holding a crusader’s sword, standing on a reel of film. The reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers

Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at

Los Angeles artist George Stanley


R. S. Owens & Company in Chicago

Manufacturing Time:
Three to Four weeks for 50 statuettes

From www.Oscar.org


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