Patrick Goldstein’s article about Hollywood’s Oscar obsession is worth a read:

The Oscars have become a circular firing squad, touted and debated by a small coterie of Oscar publicists, bloggers, marketers, agents, producers and antsy studio executives–all talking to themselves. The public has grown bored with the whole charade. They’d rather be watching “American Idol,” which has far more verve and sense of immediacy. We no longer live in a quality culture, or more accurately, a culture that aspires to quality.

Goldstein wonders what would happen if a major force like Clint Eastwood decided to stop feeding the Oscar delirium. My hunch is that enough critics would applaud the move that he could still get the same awards.

UPDATE: I didn’t mean to Afghan-air-raid Goldstein’s quote, but by lopping of his paragraph where I did, the post implied something he didn’t really mean. My apologies.

Goldstein’s quote, continued:

So when the Oscars are dominated by small movies that rarely had any mass audience impact, they feel marginalized. Over-50 moviegoers still pay attention to awards, but they go see good movies anyway. All they need to hear is some good buzz from their friends and critics and they’re already in line–the costly Oscar marketing hoopla is largely wasted on them.