24.2.08

Academy Rejects Public’s Fave ‘Juno’

The Oscar trend continues with members of the Academy seemingly living in a different universe than the film-going public.

Mostly shunned at the 80th Annual Academy Awards was the uplifting, light-hearted surprise hit “Juno” (won Best Original Screenplay), but honored with major awards were two dark and violent offerings; this despite the fact that “Juno” had a significantly greater box-office take than any of its competitors.

“No Country for Old Men,” a story about an insane murderer, took Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture trophies, while “There Will Be Blood,” the tale of a brutally sadistic oil tycoon, was the recipient of Best Cinematography and Best Actor gold statues.

Hollywood ignored the box-office and turned a blind’s eye to a recent Reuters/E-Poll survey as well, one in which “Juno” beat the competition again. In a poll of 1,100 adults, 29% of respondents chose “Juno” for best picture, 25% picked “No Country For Old Men” and 20% “Atonement.”

More significantly, the survey confirmed the growing gap between fans and Academy voters. About 72% said the Academy's best film choices were influenced by critics and Hollywood insiders.

James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.

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