The movies we never watch

Olivia Austin

Although many movie buffs look forward to watching the films nominated for an Academy Award and the Oscars awards show itself, most young viewers are not very interested. 

Of the 80 Nazareth students surveyed, about 30% have not seen any of the movies nominated in one of the most popular awards categories: “Best Picture.” The two most watched movies: “West Side Story” and “Don’t Look Up” only amassed a total of 23 and 13 views, respectively

“I haven’t even heard of most of these movies [nominated for Best Picture],” said sophomore June Foley. “I have only seen some of this year’s more popular movies like ‘Sing 2’ and ‘Spider-man’,” Foley said. 

Only about half of students surveyed watched movies that featured actors and actresses nominated for a leading role. 54% of students saw at least one movie in the category “Actor in a Leading Role” and 49% of students saw at least one movie in the category “Actress in a Leading Role.” 

Sophomore Charlie Arenz watched “tick, tick… BOOM!” with Andrew Garfield. “I liked the movie, it was pretty good,” said Arenz. But, while watching, Arenz didn’t even know it was nominated. “I saw ads on Youtube and TikTok for it and that’s why I watched it,” said Arenz. 

Only two students surveyed knew when the Oscars awards show was airing, and less than a quarter of those surveyed are planning on tuning in to the show. 37% of students said they might watch, and 39% have no plans to do so. 

Nazareth guidance counselor and honorary pop-culture guru, Brendan Green, shared his ideas about why some may seem to be uninterested in the Oscars awards show. 

Despite the fact that Green enjoys keeping up with many shows, the media, and celebrity news, he doesn’t plan on watching the Oscars either. In fact, in regards to movies nominated in the categories “Best Picture,” “Actor in a Leading Role,” or “Actress in a Leading Role,” Green said that “I haven’t seen anything.”

“It seems to be that the most popular movies are not nominated for anything,” said Green. He wonders if more people would tune in to the Oscars if awards were being presented to movies that they actually watched. 

“In my opinion, the Academy seems to consistently honor movies that people see as artsy or deep, much more than they do popularity,” said Green. “To me, that seems silly, because if it’s the most popular movie, that means people like it most.”

Nazareth English Department Chair and Literature & Film teacher Jeanna Paliatka agrees.“I think that one of the main reasons that students don’t watch Oscar-nominated movies is because, often, the movies nominated are not necessarily popular movies,” said Paliatka. “I think that sometimes the nominations are a little more obscure or not as well-known, and students are unaware of the films,” said Paliatka. 

This problem was addressed a few years ago. “The Oscars were considering including a category that centered on popular films. But, there was a lot of criticism for that before it was truly introduced,” said Paliatka. Paliatka mentions that she believes there is a disconnect between the more popular movies and movies that get nominated for Oscars, which could also contribute to the lack of young viewers. 

Nazareth Drama and Speech teacher Kim White loves the movies for the escape they offer. “I love movies because sometimes you just need to be entertained,” said White. “The history of movies is escapism. Especially with our world right now, I don’t want to watch a movie about what’s happening in the real world.”

White wishes that some of the more popular movies would be nominated for Oscars. “I wish ‘Encanto’ got a nomination for best picture. In fact, that movie should be an Oscar winner,” said White. “Everybody loves ‘Encanto;’ my granddaughters and I love it because of the beautiful animation, music, and it has a wonderful message- it’s what our world needs,” said White.

The Oscars awards show, hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes, will air on Sunday, March 27, 2022. 

If you’re interested in viewing some of the nominated movies before the awards show, following are those nominated in the three popular categories. Many are available on streaming services.