That ringing of bells and clinking of glasses and smattering of applause you're hearing is the sound of the movie awards season starting, which means it's time for studios and producers to roll out their great and thundering Oscar campaigns. And you know what? That's OK.
The Academy is trying to stamp campaigning out by banning fancy campaign receptions and parties and the like, because people typically complain about the practice, calling it boorish and desperate and not a little arrogant. And it is! It definitely is all that. Surely the best way to win an award is to not have plead or begged for it. Award winners are supposed to be shocked and humbled and sincerely grateful. They should not have mounted huge, expensive campaigns to get themselves on that stage. So yes, Oscar campaigns are all a bit tacky and unseemly, we can all agree on that. But also? Tacky and unseemly is a whole lotta fun.
Take Harvey Weinstein. (Please.) He's basically the inventor of the modern Oscar campaign, the guy who wasn't afraid to advertise, bully, harangue, and whatever else to get people to vote for his films. And it's worked splendidly in the past, with victories like The English Patient and the surprise upset Shakespeare in Love. But his success in his campaigns hasn't earned him any respect, if anything it's just earned him even more derision than his famously bellicose behavior has already engendered. People think Harvey's campaigns are ugly and tasteless, probably because they kind of are. But boy has everyone followed his model anyway! Why? Because it works. And we're glad for that, because the sad dances of Oscar campaigns add that much more zest to what is, when you boil it down to just the simple syrup, a pretty shallow perennial carnival.