The Oscars are a time in which not only great achievements of acting, directing, writing, and other filmmaking aspects are recognized, but also a period in which reflection takes place. The event is a cause for great celebration for the films that have been able to ascend above the other productions in the past year, and overall it can be looked upon as a fantastic gathering and honorable evening. While filmmakers may be so good at their craft that they may come across as invincible walks of life, the improbable fortune of death faces us all as humans, and the recent deaths of many cinematic greats has the Academy scrambling for the In Memoriam portion of the Academy Awards.
Early 2014 has brought a whole lot of misfortune to filmmakers. Just in the past two months Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, Tom Sherak, and Harold Ramis have left this earth for the great unknown. Many people are expecting their talents to be recognized in this highly regarded segment of the Oscars, and these names alone are not including other deaths from the past year such as James Gandolfini, Peter O’Toole, Deanna Durbin, Joan Fontaine, Roger Ebert, Ray Dolby, Ray Harryhausen, Paul Walker, and Elmore Leonard.
There is only so much time that can be dedicated to this portion of the awards ceremony, and the order of sequence in which these names will appear for viewers and even the simple fact of the matter of who will make the cut has people biting their nails. It’s an emotional sequence of the ceremony, and a lot of people find that certain selections of applause and silence when names flash on the screen make it unfair and almost like a celebrity popularity contest. While the distribution of the little golden statues should be of utmost importance for the Academy, it seems that these deadlines may be the cause of controversy with the awards handed out this year.