It's all well and good to enjoy the pageantry of the Academy Awards. It's a TV ratings event. It's a big PR grab for the industry. But one of the sad by-products of its meaningless hype generation is reinforcing the belief that movies can and should be compared against one another in competition for "best."

A piece on IndieWire reveals that Ryan Coogler not only agrees with this but sees other issues with the whole Oscar endeavor as well.

In a way, he says, it undermines everything pure and good about the pursuit of the craft. Movies all operate by their own rules, for their own metrics of success. Ultimately, they are a business and/or an art form. But the Academy Awards celebrate neither thing. It creates a whole new internal and elitist subjecting judgment system. 

But there is another far more egregious downside to the Oscars.

As we've seen recently with the HFPA and their failure to have a single Black person on their voting board, representation and diversity in these awards shows are sorely lacking

Notably, the Oscars improved that this year with a historic nomination field that included the all-Black producing team behind Coogler's Judas and the Black Messiah

So why doesn't Coogler want in? 

“I don’t buy into this versus that, or ‘this movie wasn’t good enough to make this list,'” Coogler said. “I love movies. For me, that’s good enough. If I’m going to be a part of organizations, they’re going to be labor unions, where we’re figuring out how to take care of each other’s families and health insurance. But I know that these things bring exposure.”

In a piece on THR, Coogler used another comparison to explain how the Oscars don't work for him: 

“Why did it take 93 years for there to be three Black producers nominated for an Academy Award? Is it because there weren’t three Black people willing to produce movies? Probably not. Was it because we didn’t have the access to the kind of capital to make a big, sweeping studio feature? Maybe a little bit. Was it because we made that stuff and they didn’t recognize it? Maybe a little bit. But none of it feels good. So it’s bittersweet.”

There are more important ways to measure a film's success, and there are more important things for a filmmaker to focus on. There are more important things for audiences and fans to consider or think about. 

Sure, on the one hand, anyone who is anti-Oscars is painted as a bit of a killjoy. On the other hand, a wise man once said, "comparison is the thief of joy." 

There is a long line of filmmakers who found more important things to do than attend the industry's annual self-aggrandizing event. The great John Ford said, "I didn't show up at the ceremony to collect any of my first three Oscars. Once I went fishing, another time there was a war on, and on another occasion, I remember, I was suddenly taken drunk." 

Marlon Brando famously skipped the event when he won for The Godfather. Here he is in an amazing scarf explaining the reasoning to Dick Cavett.

What do you think? Should Coogler fall in line and join the Academy and play the game? Or is he right to skip it? And more importantly... has anyone ever had a better reason to miss it than John Ford when he was suddenly "taken drunk"?