As Oscar season winds down and several major categories boil down to shoo-in victories, it seems salient to ask whether the tastes of the average American moviegoer dovetail with Academy consensus.
The answer? Almost never. And that's not a bad thing.
The heartening thing about domestic 2014 box office returns is that most of the biggest successes — minus “Transformers: Age of Extinction” of course — are also critical smashes. Not all of those critical smashes are battling in the most prestigious Oscar categories, but many of them netted multiple nominations. To settle the sometimes hostile rift between audiences and critics, we're proposing what the Oscar handout would look like in ten major categories if the average (but somewhat discerning) moviegoer were given the deciding vote.
Though this means great, lesser-seen movies like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood” miss out, it also mean some of the cooler performances from blockbusters get a chance to earn much-deserved kudos. Join us for our democratized, suburban multiplex-friendly Oscars.