Tonight, they may hand out the Oscars for finest actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and finest image.

And never one shall be from the highest 10 motion pictures we watched final 12 months.

Individuals flocked to see “Rogue One — A Star Wars Story.” It earned over a half-billion to steer the 2016 field workplace.

Not one main nomination.

Similar holds for “Discovering Dory,” the second-most standard movie of final 12 months. Or “Captain America: Civil Battle,” which was No. three, or “The Secret Lifetime of Pets” or “The Jungle E book,” which spherical out the highest 5.

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Much more folks noticed “Suicide Squad” than “La La Land,” the movie that’s predicted to wash up tonight within the massive awards.

Greater than twice as many individuals noticed speaking sizzling canines in “Sausage Celebration” than noticed Casey Affleck — the favourite for finest actor — in “Manchester By The Sea.”

And if both Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) or Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) win for finest actress, they’ll accomplish that understanding many extra Individuals noticed the ladies of “Soiled Grandpa,” “Barbershop: The Subsequent Reduce,” “Unhealthy Mothers” and “Boo! A Madea Halloween” than noticed them of their award-winning turns.

This isn’t new. Increasingly, the Oscars are inclined to have fun movies that go away the viewers saying, “How did we miss that one?”

Maybe the hashtag needs to be modified from #OscarsSoWhite to #OscarsSoElite.

Or can we, the lots, simply haven’t any style?

Dissecting the disconnect

It’s the latter that’s believed to be true in Hollywood. Tentpole motion pictures just like the Marvel superheroes, or one other Jason Bourne, “Star Trek” or “Journey Alongside” installment are counted on to excite the lots with thrills, motion, particular results or predictable laughs — and to herald massive cash.

That massive cash then permits studios, administrators and actors to go off and make small, creative motion pictures for a fraction of the fee. Actors who demand $10 million to placed on a cape will fortunately work for next-to-nothing if they will play a hardship position which may win them a statue.

However why the disconnect? If these movies are so nice, the performances so stellar, why aren’t we speeding out to see them? And if that’s the case many individuals are loving the massive movies, why are they not thought-about award-worthy?

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This wasn’t at all times true. Within the 1960s, for instance, a lot of the finest image winners have been within the high 5 field workplace, and lots of of them — “West Facet Story,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Sound of Music,” “My Honest Woman” — have been No. 1 for the 12 months.

So what occurred? Nicely. There is no such thing as a scientific examine to reference. However I’ve just a few suspicions.

First, as expertise enabled movies to dazzle us with particular results, appearing grew to become much less necessary than flying and dialogue much less necessary than explosions. An actor who spends most of his time wired up in entrance of a inexperienced display screen isn’t seen as doing award-winning work.

Second, we’ve fallen in love with two varieties of movies: superheroes and cartoons. The 10 top-grossing movies final 12 months have been one or the opposite. So studios, hedging their bets, sink most of their cash into advertising and distributing these movies, leaving the “artwork” movies to scream for consideration — or to achieve many screens.

After which there’s the critics.

One thing to ponder

There appears to be a correlation between excessive field workplace and low crucial marks: extra of 1, extra of the opposite. (This isn’t at all times true, to be truthful, as “Rogue One,” “Jungle E book” and even “Deadpool” have been critically praised.) However usually, the considering goes, if it’s standard, it might probably’t be that good.

However, if it’s small, darkish, miserable, introspective, controversial or deemed socially necessary, you possibly can depend on rave evaluations. This in the end has an impact on these within the business, which, it doesn’t matter what they are saying, learn these evaluations, and should in flip contemplate them within the nominating course of and even the voting.

Contemplate that 4 of the final 5 years, the Greatest Image winner couldn’t crack the highest 60 in field workplace, regardless of the publicity that profitable the golden statue brings. These have been positive movies — “Highlight,” “Birdman,” “12 Years A Slave,” “The Artist” — but in addition disturbing, darkish and never household pleasant. (“The Artist,” you bear in mind, was a silent film. Not gonna be an enormous viewers for that.)

By the way in which, this phenomenon is just not restricted to movies. Books that win the Pulitzer Prize or the Nationwide E book Award are not often ones many individuals have learn. You’ll by no means see a John Grisham or Stephen King within the bunch. Critics in that business gained’t even deign to evaluate sure authors (James Patterson, for instance) that often high bestseller lists.

It appears unusual to be always advised that the flicks we most select usually are not the great ones, that the books we learn usually are not actually one of the best. Are all of us dumbing down, or are the judges turning elite?

One thing to ponder tonight as you attempt to determine if “Lion,” “Elle” and “Moonlight” are that nice, how come you by no means heard of them?

Contact Mitch Albom: Take a look at the newest updates together with his charities, books and occasions at Catch “The Mitch Albom Present” 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760). Comply with him on Twitter @mitchalbom. To learn his latest columns, go to activities/mitch-albom.