As you know, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences has announced that they will be including a new category called 'Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film' in their award agenda as of 2020. And I was watching an interview in which two film critics exchange their ideas pertaining to the matter in question like "Is it any good for the Academy or bad?"

One of the critics said to the other that Oscars do not hold much importance to some directors in the industry anymore. The other one replied: "What you said is not quite true because getting nominated for an Oscar and receiving one has still considerable significance for some names working in the industry such as Scorsese." Followingly he made a joke saying: "Okay maybe not for Woody Allen. He does not care about the Oscars at all."

So what I'd like to know is why the Oscars are unimportant for Woody Allen. I know that there had been some award ceremonies where Allen was not in the attendance but some of them he did attend like the one in 2002.

Could Woody Allen's disinterestedness be related with him not considering himself a Hollywood personality or is there another reason for it?

  • While the question if and why the Oscar are or are not important to Woody Allen is not necessarily a bad question, the problem here is that you're essentially not actually asking that rather than why that critic even said that and why he made that joke. You deduced that the Oscars aren't important for Allen, but we don't know what the ciritic in that interview really meant and if that's the case.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 18:51
  • They were talking about how the Oscars has started to lose their credibility and reliability due to their biased system of film selection functioning on the basis of certain ideological & political criteria. As I've written in my post, one of these critics proposed the question whether it is still of importance to receive an Oscar for filmmakers today. The other critic's reply into this was as presented above. So no, he didn't seem he said it as if there laid different meaning beneath it. Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 21:02
  • 3
  • I always wondered why anyone cares about the oscars at all. Who cares who the winner of a pay to play game is?
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 18:22
  • It might be similar to reviewers who critique Tarantino films, even though they know far less about cinema than the director. These judgments might have some value for a subset of viewers who share the reviewers sensibilities, but are generally irrelevant in regard to the artform of cinema.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


Woody Allen has been known to ignore Oscars and never attends them. According to his biographer, Eric Lax;

LAX: It's really almost impossible, as he puts it, to judge art, that it's so subjective, you can't really say, well, this performance is better than that or that writing is better than this and that, if you get caught in that trap of relying on other people, however great they are, to tell you whether you're any good, you're either going to consciously or subconsciously start playing to that group.


In addition to the factual and technical notes by Johnny Bones, let's also consider what an award is in the first place.

In many cases, an award is presented and distributed by an agency standing apart from the groups qualified for being awarded. In some cases, like the AMPAS the committee is supposedly a collection of professionals within the organization but really, who knows for sure? Who gets nominated and why is a matter of contention, but it ultimately follows a set of rules which are not important to list here. Some believe the probability of being nominated is offset by the amount of money one budgets for campaigning for such things.

Whether or not it's all true is not as important as whether or not it's all just a bunch of useless noise to people who are more interested in the work they produce. Some film makers and writers do it because they love doing it, must do it, or their work speaks for itself and their futures are not contingent on the number of accolades they have collected over the years.

Psychologically speaking, it is possible that Woody Allen just didn't care to pander to a ritual that makes no sense to him. I agree, as I could not care less if I was awarded anything. Nobel, Congressional Medal of Honor, Oscar. They all mean absolutely nothing to me and I am unknown in a field where having such awards may actually benefit my so called career. I wouldn't even respond if I was nominated. Even though there are numerous quotes from Woody Allen on the subject, the foundation for his disinterest is most likely in a confidence in his own work that never needed affirmation from anyone else. Like a comedian who makes the whole room laugh - that alone is the affirmation they needed, whether or not a panel of goof balls decided to give them a small statue to recognize this.

Not to be an A-Hole, but there's also the notion of who else holds this award. How do we know he doesn't just despise someone or many who have been awarded? Maybe he thinks of himself apart, or above some of the industry standards defined by who has been awarded in the past. To him, winning an oscar might be akin to "polishing a turd" ... Like if Adolf Hitler was awarded a Nobel prize. Every other holder pretty much throws that award in the trash at that point.

Any official notation on the subject is pretty easily found through Google searching. I added this blurb just to give a personal note. I work for an agency that just won the top award at some thing I don't care about. But my not caring about it is why I can relate to Woody Allen on this subject. I simply cannot find it in me to concern myself with what a panel of people have decided is the best. It seems so self serving, and reciprocal. What a silly little game.

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