Why do we link our job and our wealth to our self-worth? Here’s everything wrong with the Academy Awards, and what it means for us civilians and randomers and hustle culture… Movie lovers unite indeed. Have you heard the one about how Tom Holland was sabotaged by some late deliveries of DVDs to Academy voters? Today’s commentary largely uses the Russo Brothers’ Cherry from Apple TV+ and starring Spider-Man for the example.Listen to “056: No-One Deserves An Oscar” on Spreaker.
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Transcript of No One Deserves An Oscar
Bear: [00:00:00] It was spring 2020 a joyous time throughout the world, and perfect for a hard hitting drama about opioid addiction and PTSD, because actually there’s no convenient time to be reminded of these problems and that we should probably do something about them. Cherry premiered on Apple TV plus starring that dude from Spiderman. No, not that guy. The other guy. Nope. Not him, Peter. They’re all called Peter. The other one.
It’s that time of the content calendar again, where I tenuously try to connect personal finance topics to Tom Holland and or Spiderman. Underoos keeps gatecrashing the party we’re having. I tried telling King Holly to leave, but it’s no use.
Peter Parker: I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go.
Bear: the grapevine on the wild wild west of Instagram says the DVD screeners for Cherry didn’t make it to the academy voters until the evening of the voting.
Cherry is over two hours long. So even if they didn’t have other plans, keeping in mind that voters have a lot of films to get through as well as lives to live generally ahead of voting time, It sounds like it would have been impossible for them to watch the film in time and vote in time.
Was this the [00:01:00] filmmakers fault for finishing at the last minute? Well, the majority of films are finished at the last minute, sometimes still having special effects and dialogue added the week before they come out in cinemas. So actually if a film finishes at the last minute, it’s more like it’s finishing right on time.
Was there an entertainment political conspiracy there because Apple is a streaming platform? Who knows?
Hypothetically though, what if voters had seen the movie in time to vote? Would the best actor nominations have looked very different?
Who really deserves an Oscar? How do we decide that we deserve anything?
Now this isn’t a review of a performance based on my personal opinion. Let’s examine instead how the Oscars decide whose worthy, and then I’ll cover what this means for you, because this is really about all of us and hustle culture. We can get a clue as to what the Oscars look for in a performer, from the interviews used to promote the movie, because those interviews are also a showcase where the actor makes an indirect pitch to the Academy as to why they’re worth noticing
Tom Holland: There were moments where I sort of sat down with my brother and I was like, I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can come to work tomorrow. I am like a shell of who I am. the physical aspect was demanding and losing the [00:02:00] weight was uncomfortable and I was miserable. I was lucky enough that my hair and makeup artist, my costumer, my brother and my dialect coach were all there with me. And they are all my friends, they’re my best friends. I work with them every single day. We all live very close to each other.
We see each other every weekend. We’re like the best of friends. So I think for them at times they were wondering if I was going too far. Um, you know, I lost an obscene amount of weight. And I think at times, I remember Antony especially, my costumer sort of saying like, please,
will you just come out to dinner with me and have a burger. but I always say when you’re portraying real people, or if you’re representing millions of people around the world, you know, there are millions of people suffering from substance abuse and PTSD; there is a level of responsibility to do justice to those characters. So I always say hard work is good work, and if it’s uncomfortable and if you’re having a hard time, it means you’re probably doing it right.
Bear: I’m exhausted and I need a hug and I wasn’t even there.
We’re taught that the harder it is to do something and the more we suffer doing it, the more worthy we are to be rewarded for that.
When I recorded a segment about this previously for my podcast, it was around the time that I calculated that in a worst case [00:03:00] scenario if I quit all my jobs, got fired by all my clients, I only needed 800 pound a month to live on if I didn’t try to over pay my mortgage or top up my investments or pension. I use the savings method of keeping cash, where there’s interest at all times, and only withdrawing money for expenses
exactly when that expense is due, as opposed to the way most of us spend, which is we do the spending. We see what’s left over and then we move a little bit that’s left over into our savings. If we’re lucky.
With that scenario then why would you need to work around the clock? Unless you felt like you had something to prove.
Now, perhaps what we do for a living, isn’t quite on the scale of being responsible for the jobs of hundreds of other people, maybe you haven’t led a project lately that had a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars. So a lot of actors and celebrities,
Have got a huge amount of pressure on them
to make sure that what they’re doing succeeds because that actually impacts not just their livelihood, but a lot of other people’s lives.
Too all those who were shocked when Brad Pitt admitted that he’d been an alcoholic for years and years, I wasn’t shocked in the [00:04:00] slightest
because not only are you talking about someone who’s under a lot of financial pressure
and under constant scrutiny from strangers as well as their peers, but there’s this whole Oscars layer of really pushing the suffering at work. So you’ve got to be cold and wet and starving. And under that
if you can also be crying, in a state of undress and they made you shave your head, and go through five hours of prosthetics beforehand so that your working day is now 18 hours long. And if the stunt man can also accidentally punch you and break your nose, thank gosh, that Oscar might just be yours at the end of it.
I understand the Oscars feel like they need a way to differentiate people’s performances. There’s a lot of really good actors out there. There’s a lot of people performing at the top of their profession,
but it does bizarrely force people who are already incredibly
stressed and working very hard. Someone will pipe up here to say, you know, that the financial rewards equal the risks involved,
but it is a little bit odd to then have [00:05:00] an award struggle
where your working community then rewards you
for forcing yourself to suffer as much as possible on top of that.
So did Tom Holland deserve an Oscar to prove that his suffering for Cherry was worth it?
Or does it all mean sweet fuck-all now? An Oscar can raise the profile of a movie, although I bet if you asked your neighbor right now, who won last year, they wouldn’t remember in the slightest.
Disney’s motto is that they don’t make movies just so they can make money. They make movies so that they can make more movies; that money is meant to get channeled back into more creativity.
Bear: Some of my favorite content creators use the same approach and they reinvest their profits in order to make bigger and better projects or sometimes smaller projects.
But projects that let them hire other freelances and be a part of the creator economy.
And because maybe stories are one of the prime ways that we connect with each other and process this crazy world and spread messages that inspire,
Cherry’s real measure success would be in the people that it impacted.
so some of the popular content on Instagram in the days [00:06:00] after cherry was released on Apple TV plus were polls
Bear: when people were sharing the many, many times that they’d watched it. And it was the most streamed movie in the U S on its release weekend. there’s also the 1% rule of conversion in marketing.
1% conversion might not a business make depending on what your expenses to profit are.
But in terms of impact, Cherry definitely reached an audience wide enough that even if only 1% of people did something differently as a result, Such as getting help with drug addiction, helping someone with PTSD access, the resources that they needed, it definitely helped more than one person. As May parker would say, if you help someone, you help everyone.
And all of that changes nothing about Tom Holland’s self-worth. We could use the time ehist machine from Avengers,
and try and make it so that Cherry never gets made or he never stars in it. It feels really weird to use the word stars
because really we’re talking about conceptualizing normal people as movie stars, Ie something different and alien and glamorous.
But also different and alien so that when they’re suffering for [00:07:00] their Oscar, someone somewhere can say, ah, well, they get paid for it, if they get kidney failure later, It’s just an occupational hazard.
Either way, he’d still be perfectly worthy of inhabiting the planet and we’d get to watch the version of Cherry starring Taron Egerton.
Eggsy: I’ll be right back.
We really need to believe for ourselves though that our work and our bank account and our self worth are not tied to each other so that we don’t work ourselves into the ground when we’re trying to achieve financial goals.
The content creator, Mr. MoneyJar told me a story.
When it came to self-worth, he was asked if a child was going to be hit by a car, would you try and save the child? And of course the answer is yes, we don’t stop to ask, well, I don’t know. What’s this child going to do for a living when they get older? Are they going to cure cancer? Or are they going to be driving buses?
Are they going to be an astronaut? Are they going to be serving coffee? Is one of these more worthy than the other? Are they going to pay their mortgage on time? Because, Ooh, I don’t know. I might just let the car keep going. We don’t ask that [00:08:00] question. It’s very obvious to us that a child has worth. And yet once we start working,
we really doubt our own worth. And we start to judge other people’s worth based on how much they earn and what they do for a living. If you’re doing 15 hour days to achieve a certain living standard, do you really need to do that to get to where you want to go? Are there ways that you could earn more while working less? Or do you even need the magic number in your head that you think will make you happy?
Are you just desperate for approval? And for someone else to tell you at the end that you deserved it because you worked harder than everyone else?
Keeping in mind that there are sometimes factors that you just can’t control. Like whether the bloody courier delivers the DVDs on time or whoever’s fault it was.
I don’t get my self-worth from likes and shares. Clearly. Otherwise I’d be in a dire state, however, likes and shares are the main way that the platforms decide whether a message is worth sharing. So if you think today would help someone, please do consider liking and sharing it, especially if you also like emotional whiplash.
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