There are a few people out there in the acting world that a lot of folks want to see win an Oscar, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s name is starting to spill from a lot of lips when it comes to just who might deserve it the most. At one time it was Leonardo DiCaprio since he’d come so close so many times and seemingly been denied for no good reason. But Benedict is among those that might finally need to get the nod if people are going to be kept happy and the Academy Awards are finally to gain any semblance of legitimacy instead of being deemed a tool for those that want to keep putting people on a pedestal for something other than their acting merit. Am I saying that his being a white, heterosexual male is hindering him or making him a victim of this event? Not at all, but there is a general bias at the Academy’s that doesn’t tend to take into account the great work done by many actors, no matter their color, race, age, or gender, and it’s become kind of tiresome throughout the years. But enough of that.
Benedict has in fact been nominated for an Academy award, so there’s nothing to say that he hasn’t gained the attention of those that can help his career in a big way. There’s really only one reason why anyone would ever speak out against him winning, and that happens to be the very real occurrence that comes when one hoists the golden statue above their head and the change comes over them. As Phoebe Shardlow from Elle might put it, the party doesn’t hit another level once you win that little golden man, it only gets harder. Not only does life go on after the recipient takes their little statue home, they’re not necessarily guaranteed anything other than the feeling of having won, a feeling that will fade eventually as they continue to do what they do, hopefully in just as successful a manner and hopefully without losing any love for it upon realizing that it didn’t afford them any special privileges, only bragging rights that a lot of people will shrug off as unimportant.
Some folks, like Mike McGranaghan from ScreenRant, could point out that some actors’ careers have gone down the tubes not long after winning the award, though the reasons behind this are varied since each person went through different struggles in their career. The point is that the award, though very prestigious and definitely sought after by many within the business, is still little more than a token of thanks by an academy that looks, judges, and decides who the ‘winners’ of the industry are when it comes to who does the best job. Don’t get me wrong, recognizing a winner from the bunch is a time-honored tradition since it gives credit where it’s due and reminds people that just showing up and getting on screen isn’t quite enough to gain the popularity, awards, or the paycheck that some people do. But the Academy Awards have become something of a joke throughout the years and as a result the little golden man, which the Academy would buy back for the price of one dollar if anyone ever bothered, has become little more than a token that will collect dust and sit on a shelf once it’s taken home. In a way the statue is a reminder that the Academy has in fact put an actor on notice that certain things are expected of them now, as apparently the actors are expected to continue their work but still remain pertinent in order to show that their reward is well-earned.
If you can believe it, some people have even refused the Oscar in the past, as Becky Little of History.com has relayed that actors like Marlon Brando and George C. Scott have offered heavy criticism of the award as it it seemed, to them, to signify something more than the Academy’s approval, which they didn’t feel the need to acknowledge. The Oscar is a great way to recognize talent, to show that the people who have been doing their best and giving their all have reached the top, but it does seem at times to be little more than a way to congratulate those the Academy deems worthy of such accolades, when in truth the fans would likely pick someone far different. The question now is would fans continue to accept Benedict if he did manage to take the Oscar? Would he be one of those whose career took a nosedive, or would he be able to soldier on and continue doing what got him to the show in the first place? In some instances it might be better if he simply lived with the nominations and didn’t win, as it seems those that don’t win tend to go on to greater fame without the Oscar in their pocket.