As much as I continue to think the Golden Globes and the Oscars are trying to separate their cinema linkage, it's clear that sharing the award wealth is now a real philosophy for both events. Whether or not you want to use my term of award socialism, presenting a few awards to every movie nominee has potential to create some interesting situations at the Oscars if it keeps up. We may have seen the beginnings of it with a tie for Sound Editing, the first such scenario in 18 years.
How would the public react if the Oscars eventually managed to produce ties for many of the top categories? For some people, it may be a satisfying outcome when there's a recent, mountainous increase in quality films for Oscar season. For others, it might mean a cop-out when the whole point is to whittle down who the very best of the year was.
There's no way to gauge how the public felt about it when the first tie occurred at the Oscars in 1932 with Frederic March and Wallace Beery tying for Best Actor. Considering the competition was just as fierce then for that prize as it is now, seeing both of those winners standing side by side would have made headlines today. Only in a current alternate universe can we imagine the shot of Quvenzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva standing next to one another on stage while beaming arm in arm.
Back when Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tied for Best Actress at the 1969 Oscars, the show had the misfortune of Hepburn not being present for a similar photo-op. In those days, it may be that tie wins were considered a problem with later assurances it would never occur again in the major categories, especially for two diva actresses. The irony for this year is that there seemed to be so much intense interest in sound editing, the academy couldn't help but bring a tie.
When you look at that, it proves most academy members take the minutiae of every category seriously. Too many of us forget the importance of how the sound of a movie can make the experience awesome or simply one of utter annoyance and the potential of tinnitus. Whether that's ever applied to the audio of movie trailers is a whole different story.
The world of movies, though, has just had a major shot in the arm that brings too many upset feelings when a powerhouse movie is overlooked. There may have been some of those feelings last night at the Oscars when "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was overlooked for a single award, despite having three nominations. Had there been more tie wins in the last few years, it's possible academy members wouldn't have hesitated to give Quvenzhane Wallis the Oscar next to Jennifer Lawrence (with help going up those steps).
Despite tie wins not necessarily being controlled due to random voting, don't count out the possibility of seeing it again on purpose at the Oscars, if even the Golden Globes. It's hard to imagine that the public wouldn't have minded a tie for Best Picture this year, depending on your point of view. That's because when audiences love movies, they don't mind when those movies receive equalized love in return.
And in the world of award socialism, it's all above spreading love rather than fostering animosity at losing.