Who Cares About the Oscars This Year?

Photograph by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Complaining about the relevance of the Oscars is a ritual almost as old as the the ceremony itself. But this year, at least, critics may have a point: The 84th Academy Awards is not expected to break any records. Far from it. The Artist—a French silent movie starring little-known actors—is heavily favored to win Best Picture at the Oscars this Sunday. Advertisers are paying an average $1.7 million per 30-second slot to promote their brands during one of the biggest television events—the so-called Super Bowl for women. But it’s not clear if the buzz surrounding this arthouse film and its fellow nominees will translate into viewers for the awards show.

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