It is award season for the films of 2018 and people are liberally casting opinions about the movies they loved or hated. When it comes to the genre of film it seems that we all become armchair critics. Is that fair? What about artistry in acting, directing, visuals etc.? What constitutes an award-winning movie? What ultimately makes a movie a classic?
That started me thinking about the differences between an award-winning book, a classic book, a popular book or one that just grabs you personally. I researched information about award-winning books and found that critics used these words to describe them: demands our attention, compelling and authoritative, potent and hallucinatory, frank and stirring, rich texture of narrative, hypnotic music of voice, energetic and vibrant prose, staggering revelations, believable and relatable characters…
There are structural rules to be followed in the creation of both books and movies but, as can be seen by the above descriptions, there is that extra ‘something’ that elevates a work to a higher status. But what is that ‘something’? Why do some of these creations win awards or become classics?
I am reminded of a story one of my friends related about her book club. They had decided to read ‘the classics’ for that calendar year. When they started reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen a few of the readers got very bogged down. They found it boring and didn’t care for the writing style. But how could this be? It is considered a classic. Classics are judged to have a timeless quality–a lasting worth. Have some classics ceased to be worthy or have some of us become unworthy of the classics? Shakespeare anyone???
These are the questions rattling around in my head as I prepare to send excerpts of my book to agents and publishers. It is my hope that they will see something compelling and relatable in my story. In the meantime, I would love to hear from all of you that are reading and following my blog. What do you find commands your attention in a book, play or movie? What do you consider worthy of awards? Do you enjoy the classics? Maybe we can find the answers to my questions together.