There was a time, not so long ago, when they were all we had. Film fans waited an entire year just to see their favorites line up for the annual red carpet ritual, the end result being a decorative gold statue (or disappointment) and a slap on the back from their own insular club (or not). The previous 12 months held a wealth of possibilities, and it all boiled down to a four hour excuse for grandstanding and kowtowing, legends being built while some movie myths were dismantled. It was our chance to see those famous faces with their guard down, wins eliciting cheers (or jeers) with losses and snubs providing a similar level of consideration/controversy. Back before the Internet, back before the social media tweeted the trivial and the travesty of every cinematic step, the Oscars mattered. Like prize fighting, horse racing, and professional chess playing, The Academy Awards used to be a national obsession. Now, they’re just a nuisance.