'Precious,' the National Board of Review, and the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things | EW.com

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'Precious,' the National Board of Review, and the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things

Monty Python fans will recognize the RSFPTOTOOT immediately – the esteemed members were, according to one of the Python lads’ greatest sketches, men who gathered annually for useless meetings until one day, one of their ilk declared the whole thing rather silly. And the group disbanded. I thought of the RSFPTOTOOT today when the National Board of Review – the American cinema world’s organizational equivalent – announced its choices for the year’s top 10 movies, and Precious was missing from the list. Now, I realize this omission is pretty theoretical stuff to the millions of moviegoers who have yet to see the movie. But trust me, this counts as an extremely silly snub.

Well, I was briefly starting to work up a head of steam about the matter – why is Movie X on the list but Movie Y isn’t, who are these Board Reviewers who

pride themselves on being first among arbiters? But then I realized: Hey, it’s just the NBR being the silly NBR. And soon enough, the critics organizations Owen and I belong to will meet to vote on our own awards and we’ll behave very much like silly critics behave. And then after that, the extraordinarily silly Hollywood Foreign Press Association will vote on its Golden Globe awards. And by the time the Academy Awards are handed out, no one will remember what was snubbed by whom, as awards are put on top of other awards in a teetering pile of things.

Here’s my (semi)serious question: Do awards influence your choice in movies? Do critics’ year-end Top 10 lists?

While you compose answers, serious or otherwise, here’s the RSFPTOTOOT in action, with the added lunacy of Portuguese subtitles.