The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claims its main objective is to "recognise and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures."
A noble intention that sadly falls through a lot of the time.
Year after year its selection of winners manage to dumbfound viewers, critics and performers alike. Mediocre, often sickly sweet, middlebrow dramas with supposedly inspirational plot points seem to be their favourite form of film. So much so that the term 'Oscar bait' has been prescribed to countless nominees everyone beyond the Academy were bored senseless by.
Another especially frustrating trait of the long-running ceremony is its penchant for snubbing great performers time and time again only to reward them for average work late into their careers. A bizarre habit that does the awards' prestige no favours, it has lead to a variety of questionable winners and unfair losses.
Conspiracies of studio meddling (especially from a certain disgraced, highly infamous producer) run afoot, as do questions of just how independent the voting really is. For all the times the Academy get it right, there's a boatload of questionable statue holders out there making them look like fools.