The Triumphant Return of ‘The’

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I’ve realized that the big winner from Sunday night’s 84th annual Academy Awards was not silent films or great acting – no, it was ‘The.’

‘The’ took home the most awards of the night:

Best Picture: “The Artist.”

Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist.”

Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady.”

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist.”

Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”

Original Score: “The Artist.”

Original Song: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets.”

Costume Design: “The Artist.”

Film Editing: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Makeup: “The Iron Lady.”

Animated Short Film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”

Live Action Short Film: “The Shore.”

Seems like you had a good chance of winning gold if you contained ‘The’ in your title. Mental note for my screenplay right?!

When lumped together in this context, it just seems boring to read. Like there’s no original or cool titles anymore – which isn’t true, it’s just that ‘the’ reigned supreme that night.

And as a side note, how do most movies stereotypically end? With ‘The End.’ There is a lot of significance pushed onto that one article. I mentioned it  a few years back there was another onslaught of ‘The’ in movie titles, but this year it just seemed obnoxiously so.

It just makes me, as a writer, try for more creative titles and word associations. ‘The’ is a cliché in my book (!) and I need to stretch my brain more. I’m not going to say I’ll never use it, but it would be a good choice to stay away from it. On the flip side, like I said above, maybe your film can be taken more seriously if you do use that word. There is no clear answer when it comes to ‘The.’

What do you think?


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