What If We Reinvented Awards Season As a Playoff Tournament?

Has awards season become a tad repetitive for your tastes? Sure, the recent surge by The King's Speech over The Social Network is exciting, I suppose, but at this point how many awards can we see Natalie Portman and Colin Firth win against basically the same competition before we all collectively throw up our hands and say, "OK, we get it. Can we just move on to the Oscars now? Or at least try something different?" Here's an idea: What if every single awards ceremony were important?

Specifically, what if, in some strange alternate universe, awards season was a bracket-style tournament and to even get to the Academy Awards, you had to win three other critics association awards to advance? Wouldn't this be more exciting than the endless parade of the same nominees and, for the most part, the same winners?

To wit (click for bigger):


For example, does Natalie Portman really care that she won the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (which she did)? Imagine, instead, if Portman had to beat, say, Teri Polo (in a classic one seed versus eighth seed situation) to advance on to the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards to face tougher competition -- someone like Made in Dagenham's Sally Hawkins? Moreover, what if the critics in Kansas City really liked Little Fockers? Upset City, that's what.

That could add some intrigue because, as opposed to the way it's set up now, an upset would actually mean something. "Oh, The King's Speech upset The Social Network at the PGA Awards! What does it mean?" As previously noted here, it means nothing until the Academy itself casts its ballots. However, in a playoff scenario, if The Social Network had actually been ousted in Vancouver by The Nutcracker in 3D (per the match-up in our bracket below), it means everything -- an entire awards season with The Social Network out of the running.

Finally, the top guilds and bigger awards bodies determine who will go on to the final four championship at the Academy Awards, making for a shorter show with more flexibility between segments, speeches and the like. Which, let's face it, would make everybody happier.

Anyway, it's just an idea -- but one, perhaps, whose time has come? Chime in below with your own suggestions for an alternate-reality awards-season scenario.