On Sunday night, Hollywood’s top stars will walk on the glam­orous red carpet into the Kodak Theatre to attend the 85th annual Academy Awards, known as the Oscars. Over the past few years, the event has endured some harsh crit­icism about how the orga­ni­zation chooses its winners.

The Academy might have some flaws, but the event sig­nifies more than just rich people in sparkly outfits giving one another giant golden statues. It’s a timeless tra­dition, and it’s fun. We should lighten up and enjoy it.

It’s old Hol­lywood without the Com­munism. In an era in which civility and good tra­di­tions have become so rare, should we really wish to do away with one of the last remaining civil tra­di­tions in our film culture? The Oscars provide a won­derful link to the past, a time in which people got together and behaved them­selves in an orderly fashion. And it is notably better than its award show com­petitors such as the glitzy, seedy Grammy Awards.

But they don’t nom­inate the right movies, critics com­plain. Last year, Octavia Spencer won Best Sup­porting Actress for her deeply moving por­trayal of life for blacks in the South in “The Help.” Best Sup­porting Actor Nominee Max von Sydow delivered a fan­tastic per­for­mance — without ever uttering a word — in the 9/11 film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” And Meryl Streep earned her third Oscar for playing our dear Mar­garet Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” making her the win­ningest actress in Academy Awards history. All three of these movies offer insight into the human soul, and we should be pleased Hol­lywood still bothers to rec­ognize what’s good.

And there are more cat­e­gories than the most pub­li­cized. Every year someone wins an Oscar for sound editing, and another for sound mixing. These seem­ingly small details in a film make a sig­nif­icant dif­ference, and the Academy honors the con­tri­bu­tions of the unsung heroes as well.

If the selec­tions aren’t perfect, the Academy will adjust its choices over time, lest its rep­u­tation suffer. In our egal­i­tarian age, let’s cel­e­brate a mer­i­tocracy, even if it’s an imperfect one. Also, George Clooney.