Oscars decide to add a ‘popular movies’ category.

They’re cutting the Oscars down to three hours and adding a ‘popular film’ category.  They’ll also be doing some of the technical awards during commercial breaks and airing them at other points.  And, one presumes, there’s going to be a lot less flexibility when it comes to awards speeches.

That’s all nicely objective of me, yes?

Good.  After all:

  • You might very well say that the MPAA is desperately trying to get its audience back after it realized that its membership has collectively and crudely insulted just a little too much of the American movie-going public, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
  • You might very well say that the Oscars are a bloated and pointless exercise in self-indulgent moral preening by people who generally responded to widespread sexual assault in their industry by averting their eyes, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
  • You might very well say that adding a ‘popular film’ category is a typically ham-handed attempt to allow the pseudo-intellectual posers who dominate modern cinema to avoid admitting for just a bit longer that the primary purpose of entertainment is to entertain, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
  • And you might very well say that it’s about time that the motion picture industry conceded that genre films aren’t going anywhere and that the people who make and star in them deserve professional recognition, but I couldn’t possibly — no, wait, this one I’ll comment on.  It is about damned time.

Because, after all, one must look at these things objectively.

Written by in: Movies | Tags: ,


  • bensdad00 says:

    Unless the “popular” category includes whatever Tyler Perry released that month, the most recent Adam Sandler POS and whatever made 2 millions dollars on 12 screens playing the hard-core Christian circuit, it’ll be a sham. That stuff is popular. Just not with Hollywood glitterati.
    I guarantee you that by popular they mean high-grossing.

  • DemosthenesVW says:

    I actually think I have a workable solution to this problem. Hear me out.
    Eliminate the Best Picture award.
    No, really. I’m serious. Once upon a time, Hollywood could turn out films with regularity that hit all three marks of a truly great film: they did well at the box office; they got great reviews; and they possessed real artistic merit that wasn’t just painted in by a computer. Jaws was such a film. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rocky. The Godfather. Patton. The Sting. Fiddler on the Roof. Chariots of Fire. Star Wars. E.T.
    Those are 10 films, chosen not entirely at random. But there’s a very wide range of film types there. Do you know what all have in common? They were all nominated for Best Picture within the same dozen-year stretch. In fact, more than a few of them actually won.
    Alas, those days are behind us now. There is no doubt in my mind that most of the top moneymakers these days simply don’t deserve a nomination for Best Picture. Thor Ragnarok was fun, but it ain’t no Star Wars. The problem is, most of the films that actually get nominated don’t either. Call Me By Your Name ain’t no Chariots of Fire.
    So, here’s my proposal. Eliminate the Best Picture award entirely. In its place, create three separate awards based on budget. Films that cost less than $25 million will be eligible to win Best Arthouse Feature. Films the cost between $25 million and $100 million will be eligible to win Best Mainstream Feature. Films that cost over $100 million will be eligible to win Best Blockbuster. Then you change the animated category to Best Children’s or Animated Feature, and prevent them from competing outside their group by changing the rules to prohibit any film from being nominated in more than one “Best Picture” category.
    Voilà! Four separate awards, honoring twenty different nominees, and representing a range of artistic styles and audience tastes. Now, The Shape of Water winning doesn’t stop Wonder Woman from winning. And maybe the Best Mainstream Feature award would force Hollywood to make more moderate budget, sustainable pictures that could still appeal to a big audience.
    Or, you know, Hollywood could just go back to making smart, beautiful films that appeal to both audiences and critics. Right, Hollywood?
    Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, four awards then?

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