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The Oscars will soon reward "popular films" and shorten the broadcast


TwinIon
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In an effort to get more people to watch the actual Oscars broadcast, the Academy will play edited versions of less popular categories and will be adding a new category for "outstanding achievement in popular film, eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming." 

 

I guess I can now be proven wrong when I said that there was no way that Black Panther would win an (non technical) Oscar. On a related note:

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Just now, GeneticBlueprint said:

I'll hold my tongue until I find out what the eligibility requirements are and the criteria on which they will be judged.

Can you come up with a criteria for which you would find this kind of award palatable? I personally cannot. Set any kind of box office or ticket sale or wide release threshold and suddenly you're competing against a very different type of film. And what about movies that end up being big hits or are great, artistic films that are also awards worthy? Do you take popular films that weren't going to win Best Picture, but did get nominated like The Martian or American Sniper, and put them into a lesser category? Are you nominating films that wouldn't otherwise be, like Black Panther or Mission Impossible?

 

What about films that are real contenders that are also popular? Does Christopher Nolan get sent to the kids table because now there's a category for him to win?

 

Perhaps more core to the issue is that there is no measure of "popularity" which isn't heavily controlled by the studio's and their willingness to spend money.

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'Popular' seems kind of nebulous, but I definitely think you could have a category like, 'Best Cinematic Experience', which considers the merits of the film as well as both the critical and crowd reactions. A film like Black Panther, beyond being really good, should be recognized for being a cinematic spectacle. It's not much more defined than 'popular', but at least it's more articulate.

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53 minutes ago, Chris- said:

'Popular' seems kind of nebulous, but I definitely think you could have a category like, 'Best Cinematic Experience', which considers the merits of the film as well as both the critical and crowd reactions. A film like Black Panther, beyond being really good, should be recognized for being a cinematic spectacle. It's not much more defined than 'popular', but at least it's more articulate.

I'd love them to award the elements of those films that deserve recognition. Stunt Work should absolutely be a category, and think it's probably time for some kind of "digital / motion capture / augmented performance" award. I also think it would be great if we could see popular movies recognized more often. Too often we see award worthy elements in popular films go unrecognized because they're in blockbuster action films and not typical oscars films.

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25 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

I'd love them to award the elements of those films that deserve recognition. Stunt Work should absolutely be a category, and think it's probably time for some kind of "digital / motion capture / augmented performance" award. I also think it would be great if we could see popular movies recognized more often. Too often we see award worthy elements in popular films go unrecognized because they're in blockbuster action films and not typical oscars films.

I agree, but I also think there is a case to be made for recognizing the cultural impact of any given film. Take 'Get Out' for example...Its individual elements were definitely worthy of praise, but beyond that (and its overall quality) it generated a tremendous amount of attention and tangibly impacted American culture (ranging from minor things like memes to major discussions about racial problems in Hollywood). Given that streaming and VOD are challenging theaters, I think there is merit to an award the recognizes when a film generate hype while it is in theaters.

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3 minutes ago, Chris- said:

I agree, but I also think there is a case to be made for recognizing the cultural impact of any given film. Take 'Get Out' for example...Its individual elements were definitely worthy of praise, but beyond that (and its overall quality) it generated a tremendous amount of attention and tangibly impacted American culture (ranging from minor things like memes to major discussions about racial problems in Hollywood). Given that streaming and VOD are challenging theaters, I think there is merit to an award the recognizes when a film generate hype while it is in theaters.

But so much of that is outside the hands of the creatives. Would Get Out be any less of a film if no one saw it? Get Out opened in 2,700 theaters. Sorry to Bother You opened to 800. The award that you get for being a massive cultural impact IS the cultural impact. Well that, and the money.

 

The Oscars are an inherently silly thing. It's millionaires and billionaires patting themselves on the back. Still, at it's best it can be an institution to promote art and artists beyond their own ability to do so. To shine just as much of a light on a little film about addiction and war and PTSD as it does the biggest blockbuster of all time. Even the nominations are useful as a tool for sorting through a sea of content, helping to focus on quality pictures that might otherwise get lost. As I said above, I think sometimes the Academy can ignore the intense amount of craft that goes into a big budget movie, and I'd love to see the people behind those films be recognized when they do good work. Still, the place for Get Out isn't in "popular film" it's in Best Picture.

 

The reward for being popular is tangible and doesn't need to be signal boosted by an institution like the Academy.

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1 minute ago, TwinIon said:

But so much of that is outside the hands of the creatives. Would Get Out be any less of a film if no one saw it? Get Out opened in 2,700 theaters. Sorry to Bother You opened to 800. The award that you get for being a massive cultural impact IS the cultural impact. Well that, and the money.

 

The Oscars are an inherently silly thing. It's millionaires and billionaires patting themselves on the back. Still, at it's best it can be an institution to promote art and artists beyond their own ability to do so. To shine just as much of a light on a little film about addiction and war and PTSD as it does the biggest blockbuster of all time. Even the nominations are useful as a tool for sorting through a sea of content, helping to focus on quality pictures that might otherwise get lost. As I said above, I think sometimes the Academy can ignore the intense amount of craft that goes into a big budget movie, and I'd love to see the people behind those films be recognized when they do good work. Still, the place for Get Out isn't in "popular film" it's in Best Picture.

 

The reward for being popular is tangible and doesn't need to be signal boosted by an institution like the Academy.

 

I don't think they are mutually exclusive; a film like Get Out can have a place in both categories (granted that type of nuance is giving the Academy far too much credit, but I'm speaking hypothetically). And you're right that it is mostly outside the hands of the creatives, but that's the case for almost any Oscar these days given how often studios launch campaigns and actively lobby for votes.

 

Maybe instead of a category with an award, it's a group of films honored at the ceremonies. In fact, maybe that helps de-stigmatize films like Star Wars and Black Panther by having them acknowledged beyond stuff like SFX and sound mixing and crap like that, and ultimately leads to more Oscar nods. In any case, I think acknowledging the cultural impact of blockbusters is only a good thing, whatever form it may take.

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4 hours ago, TwinIon said:

Can you come up with a criteria for which you would find this kind of award palatable? I personally cannot. Set any kind of box office or ticket sale or wide release threshold and suddenly you're competing against a very different type of film. And what about movies that end up being big hits or are great, artistic films that are also awards worthy? Do you take popular films that weren't going to win Best Picture, but did get nominated like The Martian or American Sniper, and put them into a lesser category? Are you nominating films that wouldn't otherwise be, like Black Panther or Mission Impossible?

 

What about films that are real contenders that are also popular? Does Christopher Nolan get sent to the kids table because now there's a category for him to win?

 

Perhaps more core to the issue is that there is no measure of "popularity" which isn't heavily controlled by the studio's and their willingness to spend money.

 

So I mulled over your question and the more I think about it the more I realize this is a terrible idea. They're still too stodgy to give quality blockbusters their due in the BP category. So fuck this idea.

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Just now, GeneticBlueprint said:

 

So I mulled over your question and the more I think about it the more I realize this is a terrible idea. They're still too stodgy to give quality blockbusters their due in the BP category. So fuck this idea.

This is exactly the point that Polygon makes in this piece: The Oscars’ new ‘popular film’ category exists for popcorn movies, but undermines them

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Honestly I never really “got” the appeal of awards shows other than to see a bunch of performers people like in one place, all dressed up. Doesn’t do much for me, but I understand why people get into it especially before social media gave us instant access to all of these people all of the time.

 

But the awards themselves... I’ve never understood the public’s interest in them. And I know this is potentially a weird thing to say but given the extent to which the system can be gamed by and pander to someone like Weinstein... the whole thing has gone from a curiosity to me to an exhibition of grotesquery. I just don’t give a shit about what movie or actor can contort themselves to most closely resemble what they anticipate the Academy will find most palatable.

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3 hours ago, TwinIon said:

I'd love them to award the elements of those films that deserve recognition. Stunt Work should absolutely be a category, and think it's probably time for some kind of "digital / motion capture / augmented performance" award. I also think it would be great if we could see popular movies recognized more often. Too often we see award worthy elements in popular films go unrecognized because they're in blockbuster action films and not typical oscars films.

My exact same sentiments. Excellent movie work should be recognized.

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1 hour ago, Kal-El814 said:

Honestly I never really “got” the appeal of awards shows other than to see a bunch of performers people like in one place, all dressed up. Doesn’t do much for me, but I understand why people get into it especially before social media gave us instant access to all of these people all of the time.

 

But the awards themselves... I’ve never understood the public’s interest in them. And I know this is potentially a weird thing to say but given the extent to which the system can be gamed by and pander to someone like Weinstein... the whole thing has gone from a curiosity to me to an exhibition of grotesquery. I just don’t give a shit about what movie or actor can contort themselves to most closely resemble what they anticipate the Academy will find most palatable.

As someone that does follow the Oscars, I can tell you what I get out of them.

 

One part is that the Oscars are legitimately discerning in their selections. I don't always agree with them, but with the Oscars there is a certain base assumption that worthy films and people are being recognized. This means that it's nice to see deserving folks win and it that it's usually worth seeking out films that have been nominated. It's hard to say the same for the Globes or awards shows in other mediums.

 

Still, it is very much an industry event. As someone that enjoys following the business of making movies, awards season in general and the Oscars specifically are chock full of industry politics that I find interesting. Seeing what studios decide to push what films, and how they try and shape the story is half the fun of it. It's kind of like following real politics, but the stakes are tiny beyond how they might shape the next entertainment product I'm interested in.

 

Speaking of the next thing, I think the Oscars do have some very real influence on future products, so it's not an entirely empty pursuit. I doubt it matters too much to anyone that Bruno Mars beat Jay-Z for a Grammy; it's not going to affect the sales of their albums, turnout on their next tours, or their ability to do their next projects. Meanwhile, someone like Guillermo del Toro can very much trade off not only his Oscar win, but the notoriety that the entire awards season gave him. More than even that, I don't think it would be unfair to credit something like 50% of Shape of Water's box office take to the awards attention. New projects are greenlit out of both the drive to potentially win Oscars and as the result of having won.

 

I couldn't care less about what dress someone wears, who is dating whom in Hollywood, or what bad jokes someone makes on the stage of the Dolby theater, but the Oscars do have a very real effect on an industry that I enjoy following.

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They should have called the award "Best Picture To Have the Words 'Black' & 'Panther' In the Title". 

 

And after everybody hates on it this year, the Academy will axe it next year (kind of how The Dark Knight forced the Academy to expand Best Picture nominees to potentially 10, but they really don't use that many). It won't matter however, and Disney will have that long awaited comic book Oscar that is a "higher award" than what DC got for Suicide Squad. Sounds dumb, but yes fans do argue about this shit. 

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8 hours ago, TheRealSmallville said:

They should have called the award "Best Picture To Have the Words 'Infinity ' & 'War' In the Title". 

 

And after everybody hates on it this year, the Academy will axe it next year (kind of how The Dark Knight forced the Academy to expand Best Picture nominees to potentially 10, but they really don't use that many). It won't matter however, and Disney will have that long awaited comic book Oscar that is a "higher award" than what DC got for Suicide Squad. Sounds dumb, but yes fans do argue about this shit. 

Fixed

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9 hours ago, johnny said:

I don’t think the topic is a big deal really. I wish they would add other categories like casting director. Shortening the broadcast sucks. Just remove the music numbers they’re never that great anyways. 

 

Or if they need music numbers, then at least do awesome orchestral pieces from Zimmer and Williams instead of junk stuff.

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4 hours ago, Remarkableriots said:

Fixed

Yeah, I considered that too. But after the last few #OscarsTooWhite or whatever it was, I don't see a scenario where this won't be a token category to award a film that is pretty anti-white (as in, made with non white actors and non-white director). 

 

Note: I'm not knocking the movie or ANYTHING like that. Just saying the Academy has a history of over-correcting, and I could totally see a room of stuffy white dudes saying "hey, the Black community was really down on us the last few years...lets give that mostly Black superhero movie an award! That'll shut 'em up!" I mean, just imagine if it did go to Infinity War...there'd be a big backlash and people would just accuse them again of awarding the "white movie" from the "white directors". 

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I've thought about this and as much as I hate that the Oscars don't recognize popular movies, this is dumb and won't fix people not watching the show cause there is a token cataegory. 

 

I've come to accept that movies I like won't be respected by the academy and that's fine. I will continue not to watch until they start taking movies that deserve (I repeat, that deserve) actually nominations and wins in the categories they already have.

 

Oscars can continue to kiss ass.

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38 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

Get out. 

 

I agree that Get Out was a good movie. ;)

 

Black Panther had some good scenes, but suffered from many of the same problems as other "good" tier Marvel movies, namely really bad CGI battles and a villain with the same powers as the hero. Don't get me wrong I did like the movie, but I just didn't think it was amazing. I do completely get the overall "event" vibe from it though, especially among the black community. And it did have a well-acted villain (though they killed him off...another Marvel problem).

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