Niles-Maine District Library


Academy Awards Changes – Why Should We Care?

Recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) voted to change the following:

  1. A three-hour Oscars telecast
  2. An earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars in February 2020.
  3. A new award category

Let’s take these one-by-one.

A three-hour Oscars telecast?  Fine by me.  This caused minor uproar since how this will be achieved is, according to the Academy, not by leaving out the stupid, lame bits, but rather by not airing all categories and their winners, having some awards given out during commercial breaks. But, if it makes it go faster, I honestly do not care if we don’t get to hear Mr./Ms. Sound Editor thank their parents.  Sorry, but I don’t.

Earlier date for the broadcast of the Oscars?  Again, I have only positive feelings about this. The awards season, as it stands now, is so spread out and lacking momentum that by the time the Oscars rolls around, no one, myself included, cares.  This can only be a good thing.

Now, for the one most people are talking about: The new category of Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.  Because Marvel and D.C. Comics and Tom Cruise do not get enough accolades and success. Aren’t so-called popular films given enough glory?  They make billions of dollars.  They have the People’s Choice Awards.  They have the visual effects and the sound categories at the Oscars.

The AMPAS expanded on this new category, saying that being nominated for “popular film” does not preclude the film from also getting nominated for Best Picture.  Well, that just makes it worse.  If they were going to create a popular film category so Star Wars: The Attack of Who the Heck Cares Anymore or Iron Man 27 get their due, fine.  Knock yourself out.  That will allow more sober, non-Michael Bay-directed films to be considered for Best Picture.  But, don’t say that these “popular” films can STILL be nominated alongside serious (dare I say quality) movies.

The AMPAS claims they are making these changes to “keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world.”  But, like everything else in Hollywood (and the world), it has to do with money.  In this case, the telecast ratings, which have been slipping more each year.  So, they are making drastic changes to get higher ratings one night a year?  Why not just get it over with and partner with the MTV Movie and TV Awards?  The Oscar for Best Kiss goes to….

And then, this takes us into a whole other realm of “what is popular?”  What is quality?  Does this mean that films NOT nominated for popular film are not popular?  What is “popular” to me might not be “popular” to you.  If they are going down this road, why not change the name of the Best Picture category to “Best Non-Popular Picture.”  Or “Best Quality Picture.”

Why not change their name to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sellouts (AMPA$)?

Want to get more involved with the Oscars? Check Chapter One for all of the interesting programming we have. And guess what? Our Oscars party is back!

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