by Adam Yardley
The Academy Awards have been a staple of film-making recognition for decades now – and while some of the decisions made have received criticism over the years – along with the exact process undertaken to decide upon who or what gets nominated and awarded on the night – it remains perhaps the most pivotal event on the Hollywood calendar. Stars from all over the globe flock to the red carpet to grab their seats – and to celebrate some of the past year’s biggest achievements on the silver screen. Many have claimed that the awards are well overdue an overhaul, however – the ceremony has been overshadowed by criticism regarding a lack of ethnic diversity in the nominations, and following the rise of the #MeToo campaign and the fall from grace of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, practices behind the scenes have been brought into question, too.
While it’s unclear which direction the awards will move in with regard to each of these controversies moving forward, it appears that there are going to be a few changes made to the Oscars from next year onwards, including the introduction of a completely new award. It’s being reported that an award recognizing ‘popular’ films will be making its debut in 2019, leading some on social media to state that popular movies should already be getting their recognition wherever it may be due. Oscar-nominated movies aren’t always big sellers – and they aren’t always genre-extensive, either, with science fiction notoriously struggling in the best film stakes, though this year’s winner, The Shape of Water, perhaps falls under that bracket.
▶ Academy to Reward 'Popular' Films with New Category
This could mean – crucially – that the immensely popular comic book movie genre is given more of a platform at next year’s awards. Beyond the announcement of the new category, it has also been agreed upon by the Academy of Motion Pictures board that some awards will be offered out during televised commercial breaks – meaning that while some viewers at home may miss out on a few of the gongs, it will help to keep matters to around three hours in length. This, it’s reported, may help when it comes to editing down the highlight broadcast later on.
There is change arguably needed at the Oscars – but are these necessarily the changes people have been asking for? Let’s see – the next ceremony lands in February 2019 – place your bets!