Culture&Arts

Oscars move to honor 'popular' movies sparks swift backlash

Oscars move to honor 'popular' movies sparks swift backlash

On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the February 24, 2019, ceremony will feature a few additions - including a new category celebrating outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming. Specific categories will be determined at a later date, but the film academy said the off-air winning moments will be edited and aired in a later broadcast. While details of the new honor weren't revealed in a recent letter sent out to Academy members, the move has already been criticized.

Industry observers have complained that sometimes, the Oscars come almost two months after the Golden Globes, making Tinseltown's awards season a marathon of gowns, glitz - and stress.

Critics questioned whether a film like Black Panther would be relegated to the "popular" category only because it was a commercial success.

Australia's Logie Awards wrestle with a similar issue, in that they have two groups of categories, one voted by the audience, and the other voted by juries of industry professionals.

Last year, "Wonder Woman's" complete shutout aroused an uproar from many who consider the first female-headlined superhero film award-worthy, and as Woerner pointed out, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" was nominated for eight Academy Awards, but not best picture. For comparison, last year's ceremony aired in early March and the upcoming 2019 show is set for February 24. So if they're classified as "popular" films, will they also be eligible for Best Picture?

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Films like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and others are likely candidates, films that typically would score nominations for things like art, set design, costume design, and other categories but not for things like best film, best actor/actress, etc. And finally, they are planning a more "globally accessible, three-hour telecast" for the Academy Awards.

The 91st Oscars telecast will air on Sunday, February 24, 2019. While the Board of Governors probably hoped the fresh category would excite viewers and perhaps get those ratings up - spoiler alert - Hollywood pretty much hates it.

It did not say which of the 24 awards handed out on Oscars night would be shifted.

We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you. As THR points out, the most successful movies at the box office each year are rarely represented in the main categories and usually have to make do with technical awards. And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?"