Once upon a time, the Academy Awards mattered to a lot of folks. The movies being honored were great movies, of course. However, they were also often movies people had already seen in theaters. While the occasional art house film might have made a splash, they were included with major studio releases that also had a good chance of winning.
These days, that’s not the case, and the Academy figures that’s why people aren’t tuning in anymore.
To that end, they have made a change.
As Entertainment Weekly reports, “Often the biggest omissions from the major categories at the annual Oscars are the year’s biggest blockbuster movies. That’s about to change, as the The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Wednesday it is creating a new category to honor ‘achievement in popular film,’ to be introduced at the 2019 Oscars.”
In other words, they’re going to create a new category specifically for blockbusters.
Look, the lack of recognition for popular, well-known movies is an issue, sure, but it’s far from the only one.
By creating a new category, the Academy is basically segregating those popular films into a ghetto. They’re arguing that these movies are generally not worth honoring otherwise except for things like special effects.
The problem with that is that it merely encapsulates the Academy’s elitism and film snobbery in a nutshell.
The reason people don’t watch the Oscars is because they see these glamorous people on television and feel absolutely zero connection to anything taking place. These people don’t live in the same world they do, so they find something else to watch. They don’t care if the touching coming of age story about a lesbian fruit bat and her forbidden love with an ox cart is the toast of Hollywood. No, they thought it was a boring movie that, if shown in a prisoner of war camp, would violate the Geneva Conventions.
The problem isn’t just that the movies these folks like aren’t honored, but that pretentious crap is showered with affection by people who are also using the Oscars as an opportunity to ram their liberal politics down people’s throats. Yes, this includes a lot of liberals who just don’t want to hear more politics.
If the Oscars want people to start tuning in, then Academy voters need to start nominating movies people have not just heard about, but actually enjoyed. I still swear that most Oscar winners I’ve seen over the last few years had this thing about them where you were pretty sure they were awful, but you felt like you were supposed to like them, so a lot of people said they did. It’s like those books that everyone raves about but you find out later they never finished reading.
Pushing popular movies into a ghetto of a single award doesn’t create any new relevance for the Oscars. Especially if actors are going to continue trying to talk politics when they should be talking about their industry, the movies themselves, and their fellow performers.