August 8, 2018

"Change is coming to the #Oscars... A new category is being designed around achievement in popular film."

The Academy announced today.

Here's some criticism at Slate.
But creating a category that segregates popular films from more elevated fare...
See where this is going?... segregates....
... hardly seems like an improvement or likely to keep the academy relevant, since it calls attention to the awards’ elitism rather than actually broadening their appeal. If the academy really wants to make the Oscars more appealing to a wider audience, it should consider just recognizing the artistic merit of deserving popular films instead of cordoning them off in their own category.... [P]retty much any solution would be better than sticking Black Panther with a participation trophy.

92 comments:

Birkel said...

Black Panther did not deserve a participation trophy.
It was meh.
As Marvel movies go, it was middle of the pack.

Michael K said...

We saw a pretty good film last night. It was D'Souza's new movie Death of a Nation.

Unlikely to be an Oscar contender, though.

He sure doesn't like Democrats. Can't say I blame him.

n.n said...

Of press and blogs: journalists vs bloggers. I suppose that we will self-segregate and the market, short of monopolies and practices, will determine best practice. What is right and just and fair.

rhhardin said...

Better judges.

Points off for long stretches of bad acting in "drama," say guy with drinking problem.

Also points off for mouth-acting, like Paul Walker and Matt Damon, where tongue, lip and teeth twitches are supposed to indicate stress.

rhhardin said...

Oh and points off for sudden bursts of anger in male heroes.

rhhardin said...

Nobody crashes into a mountain with a blank expression anymore.

richlb said...

"It Stinks!"

-- Jay Sherman

Kay said...

The Academy has a pretty bad track record when it comes to determing which movies will end up being classics.

tcrosse said...

They need separate categories for Chick Flicks and for Comic Book Pix. On second thought, that would leave little else.

sinz52 said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The following popular movies all won Best Picture awards:

The Lord of the Rings
Gladiator
Titanic
Braveheart
Forrest Gump
Chariots of Fire
Rocky
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
The French Connection
Patton

and many others

These movies won against some more "arty" competition.

So should "The Godfather" have been dumped into some "Popular Movies" category to compete with other popular movies only?

richlb said...

Black Panther was a better than the average Marvel film, but it certainly wasn't in the Top 3 (maybe Top 5). The best thing it had going for it was a well-rounded villain, something most of the other Marvel movies (or superhero flix in general) lack. But in my opinion the CGI was actually below average for the genre. And the massive battle on the Wakanda savannah was as dull as any other battle royale on screen.

They should just have a montage of the best popular films during the awards ceremony and not make it an "award".

Eleanor said...

How about giving out the awards "in absentia" and saving us all the hysteria of the awards show? That would be the best improvement they could make.

Michael K said...

I went to see "Thin Red Line" with my son and DIL. Halfway through I noticed half the audience had left and not returned. We finally left, too. It was awful.

Yup. Best picture.

rhhardin said...

I'd put In A Day (2006) and Stranger Than Fiction (2006) pretty high.

They seem to have gotten various awards.

Ann Althouse said...

"The following popular movies all won Best Picture awards: The Lord of the Rings..."

Yeah, that was 15 years ago. Look at the list of what's won since then. Spotlight, Moonlight, what the hell?! No one cares. No one wants to sit through that serious stuff anymore and the Oscar is given either to help earnest little things like that or to pose as intellectual and arty. It's pointless. A big bore.

Darrell said...

At the end of the show, all the winners from all the categories should be hooked up to 00 gauge electrical cable. Viewers at home have to then vote. If the person doesn't get a million votes, say, in one minute, they are electrocuted. That should be easy given they say that one or two billion people are watching.

This would certainly keep viewers watching when they normally drop out. It will reinforce the idea that all glory is fading. And it will give people in the biz something to think about when it comes time for nominations next year.

Henry said...

The Oscars already routinely award middlebrow movies. Know what never wins best picture? A Comedy. Animated films never win best picture. Category is king.

The more categories, the more awards, the more the Oscars are the grammies which means the more they're meaningless.

Henry said...

@Michael K -- I liked Thin Red Line, but even I can recognize it was an odd, disjointed movie.

I liked Magnolia as well, which most people hated. And it didn't win best picture.

Unknown said...

We need a "pretentious" tag for this sort of thing.

-sw

CJinPA said...

The direct calls to lower standards (such as they are for movies) in the name of diversity are pretty interesting.

Kay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

They should change nothing because America is calling for more Brokeback Mountains and American Beautys.

Kay said...

One of the most annoying things they do is when they kind of “retroactively” give an award to an actor/director who was already considered a big deal by critics and the public. For instance, Scorsese was already an important director long before he won an award for “The Departed,” a fine film, but one of his most forgettable as well.

Fernandistein said...

The following popular movies all won Best Picture awards:

Grand total of talking monkeys: zero. So it IS broke.

Rocky

I liked the evil Russian guy who cheated by having better training methods than punching meat.

Jim at said...

They could all promise to light themselves on fire and I still wouldn't watch the Oscars.

OK. I lied. I would watch that.

Michael K said...

Didn't Beauty and the Beast win best pic?

Wilbur said...

I'm with you, Jim at ...

Henry said...

Beauty and the Best was the first animated film nominated for best picture, but it did not win. Dances with Wolves won (1991).

Bill Peschel said...

I would certainly go for Best Comedy. Best "Popular" Movie? Terrible idea.

If they were really honest, they'd have "Best Agitprop" for those movies they sunk millions into that nobody saw.

Jim Gust said...

As stupid as the Oscars are, the "People's Choice" awards are still more foolish. The "people" make their choice when they go to the box office—whoever has the highest gross is, by definition, the "People's Choice." The rest is pure liberal pretension.

As I cut the cord years ago, I can't watch these shows anyway.

Michael K said...

Dances With Wolves was pretty lame. No wonder it won.

JAORE said...

I've read a few articles on this. One impetus is falling ratings. Since TV revenue is the biggest source of income for the Academy, that's a big deal.

Yet, in the articles there was not a word on the numbers tuning out over the left-wing hate fest the Oscars have become...

Can't touch that issue, nope, nope, nope.

So they are left to focus on the impending train wreck that "Black Panther" won't be the best picture. Of course it was not. I saw it and agree; mid-pack even in the Marvel universe. And that is WAY below any reasonable standard for the "best" picture.

No matter how they spin it or name it, BP will get what amounts to the affirmative action Oscar/participation trophy. But, apparently that is better than seeing your name on the list of racists.

And the hate fest will continue and ratings will shrink more.

tim in vermont said...

Best “Picture that makes the voters feel woke.” Should be a category.

Char Char Binks said...

They should just cut everything but their celebrity dead pool results. That's all I care about.

cubanbob said...

Hollywood should have two basic categories:
1-Entertainment
2-Political propaganda.

First half of the show for the entertainment category. Second half for the political propaganda. Would save the audience all of the time wasted on the political crap (unless thats your thing).

tim in vermont said...

The thing about the left wing hate fest that is the Oscars, is that they are the face of Hollywood. I don’t even wonder what movies are out anymore, I assume it’s all bashing of people like me, puerile action movies, or man bashing “rom coms.”

tim in vermont said...

See now, I looked and ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me” has that starlet whose picture I have only seen before this associated with her prank on Pence. She didn’t know their were people who actually objected to killing babies and she thinks that anybody who is pained by the death of babies can only be motivated by hate and astroturf.

I am not “boycotting,” it’s just that I won’t enjoy it.

tim in vermont said...

“Anti-Man and The Wasp”

Just imagine what Mad Magazine would have done with that title. It could be that crazy lady who made “Girls” vs her “Republican rapist.”

JAORE said...

"should just cut everything but their celebrity dead pool results."

Old entertainment axiom: Always leave them wanting more.

Paul said...

Oscars? What's an Oscar? Or does anyone even care outside of Hollywood now days?

bagoh20 said...

They can count them as 3/5 of a movie.

Saint Croix said...

I, Tonya is awesome. Man, that movie should have swept the Oscars.

She wants to win the Olympic gold in figure skating. He wants to win her love. So they're beating each other up and kneecapping the competition. This movie is so damn funny. Dark humor. Laugh out loud dark humor. I laughed 100 times and cried once. Thoughts were provoked!

It's an A+ in my movie book. And I hate figure skating. Probably the more you hate figure skating, the more you love this movie.

Not even nominated for Best Picture. It's like Olympic figure skating judges are working the Oscars on the side. You're too white trash to win, I, Tonya! And you are brilliant mean fun.

The Godfather said...

Movies in theaters are a dead medium. They are becoming like opera -- we respect the art but most of us wouldn't go to see them unless you (or our spouse) put a gun to our head.

But in 1939 . . . !

bagoh20 said...

"Oscars? What's an Oscar?"

It's kinda like the olympics, but for virtue signaling.

rcocean said...

I went to see "Thin Red Line" with my son and DIL. Halfway through I noticed half the audience had left and not returned."

Most of the people who left, were expecting "Private Ryan in the Pacific" and they got a Malick art movie.

But I liked it, even though it was more of a Vietnam War movie than WW 2 or James Jones.

rcocean said...

The real purpose is to allow TWO Movies - instead of one - to claim they were "Best Picture".

More $$$$ for the studios.

Plenty of Blockbusters were nominated for "Best Picture" in the past. Usually, they didn't win, but they were obviously put there for no reason other than popularity. Airport, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Guns of Navorone, The Longest Day, Fiddler on the Roof, The Towering Inferno etc.

Michael K said...

Most of the people who left, were expecting "Private Ryan in the Pacific" and they got a Malick art movie.

No, I think they were probably expecting a rational plot and characters they could figure out.

I could not make head or tail of the story or the characters.

I go to two or three movies a year in theaters. I have a big collection of classic movies.

Teller said...

Kay: "The Departed" was to make up for snubbing "Raging Bull" in favor of Redford's "Ordinary People", which was as interesting as a two-and-a-half hour walk around your own living room.

Leland said...

Yeah, that was 15 years ago. Look at the list of what's won since then.

Sure but what is it that propels Black Panther (BP) for consideration? For instance, how does it compare to Avengers Infinity War (AIW)?

If it is the large cast full of people of color, then isn't that racists? Besides, many of them were also in AIW. And if the Academy creates a new award and give it to BP because of the cast, won't that add charges of creating a tiered system for people of color, thus magnifying the racism?

The story for AIW was amazing, considering it followed about a dozen main characters and manage to give each a progression in the plot. BP's story was good, but it seems primarily because it suggested that people of color would be superior if only they had been blessed with better raw materials. On a base level of identity politics, AIW ends with Wakanda coming to the rescue of the white heroes. BP ends with a white hero helping to rescue Wakanda.

I don't think either deserve any type of award for cinematography, unless in the area of animation, and in that case only a mention. The climatic fight scene for both movies was a CGI tour de force already accomplished by such films as Revenge of the Sith.

So I can't see making a special category to recognize BP. Marvel in general deserves praise. But if you want to include a category for BP to win, then just call the new award category, "The Award for Most Woke Movie", so Kathleen Kennedy might have a chance with The Last Jedi.

Alas, if you want more viewership for the Oscars, don't make it longer with new awards. Rather, make it shorter by telling participants it is an Industry Award Show, and not a soapbox for politicians. FFS, it is a movie industry which has free speech to tell any story it likes. Make the movies your soapbox and compete in the arena of ideas. If you can't do that cold turkey, create an award for "Best Movie with a Political Statement", thus Black Panther can win outright!

buwaya said...

"Alas, if you want more viewership for the Oscars, don't make it longer with new awards."

No, longer, but add violence, with angry arguments and fisticuffs.
A riot or two among the members of the audience would also help.
Best if some of these suffered mishaps with their sewn-in gowns.

Would do wonders for ratings.

Drago said...

rcocean: "The real purpose is to allow TWO Movies - instead of one - to claim they were "Best Picture"."

Everybody gets a trophy!

Leland said...

And here is Grace Randolph's take which, for those who won't quit the link, starts with "so the Academy is saying its Best Picture Film isn't popular?"

William said...

Countries where the president wins with 90-95% of the vote are usually signs of a rigged election. Whenever I see a 90-95% critics approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I know I'm dealing with a sensitive portrayal of the problems faced by a transgendered person of color in his struggles to find love and acceptance. High critical approval is a reliable indicator that the movie is politically correct and sucks.

rcocean said...

"No, I think they were probably expecting a rational plot and characters they could figure out."

If they'd known Malick's previous movies, they wouldn't have expected that.

William said...

Question: In the Marvel Universe, why is Valhalla racially diverse and Wakanda exclusively African?.......I like sci-fi movies with lots of special effects. Are the special effects people a diverse group? Can the guy in charge of special effects leverage his position to get laid or masturbate in front of the interns?......I have a suspicion that the special effects department is the least corrupt one on the lot, and that's why special effects are good and getting better all the time.

Drago said...

Leland: "And here is Grace Randolph's take which, for those who won't quit the link, starts with "so the Academy is saying its Best Picture Film isn't popular?"

Sometimes virtue signalling is much more important than pedestrian concerns like Return on Investment.

eddie willers said...

The best movie I have seen in a long time was Whiplash.

And it loses out to the inanity of Birdman.

narciso said...

Yes that was a,powerful film, I had to watch it a,couple of times to get all the nuance.

Black panther was the Thor vs Loki story, bitter outsider strikes back at entitled prince, but they threw in Shangri la and even aspects from secret empire.

narciso said...

Who is really winning there, is it teller or Simmons character, if it's the latter why does he push himself into this manic obssession.

Ken B said...

So I looked up the winners since 2003. I agree with Spotlight and The Artist. Argo and King's Speech are at least good movies. Some sucked, and some I have no desire to see. Uninspiring lot over all. But do see The Artist.

Leland said...

Sometimes virtue signalling is much more important than pedestrian concerns like Return on Investment.

But then this suggest Virtue Signaling isn't popular either.

DavidD said...

Why does this remind me of the Soviet Union?

n.n said...

Would do wonders for ratings.

Violence and Femin protests made Occupy palatable. Perhaps we can combine them and Femin could Plan a virginal life on CNN. A shoutout to the Aztecs. It's for the ratings and social progress. Social progress and signalling.

Aussie Pundit said...

Scorsese was already an important director long before he won an award for “The Departed,” a fine film, but one of his most forgettable as well.

If I want to see the main hero get brutally murdered by the bad guys three quarters of the way through, I'll watch Game of Thrones or something.

narciso said...

There was a comeuppance in the end, couple of that are striking, both the state police and the us atty office (Who was there in the 80s (William weld and bob mueller) never attempted an undercover against bulger.the tactic for identifying costigan was much like this full spectrum surveillance on Carter page, there is an inside joke naming one of Costello men, delahunt.also it broke Scorsese habit that began with mean street, where he felt it necessary to explain everything

narciso said...

Miles teller learned all these techniques for the film, which is rather remarkable.

Stephen Cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

I agree with Michael K's assessment of "The Thin Red Line." And yet, I found it ... intriguing. I understand what Malick was trying for, and he tries for it in every one of his movies, usually with very mixed success, sometimes with no success at all. But I like that he's trying for it. I'm trying for it, too, in my own life. "Thin Red Line" is not a success but, as with many of his movies, it has transcendent moments. It is very definitely NOT a World War II movie. I saw it with my coauthor of the book we wrote about his experiences in the 2nd Marine Division in Pacific War. He served four months on Guadalcanal as a 2nd Lt. in the 8th Marines and saw heavy combat. He told me that that movie was a travesty in terms of representing what Americans on the front lines of the war thought and felt. Incidentally he said the same thing about "Saving Private Ryan." He appreciated that the movie was filmed on Guadalcanal and recognized the landscape. But the portrayal of young Americans at war was insulting and wrong.

readering said...

Some trivia on the Academy's changing categories. The first Academy Awards (1929) had two best picture categories: Outstanding Picture and Best Unique & Artistic Picture. The OP award went to Wings and the BU&AP award went to Sunrise. They were meant to be of equal prestige, but the Academy promptly dropped the BU&AP category and retroactively pronounced OP the highest award.

Sunrise, you say?

The UK magazine Sight & Sound every 10 years conducts polls of the greatest films of all time. The 2012 critics poll placed Sunrise #5, behind Vertigo (1959), Citizen Kane (1941), Tokyo Story (Japan 1953) and Rules of the Game (France 1939), and just ahead of 2001 (1968). Wings didn't place.

(My #1 The Godfather (1972) comes in at #21 on S&S's poll.)

Roughcoat said...

narcisco @ 8:32 PM and 8:44 PM:

What?

readering said...

Trying to think if I've ever gone to a theater to see a movie with with 0% Rotten Tomatoes rating? (Like Death of a Nation.)

Last night I went to one with a 97% rating (Mission Impossible: Fallout).

Phil 3:14 said...

I liked “The Thin Red Line” and “Birdman”. I liked “The Florida Project” and “A Ghost Story” too.

narciso said...

Details about the departed, it was the best case scenario about the bulger case.

The other part was about whiplash.

narciso said...

It's a bit philosophical, you might actually learn something, that's unpossible.

Roughcoat said...

Heh.

robother said...

Weirdly, I found the real Whitey Bulger movie with Johnny Depp (who normally I hate for his scenery-chewing style of acting) better than THe Departed.

narciso said...

So which film will endure 50 years from now, moonlight which was by the number tailored to every sjw constituency or la la land.

readering said...

Not sure about either. Haven't seen Moonlight. Walked out of La La Land (although I live in LA La Land and love musical theater and (Emma Stone)).

GRW3 said...

Participation Trophy for Black Panther. LOL. If they want anyone to see the “elevated fare” Oscar, the better give it out before the popular Oscar.

JOSEPH ANGEL said...

The (((Oscars))) are a self-congratulatory jew-fest. Only dumb-asses waste their time watching jews congratulating each other.

readering said...

Hmm.

Kristian Holvoet said...

This is because the Academy fears oh, so elite, voters think we need more Harvey, Woody, Roman, Meryl movies front and center for the big prize. Much better to have Tom Cruise win over Black Panther. That will fix everything.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Hated The Thin Red Line the first time I saw it, loved it the second time. Some movies (2001, The Conversation, and, God bless my little heart, Napoleon Dynamite) richly reward repeat viewings.

Freeman Hunt said...

"recognizing the artistic merit of deserving popular films instead of cordoning them off in their own category"

You'd need some with artistic merit to recognize.

readering said...

Guess I should give Last Year at Marienbad another shot.

Ken B said...

I think the explanation is simple, and not at all about “caving to studios”. Black Panther simply MUST win a best picture, but it can’t if there is any concern with merit and accomplishment. This is the only way, short of ballot stuffing, to assure that.

FIDO said...

So their answers to attract a bigger audience is to add more 'splosions for the Deplorables?

It has nothing to do with preachy, political, pointless and emotionally barren films now made by the Woke.

It has nothing to do with pretentious actors spewing political filth every awards night.

Hmm. If this were a medical analysis, I'd say that they are operating out of Galen's handbook. Bring out the leeches!

Bad Lieutenant said...


rhhardin said...
Nobody crashes into a mountain with a blank expression anymore.

8/8/18, 2:28 PM


Is that how you crash into mountains? With a blank expression? Is that meaningful to you? Virtuous?

Mike said...

It was [MGM’s Louis B.] Mayer’s brilliant idea [in 1929] to create the Oscars, where the movie moguls could honor themselves by giving each other awards. In this way, they went from being a group of immigrant Jews, to award-winning American producers.

Not to mention, as one biographer quoted Mayer, “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them. […] If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created.”

--Quotes from Neal Gabler's An Empire of Their Own

readering said...

90 years later where are we?

mikee said...

The Oscars used to be presented as short newsreel films before movies, back before TV.
With TV, an entire evening of advertising for movies was available to the industry.
Now, with the internet, Oscars are as useful to the movies as Harvey Weinstein is to his production company. Podcast them, and use the awards received in other ads for the movies.

168Street said...

Instead of creating a best Red State deplorable category, they should create a "Most Important Artistic Acievement " award. And award it on a different night. That would suck all the overbearing pretentious crap out of the room and leave the awards for films people actually pay to see. 'Likely even cut back on the antiaudence speeches at the main event. Added bonus: when virtue signalling brawl breaks out over which category Black Panther goes in.