the oscars have a brand new category
But it's facing widespread backlash from fans of 'Black Panther.'
by i-D Staff
Aug 8 2018, 8:32pm
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Oh dear. Faced with declining viewing figures, The Academy Awards have decided to shake up proceedings — except it’s not exactly the PR coup the organization was hoping for. They’ve introduced a new award, for “Best Popular Film”, which is being widely derided as a shallow ratings grab by critics and the various denizens of the internet. Why? Many journalists view it as a way for the Academy to squeeze in blockbusters that simply don’t cut it for the rest of the awards, and similarly pay lip service to the studios’ major tent-poles (even if they’re not that great).
This will also affect the awards chances of Black Panther, which has been generating Oscar buzz from the minute we first heard calls of “Wakanda.” Black Panther is one of the rare films to be both critically acclaimed and also make a ton of money ($700 million), but critics think putting it in the “Best Popular Film” category will hurt its chances of getting one of the more prestigious awards (could Black Panther have won Best Picture? Maybe not, but even being nominated would be incredible).
The awards are also being shortened to three hours, which frankly is just depressing. Instead of having us watch some of the smaller awards being presented, they’ll now happen during the commercial breaks, and we’ll see a montage. This seems like something of a slap in the face to the many people who work together to make movies happen, and takes away from some of the magic that happens when people used to being behind a camera find themselves in front of one. Not to mention the fact that sports are on all the time, and nobody complains. The Oscars were doing so well — revitalizing the voting body, having Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty come back to right their wrongs, giving Coco an award — let’s hope they see the error in their ways this time.