The Downfall of the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards is switching up their routine this year by keeping four awards out of the live program and, rather, awarding them during the commercial break.

2018 was another successful year at the box office with films reaching critical and financial success all over the world. Well, it’s that time of year once more as we honor those films at the 91st Academy Awards. On Feb. 24, the film industry honors the year’s crowning achievements in film, from acting and directing to costume designs and visual effects. It will be a historic night seeing this year’s winners receive the golden statue. However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are shaking things up this year, and not in a good way.

Over the past few years, the Academy has received low ratings and have struggled to boost them. This year, they attempted to create a new category: Best Popular Film. This category would create recognition for successful mainstream films, such as Marvel’s “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”. The Academy refused to accept this new category and it will not be present at this year’s ceremony.

According to Variety, the Academy made a second attempt,  cutting the run time of award show by reducing the number of awards presented. This year, the Academy decided to award four categories during the commercial break. The four categories are the following:

  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Live Action Short Film

After receiving backlash from cutting the nominations during the show, the Academy decided to present all categories this year.

As a fan of watching the Academy Awards, I think these new changes are not what the Academy needs to boost its ratings. The Best Popular Film category will not recognize the film for its work, how it was made or how the people behind the scenes put all their efforts to making the film a success. It would bring in a different demographic recognizing films people are more familiar with, but this category does not focus on the art of making a movie. This category represents how much money its nominees would make within the year and how many people like the film. It overlooks the artistic value of all the other films nominated.

I believe the Academy made the right decision to recognize all elements in making a movie. For example, “Vice” is nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. I was amazed to see how the team transformed Christian Bale into Former Vice President Dick Cheney. They did the same thing last year when the makeup team behind “Darkest Hour” won for making Gary Oldman look like Winston Churchill. Taking away these categories is taking away a chance to recognize the people who work to make the film entertaining for everyone. The Academy attempted a grand shift in the process for audiences to focus more on what they think is important to film, but every aspect of a film is important.

Though these attempts will try to get more people to watch the Academy Awards, they obscure what people want. Every year, the Academy makes fun of current events, mostly cracking jokes on politics. The acceptance speeches are even more so, encouraging the audience to fight for what’s right. What makes this annoying to viewers is people use movies to get away from politics. To see their favorite actor or actress use politics as a campaign for themselves is beyond ridiculous. The acceptance speeches need only to thank friends, family, for the people they worked with, then they walk off the stage. That’s all there needs to be for an acceptance speech. Some might say this would limit free speech. The truth is, it saves the audiences from the political headache people deal with every day.


Edited by Grace Goodacre 

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