Academy Postpones Best Popular Film Oscar Category | Film News


After the Academy last month unveiled a poorly thought out plan intended to make the Oscars more appealing to a wider range of viewers, which included the introduction of the Best Popular Film category, they have now announced that they have decided to postpone the category, and it will not make its debut at the February ceremony as originally intended.


Hear that? That’s film lovers around the world breathing a sigh of relief. When the category was announced, it immediately sounded like a poor idea intended to give big budget films such as Black Panther – which should be in line for Best Picture – a patronising pat on the head for being critically acclaimed films that the academy didn’t want to award with a nomination, let alone a statue.


Not only that, but it wasn’t clear what even qualified for consideration as a popular film? Blockbusters with large budgets like Avengers: Infinity War? Or films outperforming their projections at the box office such as Crazy Rich Asians? The whole thing reeked of an antiquated Academy trying to reward contemporary movies they didn’t consider “prestigious” with what basically amounted to a fake award.


There was also the possibility that the award might do the opposite of what it was intended to do, and push voters to leave certain films off their shortlist for the more important categories like Best Picture because a film was already being nominated in another category.


In a statement, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said: “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognise the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years”.


It remains to be seen what the Academy will do, but at least postponing this award – hopefully permanently – is the right move. After the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of a few years ago, they didn’t want to be embarrassed once again.


Steps have been taken to make the awards more inclusive, but they have been baby steps compared to the kind of things the Academy could have been doing to make their slew of voters less overwhelmingly made up of old, white men.


They also seem to have somewhat of an obsession with making the Oscars – which contains a lot of esoteric categories and has not been getting great ratings in recent years – more appealing to everyone but film lovers, and they’ve already decided to cut down the length of the ceremony and have removed some of the technical awards from the broadcast.


In a world where TV ratings are basically declining everywhere, these ideas seem like a futile endeavour. Unfortunately, some of the new propositions the Academy came up with will occur at the next ceremony, but at least the backlash to the Best Popular Film category has meant they will rethink their worst decision from their revamping a month ago.



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