The new category of the Oscars for The Best-Popular Film: Is it a way to get closer to the Oscars or just a consolation prize? What do you think?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new category of the Oscar Awards: The Best-Popular Film. After the announcement, the controversy in networks was unleashed. Here something about the different perspectives on the new category and an opinion.
The new category can be seen as a way for the Academy to get closer to the public. To reward the films that the public watch more and not so much the critics, that is exactly what the prizes claim. However, this has been perceived as a new way of disparaging commercial cinema. Making a new category is almost like making a "second category".
The Academy assumes that none of the commercial films will deserve the nomination for Best Film, so it opens a category in which these movies can, among them, fight the position and not compete with those that do consider worthy of the Oscar.
This can also be a desperate measure of an institution that is perceived as obsolete and that seeks, with a measure that has gone wrong, to approach an audience that, on the contrary, may feel underestimated, because it is not up to the critics. It will also be necessary to see how the nominated and winning films will be chosen in this category.
Will it be a budget issue? From the box office? Will it be a public vote? What public will be considered? None of these questions has an answer yet. I believe that if these films are chosen by the public, a broad public, of course, will be popular films; and maybe the films chosen by the critics could also participate, because popularity and quality do not have to be excluded.
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Other opinions say that this new category downgrades the Academy that always, it was believed, ignored the commercial films. In the first place, the Academy is also known for always rewarding the right film. That good movie, well done, that denounces something with what the public can say against a single voice (slavery, pedophilia), the comfortable and entertaining movie that we will forget in two years.
While the Academy gives priority to the preferences of critics over the box office, it is well known that it does not choose risky films. In this sense, the Oscars are already commercial film awards and, finally, they are accepting it. Second, what is wrong with the commercial? It is what most people consume. It is sometimes of very poor quality, but sometimes it is also very good.
Critics who claim that the Academy has been lowered assume, in addition, that the popular will be defined by the box office, which the Academy has not declared but would go against the essence of the Oscars. In any case, we still do not know with certainty. I think the mistake of the Academy is not to be commercial or not, because I do not find anything wrong with that. Its mistake is, precisely, not defined.
This new category reflects the desire of this institution to please everyone equally: feel close to the public but without lowering themselves. There are already very successful prizes that revolve around film and commercial music and that depend on public voting. There are also prizes and film festivals that consider other types of films that are chosen by the critics or by professionals from the film world.
The success of the Oscar awards may lie in that it is neither one nor the other, but in this case, it has backfired. The Best-Popular Movie: Is it a way to get closer to the Oscars? To become judges? Or, on the contrary, is it just consolation prize? What do you think?
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
Translated from "Apuntes sobre la nueva categoría de los premios Óscar"