Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you are new here to Scene Before, you might not be aware that I’ve done a few posts related to the Academy Awards. Honestly, the Academy Awards might just be the biggest night of the year for movies. You know, that one night where lots of people turn the channel to ABC and see what movie they never heard of gets Best Picture? As far as my history of documenting somewhat related content, I’ve done my personal predictions and hopes for the 89th and 90th ceremonies, I’ve done recaps, and there’s even a movie review for “Moonlight” which I did after the Academy Awards that was making fun of the “La La Land” and “Moonlight” incident during the Best Picture reveal.

Today however marks something AMAZING. It’s a true feat in movie history. It’s where the Academy Awards and summer come together! The Academy Awards, which has telecasts that air during the winter, just as spring is suddenly approaching, honoring mostly movies that come out during the fall, usually has little to no association with summer movies. And no, we are not going to be talking about summer movies or movies that come out close to the summer season that have potential of being nominated or winning an Academy Award this year, but if you want my thoughts on those, I do think “Hereditary” could have a chance so far at taking “Best Actress.” “Incredibles 2” so far has probably the best shot at winning “Best Animated Feature.” “Eighth Grade” could have some potential at maybe “Best Original Screenplay,” but I can’t say for sure since I haven’t seen it yet. And “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” could possibly win “Best Documentary Feature.” The Oscars is more than half-a-year away, so is all of what I said bound to happen? Probably not, but who knows?

With those thoughts out of the way, let’s get into the main topic of discussion. The Academy Awards to me is the night where the best movies of the year, not to mention their producers and their crew, duke it out to see who is that year’s king of movies. These results however are not objective, because there are more award shows for movies than just the Oscars and chances are you’ll have different nominations, different winners, etc. Although seeing the best movie, and even if it is not my favorite movie take its award for an outstanding achievement is very pleasing. This year, seeing Roger Deakins win “Best Cinematography” for my #2 movie of 2017, “Blade Runner 2049,” was one of the greatest award handouts I’ve seen on the show. In that very moment, I turned into a little girl with a new Barbie doll collection she got for her birthday. It just makes me all giddy to see someone getting recognized for their talent. The idea of the Academy Awards honoring the BEST movies? Well, what else can I say except… it might have just been destroyed.

According to an article I’ve read from The Hollywood Reporter, a recent message was sent from the Academy to its members. It stated three changes that are supposed to take effect.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ARTICLE: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/academy-plans-three-hour-oscars-telecast-adds-popular-film-category-1133138

#1: Three hour telecast

When I go see a movie and it is three hours long, I personally don’t care. I’m one of those people who can say that if a movie is three hours, fine. If it is two hours, fine. Heck, I’ll sit down for four if I need to. I don’t care as long as it is a quality product. However, one of the bigger complaints that some people have about the Oscars that is similar to some movies is that it is a bit too long. In 2002, the Academy Awards which aired that year just so happened to go on for over four hours. With an attempt to make a three hour runtime, that could make a people feel a bit more sane. It was also mentioned that certain categories would be presented during commercial breaks and presented later after being edited for broadcast. I can’t say entirely how I feel about certain categories not getting equal recognition as others, but my final verdict on this might as well come once I see this idea come to fruition.

#2: Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars

Now keep in mind, this has nothing to do with the next Academy Awards, it instead has to do with the one after it. The next one is going to be the 91st edition. The Oscars usually tends to air its shows around the end of February. Although this year was a special exception because of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Not only would the two events have aired too close to each other, but it would mean heavy competition between networks ABC and NBC. Funny enough, the most recent Academy Awards have been the least-watched yet of all the shows which have currently been presented. But then again, this year’s Olympic games was also the least-watched on record so whaddya know? As for the date which we will be seeing the 92nd Oscars, that’s going to be February 9th, 2020, the second Sunday of that month, one week after the Super Bowl. Honestly, I don’t think that’s going to make much of a positive difference in terms of viewership, in fact, I honestly think viewership will be worsened because of this. I’m not gonna pretend that the Academy Awards is directed towards the same exact audience as the Super Bowl, but having these two big events within a week from each other could potentially affect the ratings of maybe both programs. I don’t know, I’m just speculating.

#3: New award for popular film

Last but not least, we have our main topic for this post and this is something that pisses me off to no end. The Oscars, as mentioned, to me, honors the best in film. They’ve apparently just decided, “f*ck that.” Because their new category that they’re coming out with is honoring “popular film.” This doesn’t honor showmanship. This doesn’t honor talent. It just takes a show that is completely about showing the best of the best and turns it into a popularity contest!

I mean, my f*cking gosh! This is unbelievable! Can you imagine this existing the previous decade? Imagine what would happen if there happened to be a category like this for the Oscars honoring 2008’s year in film? You’d have a couple recognizable titles like “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E,” both of which have impressed critics and audiences alike. Then… You have “Twilight.” That movie received no Academy Award nominations that year, so looking back, if it had the popularity nomination, that would have meant it had a nomination, but not a nomination related to skill or talent! Phenomenons, fads, and trends may be cool and well received by followers, but that doesn’t make them technically a standout in a certain craftsman-esque perspective, it only makes something popular.

Why is the Academy doing this? If I had to guess, it’s probably just to bring in more viewers. After the least-watched telecast of their show, some snobs smoking cigars in a room covered in white paint probably had a chat. They needed to figure out how to make the Oscars popular again. Then one guy says that they need to interject popularception if you will! If you honor things because of their popularity and how many people have checked something out, that’s only going to make the Oscars, well, popular! It ruins everything that the Oscars was built off of! In fact, this is probably one of the biggest participation trophies I’ve seen from this show. The Golden Globes, even though I’ve watched them for a few years, I’m not gonna deny how they handle their categories like participation awards, because they do separate awards for separate genres. At least those kinds of awards still honor talent! What’s next? “Best Actor with names ending in “obert Downey Jr.?”

Now there is no word on whether or not this is to be implemented for the 91st Oscars or if this category is going to be introduced during the 92nd Oscars. No matter what these people plan to do, I just hope it’s introduced during NO OSCARS. Speaking of things we have no word on, the letter goes on suggesting that more details about this are to come as time goes on. But based on what I can assume about this, I can only imagine what this suggests is that this award will be judged on a couple of merits. For one thing, the box office return has to be enormous. The other thing is that a lot of people have to be currently talking about a certain film, watching it, or have discussed lots related to a film in the past depending on when said film released.

If this is to take effect during the 91st Academy Awards, here are my predictions for the nominees, and these predictions are bound to change by the time the Academy Awards comes around. Right now it’s August and the show is months away. Not to mention, not all of the movies on this list are even released to the public yet, so who knows how those movies will turn out? Nevertheless, here are the nominees.

  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Incredibles 2
  • Mission: Impossible: Fallout
  • Mary Poppins Returns

I’ve seen four of the five movies on this list. I actually happened to give all of them positive reviews. “Incredibles 2” to me happened to be a worthy sequel to one of my one of my favorite films of all time. “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” turned out to not only be one of the year’s best films, but one of the best films I’ve seen in the action genre. “Avengers: Infinity War” delivered everything a comic book movie needed to deliver and even just a little bit more. I like all of these films. The other one on this list I saw was “Black Panther” which I liked, but I think it might be the most overrated movie of the year. And despite that, I do see it having potential of having a worthy Oscar nomination. The visual effects for the most part are very well done, Chadwick Boseman gave a decent performance, and some of the cinematography done by Rachel Morrison (Mudbound, Dope) is definitely worth praising. If “Black Panther” were to win an award like “Best Cinematography,” I’d definitely give my own applause and respect to the movie and those who worked on it. “Black Panther” winning an award such as “Best Popular Picture,” just makes it look like it belongs in a kiddie table.

Let’s imagine us going back to 2017, and seeing what movies would have ended up in a category called “Best Popular Film.” These would probably be the nominees.

  • Wonder Woman
  • Logan
  • Baby Driver
  • Coco
  • Dunkirk

And you know what? If “Wonder Woman” won, then great, it gets an award. If “Dunkirk” won, awesome, it gets an award. But it’s almost like a pity award! This wouldn’t be true for most of these movies, so I’m gonna use “Wonder Woman” for this example. “Wonder Woman” was a fantastic movie. But it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars. So the Academy voters go ahead, as they view this popular category, and think of not the movies they saw that year, but the KNOWN movies they saw that year. And guess what? “Wonder Woman” gets all the winning votes? That means it will forever been known as that “one popular film.” It’s almost shameful if you ask me. In fact, one of those movies I mentioned, “Coco,” received a nomination in another kiddie table category, “Best Animated Feature,” but we’re not gonna sidetrack ourselves into that.

Also, part of me wonders if the Academy was actually the group of people behind this move, or it happened to be the channel which the Oscars airs, ABC. Why? ABC is owned by Disney. And while I must some of my favorite films were actually made by Disney, they’re not the studio I think of when it comes to “Academy-worthy” content. Is Disney/ABC doing this in order to give their films more attention? Think about it. For years I’ve been noticing, Disney has many films that come out and make bunches of money. Why do you think I make fun of them all the time? That’s LITERALLY what Disney is about right now! If you think “Solo” didn’t prove that already, wait until you see what happens when they come out with “Porgs: A Star Wars Story.” It’ll be animated, it’ll be rated G, and John Williams will be executing his softest score yet! Tell me that they aren’t about making money when my mother paid over $20, might have been $22, for a room service cheeseburger at Disney World! Disney, is THE company I think of when it comes to making movies with bigger budgets, almost like they don’t even know what an independent style film is. And big budget films are very popular with most audiences. Films like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Both of those movies have already come out this year, made over a billion dollars worldwide, and are owned by Disney. Mickey Mouse could be coming in out of nowhere, strangling the golden head of the Oscar trophy, and won’t let go of it until he gets exactly what he wants. What does Mickey want? Mickey wants “Black Panther” to be recognized! Well, OK, recognized for what? Cinematography? Acting? Directing? Editing? No! POPULARITY! Disney, I know I make fun of you all the time, but in reality, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. I’m not saying this is what’s happening, but if ABC or Disney is doing this, it almost makes the Fox and Disney merger look like fun! Granted, it hasn’t officially happened, but no more bidding is allowed, so good to luck to sanity!

RIP: Good “Deadpool” movies
RIP: Good “Kingsman” movies
RIP: Any content that is good and crosses the line

This literally wrecks the Oscars. You think that the political talk is the worst thing about the Oscars? No! Sometimes it’s actually quite funny! I don’t care who is being made fun of as long as the joke is executed well. Heck, you can make fun of my favorite politician of all time, and maybe you’ll get a laugh out of me because this is an attempt at humor. This popular awards thing? It just sucks. And months from now, it’ll suck for about three hours long and hard! There’s no reason for this award to exist, it’s almost a sin to have the award even be a thing. It ruins movies, it ruins the Oscars, it ruins the idea of being “gifted.” It’s like Oprah all of a sudden showed up and ended giving everybody a trophy! And you know what? I may sound like a crybaby over this fiasco, but I’m certainly not the only one who is upset over this. Participation trophies may work for younger athletes, as much as I may question them being handed out. But this is the big leagues. These aren’t students. If this rule is still in place for a bit of time after my post is released, I need a wish granted.

If this rule is still in place after the voting process begins for the next Academy Awards, I should be able, …I should be able… to pick the host for maybe not the 91st Academy Awards, because that host will probably have already been picked, but I should pick the host for the 92nd Academy Awards! As of now, I’m going to go with either Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Stewart, Alex Trebek, Howie Mandel, Dwayne Johnson, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or Mark Hamill!

You get what I’m sayin’ Academy? I OFFICIALLY DECLARE THIS, MY UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH! You either listen to my demands, or we’re gonna be talking about an upcoming Academy Awards show whose host will be chosen by someone who can’t legally consume alcohol in their own country yet! Caphice?! Thanks for reading this post! This upcoming weekend we’ve got a few new releases in theaters. Some include “The Meg,” “Slender Man,” and “BlacKkKlansman.” Out of all these, I’m probably most likely to check out “The Meg,” however there is another movie that has been out for almost a month that I’m still dying to check out, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, and that movie is “Eighth Grade.” Stay tuned for whatever review I happen to post soon, and also stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what do you think about the popular Oscar category? Or, what are your thoughts on the other changes that have been announced? Let me know, and you will get a trophy for participating in the comment section! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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