New Popular Film Oscar

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New Popular Film Oscar

Postby ShyViolet » August 8th, 2018, 1:48 pm

So interesting about the new Best Popular Film category. Shows how much the Oscars have changed over the decades. I mean back in 1986 Jeff Goldblum didn’t even get an Oscar nom for The Fly because horror movies were considered very lowbrow. It would have been like nominating Robert England for Freddy Kruger. (Not putting down England or anything, just giving an example.).

Now if only they’d get rid of Best Animated Film!! :(. For crying out loud, animated films are just as much movies as any others. The fact that they’re animated is just a technique and one of many aspects that make up the film!
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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Dacey » August 8th, 2018, 4:22 pm

Wait, Vi is vouching for the end of the most important Oscar category on this website? ;)

But regarding the news of the "new award," this is dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, DUMB! It wouldn't kill the Academy to nominate so-called "popular" films in the Best Picture category. Now we're assured that the BP winner is always goingt to be some low budget indie that almost no one has seen.

And part of the fun of the Oscars is the overly long ceremony, so giving awards out to winners "during commercials" isn't fair to those people or their families and friends. If you want to make things "shorter," cut down on the five or six tributes that take place each year.
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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby ShyViolet » August 8th, 2018, 5:59 pm

Lol...yeah imagine the Oscars with no Best Animated Film! ;) I guess there’d be less “talk” every year about this animated film vs. that animated film, but hey, that way the media might have actually been comparing Inside Out with Room! Or Moana with La La Land! Imagine the possibilities! (Totally serious, btw, just in case I sounded sarcastic...it would be so wonderful if animated movies were held side-by-side with “real” ones! :) )

Still kinda blows my mind that only a year before the first Shrek came out Chicken Run was (deservedly) a critical darling and so many in the media speculated on whether or not it would be nom’d for Best Pic, as Beauty had been almost a decade before. It wasn’t, unfortunately, and a year later all hopes of an animated film ever snagging (or who knows, maybe actually winning it??) a Best Pic nom went down the drain. It was basically the Academy’s way of distancing itself even further from taking feature animation seriously, particularly since this was in the midst of all the hype of Shrek 1. Inventing a category just for animated films was not a step forward at all. :(

************************


Oh and Dacey I totally agree about this Popular Film category being a bad idea...this is the exact thing that was done with feature animation. It didn’t seem that bad at first to me, but you’re right, this is just creating a “ghetto” for amazing movies that happened to make a lot of money, thus obviously disqualifying them from being taken at all seriously. :? (Heck, if this category existed in the 1980s can you imagine how many awards Spielberg would have won?? Thus giving him the obvious burden of being associated even more with “popular” films that obviously have no artistic merit?)


And yeah, shortening the ceremony is ridiculous! So many of those who tune in want to see every award given, (as well as the silly jokes made by whichever host! Lol), that’s part of the fun (as you said, Dacey).


Just a silly Futurama joke: ;)

Calculon: The Oscar isn’t about acting! It’s about earning the respect and admiration of the creative community!
Uncle Zoid: How about we rig the awards?
Calculon: That’s fine too!
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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby EricJ » August 8th, 2018, 9:01 pm

ShyViolet wrote:But hey, that way the media might have actually been comparing Inside Out with Room!


News flash: The media WAS. And Inside Out was winning.
Back in '15, the Academy was all set to finally reduce the nominees to five, until after May, and then...er, let's keep the Animated Best Picture vote in one more year. No particular reason, heh. :mrgreen:

Still kinda blows my mind that only a year before the first Shrek came out Chicken Run was (deservedly) a critical darling and so many in the media speculated on whether or not it would be nom’d for Best Pic, as Beauty had been almost a decade before.


And as I always point out, ever wonder why Beauty/Beast was nominated?
"Because it was so good! And it was revolutionary to nominate it!" Er, noooo....Because grownup moviegoers in '91 were just as embarrassed about saying they liked a Disney movie for the first time as grownup moviegoers in '18 were about saying they liked a Marvel movie for the first time. But don't worry, the Oscars make everything IMPORTANT, and no one will call you weird for going to see a "kids" movie if it Sweeps National Awards.

(As for Chicken Run, that was a bit of spillover from gushy grownups getting over their embarrassment about thinking Toy Story 2 should have gotten an Oscar, and at that point, they'd just settle for anything animated they'd seen in the theater getting a little "adult" validation. Some were still disgruntled that Lion King had been "snubbed".)

ShyViolet wrote:Now if only they’d get rid of Best Animated Film!! :(. For crying out loud, animated films are just as much movies as any others. The fact that they’re animated is just a technique and one of many aspects that make up the film!

The problem--as we found out hoping for Joy's Best Picture acceptance speech for "Inside Out" in 2015, before the Golden Globes went and spoiled everything--is that the rules say you can have five sensible Picture nominees and a Best Animated Feature winner OR an animated Best Picture nominee out of eight or ten, but to get one, you have to have the other.
That's how we were still stuck with eight nominees even in '16 and '17.

And to those who remember how we got the ten-nomination rule in the first place...THIS is exactly the reason why.
Ten years ago, we were complaining "Slumdog Millionaire?? Why no Dark Knight or Wall-E?--We need to change the rules, and give some other films a chance!"...But this year, we're older, wiser and saying "Moonlight?? Why no Black Panther or Incredibles 2?--We need to change the rules and give some other films a chance!"
Nice to know we learn from experience.

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Ben » August 9th, 2018, 4:36 am

Wrote a good reply here and analysis on this new "Popular Oscar", already being derogatorily referred to as the Popcorn Oscar, but my pad gave up its battery before I could hit post and I lost it. Oh well, not going through that again.

In short, I have a few "below the line" friends who are not happy this morning.

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby EricJ » August 9th, 2018, 6:58 pm

Ben wrote:Wrote a good reply here and analysis on this new "Popular Oscar", already being derogatorily referred to as the Popcorn Oscar, but my pad gave up its battery before I could hit post and I lost it. Oh well, not going through that again.


Back in 1929, the first Oscars had the idea of separating "Artistic"--or, as they called it, "Best Artistic/Unique Production"--from the Hollywood studio production films.
Wings won Best Picture Production, and is considered the first Best Picture, while FW Murnau's "Sunrise" beat out "Chang" and "The Crowd" for BAUP.

If the Academy is so determined not to assert their own identity (look, just freakin' nominate Black Panther and be proud of it, you would've twenty years ago!), that might be the best transitional idea. Only trigger buzzwords like "Artistic" or "Unusual" might be just as publicly damaging as "Popular' or "Popcorn" to the mainstream movies...Just imagine the persecution-flap if we started calling Moonlight or Imitation Game "Unusual", and just imagine the box-office dive if we called Tree of Life, Birdman or Whiplash "Artistic".
The sensible thing would be to divide categories into Best Limited/Independent, and Best Studio (Wide) Release, of more than 2000+ screens. That would separate the Sundances and Sony Classics from the Pixars and Marvels, and would stop making The Martian or Mad Max: Fury Road compete with Room or Brooklyn, as apples and oranges in the same bowl.

But, of course, that's not why the Academy's doing it. They're doing it because "Marvel is the new Pixar", and as usual, they're jealous that "the Golden Globes have all the fun! " with their Comedy/Musical category...Gee, if only we had ten Hollywood movies to nominate, too! :(
(And now rumors are suggesting that this was all ABC's idea to boost the TV ratings, as was the big buzz-blitz for Disney/Marvel's Black Panther...)

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Bill1978 » August 12th, 2018, 1:50 am

I can see what the Academy is trying to do, but I just think it comes across as ridiculous. I don't really know when exactly the Academy became allergic to nominating popular stuff for Best Picture, but they need to go back to it (Quick look on Wikipedia makes me think it was 2003 when Return of the King won). I mean there is no way in hell a movie like Ghost would get a Best Pic nom these days, and Julia Roberts wouldn't get nommed for Pretty Woman. I think rather than adding the popular category, the Academy could just change their thinking that Box Office success equals low quality. There are so many quality acting going on in 'popular' films but they are ignored for whatever reason. It's also a shame the Academy has decided to not present every award live. I don't get their thinking because on one hand they want me to tune in for the Popular award but then they want to minimise the exposure of the below the line awards where many popular films get a nomination. It's crazy.

If it is honestly about wanting to cut time etc, they need to do what I regularly suggest. You present the awards. The only 'entertainment' is the nominated songs get performed and have an In Memoriam. Scrap all the silly tributes and montages.

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby EricJ » August 12th, 2018, 4:16 am

Bill1978 wrote:If it is honestly about wanting to cut time etc, they need to do what I regularly suggest. You present the awards. The only 'entertainment' is the nominated songs get performed and have an In Memoriam. Scrap all the silly tributes and montages.


They tried to do just that on Jon Stewart's second hosting in '08...Dear gods, what a disaster. :shock:

(Stewart's theme that evening was snarkily trying to "punish" the earlier tributes and montages, like his "Montage tribute to great binoculars in films"...After a few clips of Patton, Rear Window and Mister Roberts, you could hear this dead pause, where the theater audience didn't realize it was a joke and was thinking "What, you're not going to show some more of that?")

Bill1978 wrote:I can see what the Academy is trying to do, but I just think it comes across as ridiculous. I don't really know when exactly the Academy became allergic to nominating popular stuff for Best Picture, but they need to go back to it (Quick look on Wikipedia makes me think it was 2003 when Return of the King won). I mean there is no way in hell a movie like Ghost would get a Best Pic nom these days, and Julia Roberts wouldn't get nommed for Pretty Woman.


You're not far off on the date:
After Return's win in '04, the Academy decided to shorten the voting period a month, A) because they were afraid that "dragging" the voting period too long was losing interest, and chiefly, B) to try and ease up the FYC publicity blitzes from Miramax's latest "bribe".

Unfortunately, it became the fatal backfire: Voting actors and technicians already have little enough time to see worthy nominees, and often have to single out just the major "buzz" titles or ask friends, so a few secondhand rumors (ahemgreenmile) would sometimes show up in the list...With one LESS month, the nominations were now almost completely rumor, picked out of reputation from the Golden Globes studio-buzz titles and the arthouse/festival titles from the National Board of Review, the first two awards lists out of the gate. Then bring in the ten-nomination rule after '08--which was supposed to make it easier for Dark Knight and Pixar--and voters had to make twice as many last-minute guesses. With NBOR (from critics who had to see every movie) providing most of the indie titles, not too many had seen the nominees until final voting, and then they barely had time to screen anything else.
Which is not only why the nominations since '04 have seemed like they're picked out of everyone else's awards, usually the first ones we heard buzzed about WERE the hype-bribed Miramax/TWC films--Good job stifling the FYC campaigns.

This is our second year of Weinstein-Free Liberation, we're beginning to shake off our chains and breathe the fresh air of mass-mainstream films again, but...we're not sure we remember how. Um, maybe we need a new category? :?

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Ben » August 12th, 2018, 5:32 am

Bill essentially makes the points I made in my lost post.

There is another angle, too: back in the day, before audiences chose just to eat the big, calorific but empty blockbuster meals, they also used to make the "less popular" films massive hits as well.

So in 1982, you had something like ET that could be a huge smash, and something like Gandhi, which obviously was the big Oscar film that year...but also was a huge smash. A few years later, Out Of Africa...was a huge smash. It wasn’t until the 1990s, and late 90s at that, when audiences kind of turned away from those kinds of films for "easier" fare.

The truth is that filmmakers and voters haven’t changed from voting for the same kind of worthy projects or creative achievements, it’s that audiences have stopped being bothered from seeking them out of seeing them at all, and that distributors are as guilty as anyone from not giving these films wider releases in order to allow that to happen...even though if they did then audiences are probably still less likely to go see them.

Most people nowadays would rather lap up the new franchise brain-holder than have to find something like Lion, unfairly confined to an arthouse theater, and then have to think or go through a gut-wrenching emotional ride. Again, the distributors, knowing that Marvel will make more than Lion, don’t play things like Lion on more screens...and so the likes of Lion end up being seen as smaller, arthouse, indie or, even, "boring" fare.

We may love and adore all the visual spectacle of Infinity War and the like, but when Thanos snaps his fingers, do we really feel that emotional wallop one does at the end of Lion when we find out what has become of one of the main character's relatives (and, indeed, where he got his name from)? In some kind of way, actually maybe, but I know which one is the more enjoyable movie and I know which one is the "better” movie. It’s just that, in the past, *both* would have been box-office hits.

You can’t blame the Academy from wanting to reward those smaller stories, even more nowso that they really have to break through to be noticed, since they also take more Herculean efforts to get to the screen than a $200m studio film. It’s really the audiences that have abandoned these kinds of films in the majority, and why the kind of midrange films we used to get in cinemas have largely disappeared or migrated to TV.

It’s not as cut and dried simple to say there should be a popular/popcorn Oscar. I remember when the "arthouse" *was still* popular too.

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Dacey » August 12th, 2018, 12:14 pm

I'd argue those movies are still capable of being quite popular? So long as they're capable of capturing "awards season traction"...

The problem is you can't do that with ten smaller films each year. But a good number of them still "break out." Heck, even Million Dollar Baby--which was a massive downer--made it to $100 million stateside, and it wasn't that long ago.

But you still have The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, The Imitation Game, and even stuff like Three Billboards and The Darkest Hour turning in a healthy profit.

My main concern is this means so-called "mainstream" movies will never get Best Picture nominations now. Mad Max and Gravity almost certainly wouldn't be nominated with this new rule.

And what is "popular"? The Walk was certainly banking on being a huge 3D blockbuster (considering the "big event film" teaser that played before the third Hobbit), yet it ended up being a flop stateside. Is it "disqualified" from the new award because it failed to be a hit?
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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Ben » August 12th, 2018, 12:42 pm

It’s always been that way, though. No-one was complaining, other than Spielberg himself, when those kinds of films were making huge coinage but got little love at the Oscars. It’s long been observed that their "reward" is the amount of money those films take home (and let’s not forget that the whole reason the Academy exists was to promote the more "prestigious" movies and movie stars. It’s jusy, again, that back in the day, those movies were just as big as the major moneymakers).

The bottom line is that the likes of Infinity War will forever be regarded as mainstream popularist fare, where Three Billboards is "art". And that’s fair enough, the reward being that, when one of those popular films is also an achievement, as all three Rings were, that they are then recognised. Countless "popular" films HAVE been recognised in this way (Star Wars was a Best Picture nominee! Amongst ten nominations!), it’s just that the audiences have stopped going to those films in Star Wars or Infinity War numbers.

And now the Academy, in a knee-jerk reaction, want to try and get those films more recognised, first by shutting out those technical categories in which they are still mostly nominated (and, rightly, routinely actually win, duh) and then make sure they never get nominated in the bigger awards by giving them their own Best Animated Feature equivalent...

It’s odd, really, that the BAF award has quickly become the most "mainstream" gong, often going to the biggest moneymakers on the ballots! Now that they wasnt to basically expand that (this will, in effect, create a Best Visual Effects Picture award), then as Dacey says, it pretty much ensures that the likes of Dark Knight, Lord Of The Rings, etc, don’t ever get the chance to break through and compete as they should.

What a spectacular own goal! :(

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby ShyViolet » August 12th, 2018, 1:16 pm

We may love and adore all the visual spectacle of Infinity War and the like, but when Thanos snaps his fingers, do we really feel that emotional wallop one does at the end of Lion when we find out what has become of one of the main character's relatives (and, indeed, where he got his name from)? In some kind of way, actually maybe, but I know which one is the more enjoyable movie and I know which one is the "better” movie. It’s just that, in the past, *both* would have been box-office hits.

You can’t blame the Academy from wanting to reward those smaller stories, even more nowso that they really have to break through to be noticed, since they also take more Herculean efforts to get to the screen than a $200m studio film. It’s really the audiences that have abandoned these kinds of films in the majority, and why the kind of midrange films we used to get in cinemas have largely disappeared or migrated to TV.

It’s not as cut and dried simple to say there should be a popular/popcorn Oscar. I remember when the "arthouse" *was still* popular too.



Yes...that’s exactly what I think too, I mean about art house type films not being marketed/distributed on a wide scale the way they used to be. The theater near me almost always has only the usual 80s shows remakes/superhero films/horror remakes and whatever scatalogical/infantilizing comedies happen to be out, plus Disney/Pixar films, by and large the only really watchable stuff that still plays in cinemas now. (These are just generalizations, of course there are exceptions.)

Take a movie like A Beautiful Mind, which came out in 2001. Nowadays no studio would widely release a film about a schizophrenic mathematician, even if it does star Russell Crowe. They just don’t make movies like that anymore unless they’re only released in art house theaters that usually don’t number more than 20 or so in the US...and only play in certain big cities. (Of course that number varies a bit depending on what country you live in, but I assume that proportionally it’s about the same.). Also, just to give one more example, the movie Precious (released in November of 2009) was very much praised/talked about/analyzed all over the media for months, and yet studios never, right up until the Oscars in early 2010, bothered to give it a wide release! :(. And yet bookstores had movie tie-in Push novels right in their front section! I mean does that make any sense? :?

And yeah, we as a society have changed so much from 20/30 years ago. I think the only very challenging, even hard to emotionally sit through money-making film from the last 5 years was Inside Out. Really sad there aren’t more “popular” widely distributed films that take kind of risks that movie did. :(
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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby EricJ » August 12th, 2018, 4:23 pm

Again, that's (ABC's?) problem of using the P-word to "solve the TV problem", rather than use the Wide/Independent distinction to say what's an Infinity War and what's a Three Billboards.
Or why "The Walk" could be a big-studio wide-release independent movie that wasn't Popular.

It's become an even bigger chasm today, because the Writer's Strike of '08, along with other factors, means that big studios have now literally stopped buying screenwriters' spec-scripts, believing they can hire scripts-to-order to fall into step with the corporate five-year Franchise Universe plans based on existing already-written properties. (Like the Roger Corman B-movie days, when all they had was a poster: "We've got 'Dark Universe: Bride of Frankenstein' cast and scheduled for May '20, now go and write one!")
As a result, screenwriters with an idea now know they can't sell their movies to studios, set out to become "Independent filmmakers" instead, and drown us in navel-gazing half-formed actor/personal-drama ideas that needed a bigger producer to give them a commercial hook. It's pretty much become one OR the other nowadays, and foreign arthouse films have picked up the slack.

One of the factors behind the push for Gravity or The Martian was how well critics and voters could respond to a well-made wide-release cineplex movie, and the all-out critical craze for Mad Max: Fury Road was pretty much a subconscious explosion from our frustration that George Miller had kept the series in a bubble since 1986, and knew how to make an old-fashioned, quote, "80's movie" (in the old-school commercial-hit sense) from experience.
That one in particular put the bug in the Academy's ear about what we've all been missing for the last ten years.

ShyViolet wrote:Take a movie like A Beautiful Mind, which came out in 2001.


(Which we now literally remember ONLY as "What the heck were we thinking??" and "The movie that stole Fellowship of the Ring's Oscar", pretty well guaranteeing that Return of the King was going to win two years later.)

I think the only very challenging, even hard to emotionally sit through money-making film from the last 5 years was Inside Out. Really sad there aren’t more “popular” widely distributed films that take kind of risks that movie did.


We were so close. We were THAT....CLOSE.... :(
There was no secret that the big Oscar voter push in '15 was for Inside Out, and the Academy even did a 180 and kept the "Animated vote" rule in one more year just to make room for it.
But because the Golden Globes now "invent" the nominations--any movie that doesn't make the GG's 10 is now a "surprise upset", and declared a failure--the Globes' rule against animated Best Picture nominations meant that Inside Out, gasp, didn't get a Best Comedy/Musical, and...oh, well. Guess that's that, the entire industry said within minutes of the nominations hitting the press.
And then the NBOR critics, who had bigger indie fish to fry for the major categories, all picked Inside Out for their Best Animated, so we all said that was that, too: "Guess we know who's going to pick up their annual lock on Best Animated Feature!...Well done, guys, another big win in your usual category!"

Which leads us to our other tip for "Fixing" the Oscars: KILL. THE. GLOBES. Slowly, and painfully, to watch them suffer. They've had one foot in the grave for the last thirty years anyway.
Or at least bring us back to the 90's, when we used to laugh in their face because Ted Turner had to air them. :lol:

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Dacey » September 6th, 2018, 2:32 pm

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Re: New Popular Film Oscar

Postby Randall » September 7th, 2018, 12:08 am

Yay!