New Oscar Category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Flim

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New Oscar Category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Flim

Photo provided by: Cara Roth

Photo provided by: Cara Roth

Photo provided by: Cara Roth

In August of 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new Oscar category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. But why? Because mainstream movies that are somewhat entertaining, yet shallow and pointless, apparently deserve awards too.

The Academy and their Oscars have always been very prestigious, dating back to their debut in 1929, with a reputable legacy ever since. The Oscar ceremony currently includes categories such as, Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing. Adding the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film award would just devalue the class and distinguishable honor that is bestowed upon a film when an Oscar is received.

An Academy Award is one that filmmakers strive to earn, not one that they stumble upon because their movie just so happened to be a hit at the box office. Films that win Oscars have plots with deep, powerful meanings, and crews with professional technical abilities. Films that deserve Oscars are not Marvel films that gain popularity because they feature an ‘attractive’ person or films that have no depth, but were blessed with money to advertise and network.

The announcement of this new award category received strong criticism from the public and gained controversy in the media because the Academy could not establish thorough criteria for judging movies.  Since then, the Academy has decided to postpone this category, but hopes to feature it in future years, in order to possibly boost ratings of the Oscar ceremony. Yes, current Oscar categories do pose as a standard for quality films, but adding this new category would negate the effects of prestige that previous winning films have been associated with.  Despite potentially raising program views, it would in turn decrease the honor of winning an Oscar. Most people prefer quality over quantity, and it almost seems as though the Academy has never heard of that phrase before.

Politicians who run for presidency do not succeed by winning a popular vote, so why should a movie win a highly acclaimed and illustrious award that way? It shouldn’t.

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