The Academy Awards ceremony – most people just call it the ‘Oscars’ – used to be a momentous and entertaining occasion to celebrate and award filmmaking but the problem is the ceremony has slowly but surely become a bit – dare I say it – obsolete.
People generally want to point fingers and quickly identify factors that contributed to this downfall because that would allow them to offload the blame and move forward but the truth is there are several issues.
Over the last few years, the Oscars event has been politicised, which is never good for ratings, mired in controversy after the 2016 #Oscarssowhite campaign and on top of that, we’ve seen rookie mistakes like in 2017, when the wrong winner was announced for Best Picture.
The 2021 edition set a new negative record, an all time low with just 9.23 million viewers.
And the Academy seems to be convinced that the main issue is the length of the ceremony, which is why they decided to ditch eight categories in order to keep it under three hours.
The categories include Documentary Short, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Animated Short, Live Action Short, Sound and Score.
This decision didn’t go down well with actors and filmmakers who branded the move as ‘disrespectful‘ and called for a boycott.
My 2 cents?
The gap between critical and commercial success is widening.
Obviously, I don’t expect a Fast & Furious or a James Bond movie to win an Oscar but, when all is said and done, filmmaking is about many things, and one of them is entertainment.
And shunning well executed, enjoyable films just because they’re light-hearted alienates viewers.
On top of that, bringing politics into entertainment is the quickest, most effective strategy if you want people to change the channel.