Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

The Academy Adds Best Popular Film Oscar Category

The Academy Adds Best Popular Film Oscar Category

The 2019 Oscars telecast will be held on February 24 as originally planned, so the show itself won't move to early February until 2020, but what about the award for Best Popular Film and the shortening of the telecast?

The new Popular Film category is bound to be controversial, even before concrete details about it have been confirmed.

They will instead be given out live in the auditorium during commercial breaks; "the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast", the letter said.

Big changes are coming to the Oscars. Especially in the year of Black Panther.

Australia's Logie Awards wrestle with a similar issue, in that they have two groups of categories, one voted by the audience, and the other voted by juries of industry professionals.

It is the latest attempt by the Academy to remain, in the words of its leadership, "relevant in a changing world", and to maintain its position as the premier awards ceremony for excellence in film. But recent years have seen some of the year's top-grossing films either earn awards exclusively in technical categories or get shut out of the Oscars completely. However, while the film earned Heath Ledger a posthumous award for his supporting role as the Joker, the film itself was left out of the Best Picture category.

Another new, major change will be trying to keep the Oscars broadcast to a tight three hours. Not only is "Black Panther" worthy of a best-picture nomination, Rich said, but the academy has made a concerted effort to up its diversity in recent years.

The 2019 Oscars will look a little different. In a letter released to Academy members (per Deadline), it was announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's board of governors has approved three key changes going forward for the awards. The dirty (not so) secret of the Academy Awards is that they've never really been a benchmark of excellence to begin with. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. This will allow the Oscars to take place before rival awards shows. Blockbuster hits occasionally win big - like in 2004, when The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won best picture - but it's often the case that the films in the best picture categories aren't the movies that everyone went to see on opening weekend.

We'll wait on more details about the proposed category, but meanwhile, I'm still holding out for a category that finally recognizes stunt performance in film. Is Best Popular Film a good idea or not?

However, the three-hour telecast means select categories will not air live.

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