I am an ardent movie lover hailing from South Asia. I have been following Hollywood since I was a kid and am still a huge fan of the industry. Every year, I try to watch the Oscar event live on TV. It is indeed a great experience to watch those you have been rooting for, win the awards. It is one of the most watched events along with the Olympics and FIFA world cup.
This year you made a ludicrous move and walked backwards in terms of celebrating the very art form that brought you all the amazing films over the years.
I was taken aback when I read that the four categories will be moved and presented during the commercial breaks in order to reduce the length of the show. The categories that were moved include the best cinematography, best editing, hair and makeup, and best live action short film.
Irony died there because the organization’s name is ‘ Academy of motion picture arts and sciences’. Cinematography is the art of motion picture photography. The live show itself is in the hands of the cinematographers and editors who will have capture and cut the events accordingly.
Cinematographer capture the film. We see their vision on screen. Editor’s creativity helped in boosting the film’s appeal along with the actor’s performances. Al Pacino spoke about this candidly in one of his interviews. He said that he is not worried about his acting skills as the editors will get the job done with their brilliance.
And, I just don’t understand. This is once in a year event and why reduce the length? People will watch and the whole process is based on your team’s smartness which is something you do not lack.
No matter what your defense is or who ‘volunteered’ to have their category moved, this is just ridiculous and is against everything art as a universal language stand for. Also, the categories that were moved did not have a single Disney nominee while every other category did. Disney is the parent company of ABC, the channel broadcasting the event. Am I connecting the dots?
As much as I rooted for Leonardo Dicaprio or Viola Davis or Birdman to win, I was thrilled when Margaret Sixel (best editing) or Emmanuel Lubeski (best cinematography) won for Mad Max Fury Road and The Revenant respectively.
These are legends who worked very hard and commercial break is when people go to the toilet and relax. The whole point of the event is to celebrate and encourage. Then what is the point of showing the broadcast later on?
Only two years ago, the Oscars faced fire for having all-Caucasian nominees in the four acting categories. I was really proud of the Academy when they used their platform to talk about issues like racism and the necessity for inclusion rider. You have come a long from persuading Black people to sit at the back of the theatre to including conversations about diversity in Hollywood.
The audience forgave you for the 2017 picture confusion but this is something you are doing this on purpose that too with whole knowledge. You are dragging yourself to the sidelines.
So, I sincerely hope that you will reverse this decision and present all 24 categories live. Otherwise, personally, I will not watch the Oscars this year. I am sure that I am not the only one as I have seen a lot of people from both the industry and the audience express the same sentiments on social media.
This is an event for the people. You are showing brilliant filmmakers and their achievements to the people around the world. Please, keep it that way.
UPDATE: The Academy released a letter stating that they have reversed their decision and all 24 awards will be presented live.