Oscars 2019: Why the New “Popular Film” Category is a Bad idea”

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Every day we want to have our life fulfilled. Have dreams we want accomplished. With all the busyness of our life, sometimes we travel from home to work and from work to home having less and less ability to go elsewhere. What we picture in our mind can barely become possible, this is why we love the moving picture. Because it allows us to travel the world, transport our selves to the any era we want. Indeed, watching films is fun, but to build up a connection with that film is more important that watching it.

After all, it has never been about popularity, but the ability to touch our hearts. But today, sadly, that little hope we had had passed away with the Academy Motion Pictures of Art declaring a new category – an achievement in popular film, which, I think should be called a bit differently – the most grossing film of the year, which again had nothing to do with the ability to tell the story we would like to pass on to the next generation.

Let’s take a walk down the memory lane of the cinematic world it all began with. The Lumiere brothers were first to invent the Autochrome color photography plate that brought to life the moving image. They began what soon became the most outstanding Film Industry in the World known as Hollywood. Since then, we enjoyed crying and laughing at the same time, strangely, on the characters we felt so close, so dear and so important that simply needed to be recognized widely.

That recognition came with the creation of the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, that began its quest to recognize the best of the bests since 1929. Since then, the cinematic world has changed, evolved, revolved, transformed, became more open, diverse and famous. As the cinematic world entered the new era, the viewers changed as well. We started demanding more. Intelligent films turned out to be less entertaining as the deep subject matter it provided appeared to bore us to death. Movie Theaters that used to host screenings to more meaningful, moving and profound films is no longer able to support the excellent concept and opened its doors to popcorn films such as Avengers, Black Panther, James Bond and so on.

As someone who missed the last Avengers movie from Marvel and “Black Panther”, I try to keep myself far away from movies that have nothing to do with a compelling storytelling. Because, let’s face it, it might be popular, but also quickly forgotten, as all what these films do it distract us with all the fancy sounds, visual effects, make-ups and all other things but misses one important thing – to touch our soul. That’s why the Oscars were so important. Because you knew, we all knew, there’s a reason why there are no places for films like Avengers or Black Panthers to be crowned as the best picture of the year. Because they are not and will never be.

But that is set to change with the historical changes proposed by the Oscars to begin recognizing films that are considered to be most popular. Here is a question that is crying out loud for a logical answer: how are we going to determine what’s the most popular film of the year? Is it how much money it made? Most talked? Most viewed? Then why don’t we visit Youtube for that? Maybe an adult website, that I am sure might be breaking world records in viewing every day? Are those the criteria we are seeking for? Of course not.

Having said that, in our modern era when the most intelligent and socially important films gets limited release, which is unfair, the Academy should recognize the importance of promoting true cinema rather than pleasing big bosses and investors who would not care less about what we love the most – cinema. So why don’t the Academy consider adding one of the most crucial categories – achievement in the most influential and socially important film, instead of brainwashing people with a piece that won’t be able to live a long life the same way as “Gone with the Wind” did. Because at the end of the day, we want an experience. We want our hearts to cry, to be moved by what the real world sometimes fails to provide. But unfortunately, that will no longer happen, as from now on the studios will run to make films that make more money but in terms of a subject matter has nothing intelligent to offer. And I am sure, it’s not what we want and will never be.


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