Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences completely and totally threw film fans for a loop when they announced the addition of a brand new category for this year’s awards ceremony. The Academy announced that it will be introducing a new category devoted to Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.
While the eligibility requirements for being nominated in such a category have not yet been released, the idea of creating a “popular film” category has certainly ruffled some feathers in Hollywood. Is the Academy saying that so-called “popular films” merit their own category because they aren’t worthy of a regular “best picture” nomination? Perhaps it’s just a ploy to bring in more viewership by catering to popular films rather than more artsy films, which the track records for Oscar-nominated films have historically included?
We’re not sure yet what the motivation is behind adding the new category, but we think Black Panther star Sterling K. Brown has the right attitude about the new addition.
Marvel’s Black Panther is certainly a film that has a chance at earning some big nominations. When the film was still in previews, critics were already buzzing about the film being Oscar-worthy, and this was before the “popular film” addition. Now that the category exists, would Black Panther being nominated for the popular film category instead of the best picture category be a disservice to the film?
In speaking with Variety recently about the newly added category, Brown admits he wasn’t quite sure what to think at first, however, the more he thought about it, the more he could see a good reason to recognize popular film, as long as the category was based on merit. Brown said:
[row]“When I first heard of the category, the first question I had was, ‘What is the criterion for being nominated in this category? If it’s something that can give it some sort of merit and legitimacy, then I think it’s cool. But I think ‘Black Panther’ stands on its own merits regardless of its popularity as being a wonderful piece of art.”[/row]
Certainly, director Ryan Coogler has an impressive track record when it comes to filmmaking, and Black Panther was beyond a gorgeous film. Brown acknowledges that, regardless of which category the film is nominated in, all that matters is that Coogler is earning the recognition he deserves. He continued:
[row]“Ryan Coogler is an artist. The man is three for three in his films thus far, and I don’t see him striking out anytime soon. So whether it’s in one category, the other, or both, the movie is worthy of recognition.”[/row]
What do you think about the new Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film category being added to this year’s Oscars? Which film do you think should win for best popular film? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).