The Oscars are airing February 24, but at this point, it’s hard to say if anyone is enthusiastic about that. There’s no host this year, the Academy has already botched its Popular Film category, and now, the ceremony’s most recent decision is facing intense backlash.
This week, the Oscars announced that four awards—Best Cinematography, Makeup and Hair Styling, Live-Action Shorts and Best Film Editing—will be shunted from the broadcast and awarded during the commercial breaks. The Academy said this was in effort to streamline the ceremony, but for movie fans, the decision is being received as counter-intuitive and at odds with the way the Oscars are supposed to celebrate the craft of filmmaking. (h/t The Hollywood Reporter)
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) February 12, 2019
The fundamental role of @TheAcademy should be to recognize and showcase the talent and work of those who make movies better. By limiting the spotlight to those who already have it, it makes its core job null.
— Issa López (@IssitaLopez) February 12, 2019
Major filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuaron (nominated this year for Best Director), Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Banks and George Clooney have all voiced their displeasure with the decision, arguing the purpose of the Oscars is to highlight and bring attention to the nuts-and-bolts process of movie-making, not just the celebrity-centric awards like Best Actor/Actress and Best Director.
The dissent is detailed in an open letter to the Academy. You can read it all, and see who in Hollywood has signed it, here.