Many directors, including Denis Villeneuve, Jane Campion and Guillermo del Toro, have criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its decision not to feature several craft categories during the Oscars live stream later this this month.
Eight categories – Documentary Short, Film Editing, Makeup/Hair, Original Music, Production Design, Animated Short, Live Action Short and Sound – will be taped one hour prior to the 94th Annual Lean, then edited in the next broadcast.
‘Dune’ filmmaker Villeneuve called the move a ‘mistake’, while noting the awards show is in the midst of an ‘identity crisis’ after the lowest-rated Oscars TV broadcast ever. time.
“Honestly, I think the academy is throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” the director told Deadline on Saturday at the Art Directors Guild Awards. “I think it’s a mistake. And I understand that they are under enormous pressure, but I think it’s not the right decision.
He went on to defend people “working behind the scenes” on film productions who “need to be seen and recognized”.
“I think the Oscars are going through an identity crisis,” Villeneuve said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Oscars. I think everyone expects it to be a long show. Me, I love it. … There’s always bursts of genius. And beautiful moments. Sometimes it’s boring. … Each edition is always its own. It’s part of the show. And listen, we’ll see what happened this year but I think there’s will have a lot of thought before and after.
Campion, whose film “The Power of The Dog” is a favorite to win Best Picture, also expressed dismay at the edited categories for the time.
While virtually accepting the Cinematic Imagery Award at the ADG Awards, the New Zealand filmmaker explained “the importance of production designers [are] to create any good movie,” according to Variety.
“I don’t know what their reasons were. It’s hard for directors to understand that choice,” she said. “I definitely would have included the design in the main body of the awards because the designer is one of the very first people I put on a team. All the work that you do as designers is so vital, and it’s really much appreciated by myself and your peers.
Del Toro, whose film “Nightmare Alley” is nominated in several categories that would be affected by the changes, also blasted the academy’s decision.
“If a year was the year to think about it, this isn’t the year not to hear their names live at the Oscars,” he said at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards on Monday, Variety reported. “This is the year to sing and do it live.”
In a bid to boost ratings, the academy sought to rework the ceremony in 2018 by adding a category for achievements in “popular” films, but scrapped the plan after receiving significant backlash.
This year, the organization launched a competition for people to vote online for their favorite film and the most “joy-worthy” movie moment – whether or not the film received an Oscar nod. The results will be announced during the broadcast, which has frustrated many in the film industry.
Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes are set to host this year’s Oscars telecast, which airs Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.