When the Academy (you know, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) announced that it was introducing a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film at the Oscars, critical reaction was swift and brutal. It felt like a desperate attempt to tackle the Oscars’ popularity problem by introducing a new category for blockbuster movies. Now, the Academy is backtracking and decided that the award requires further study. It will no longer debut next year at the 91st Academy Awards
This comes as a relief to frustrated critics and fans of the “popular films” that might have been considered members of the new category. The award might have removed many popular blockbusters, like Wonder Woman or Black Panther, from consideration for the more prestigious Oscars—including “Best Picture.” It felt like a way to snub fun movies!
That said, we’re not sure that the Oscar for “Best Blockbuster” was necessarily a bad idea—in many ways, big-budget flicks are made with a different set of criteria in mind, while they share filmmaking techniques. We weren’t sure if a new award was the best move, but it felt like a way to shake up Hollywood’s premier awards show. Either way, simply postponing the new Oscar won’t solve the Academy’s problems.