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Following Oscar Snub, Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Responds To The Broadcast Cutting Key Categories

Timothee Chalamet in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

The annual Academy Awards always have their controversies. Often it’s just a question of a particular movie or filmmaker being left out of nominations, but this year the Oscars have found a much bigger controversy following the decision to not give out several awards during the live telecast. One man who will be in the room (but not nominated for his directorial work) is Dune director Denis Villeneuve, who has a history of being vocal on industry topics. And he's unsurprisingly less than thrilled with the decision.

The Academy Awards have had a difficult time finding an audience in recent years and have tried a variety of things during recent ceremonies to change that, with little to no success. The latest effort, in an attempt to streamline the telecast, is to give several awards out before the actual show begins, and then edit their presentations into the show. Speaking with Deadline the director of Dune, a movie that has been nominated in several if the categories that are being handled this way, says that treating categories like Production Design and Sound this way ignores the contributions of many people who make movies happen. As Villeneuve put it,

Honestly, I think that the Academy’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I think it’s a mistake. And I understand that they’re under tremendous pressure, but I think it isn’t the right decision. The thing is that filmmaking is about a teamwork. It’s like a football team. It’s like you have like all different kinds of jobs that everybody needs to get the top of its game; otherwise the movie collapses, you know? It’s a team effort.

There are eight categories that are currently set to not be given out live during the Oscars broadcast later this month, documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short and sound. It’s unsurprising that the people who work in those categories are currently feeling like second class, but Denis Villeneuve doesn’t like it any more than they do. While he understands, and may even sympathize with the goal, he doesn’t think this is the way it should be handled. 

A lot of the press surrounding Dune and the Oscars has been focused on the lack of nomination for Denis Villeneuve himself for Best Director, but the director himself wants to shine a light on those that don’t often get talked about. The Oscars is one place where many film disciplines get a chance to take the stage and be recognized. To the director that’s the point of the show. He explains…

In the media we are a lot about the directors. We are, of course, a lot about the actors. All the people that are working in the shadows there, unfortunately, they need to be seen and to be recognized, and these award shows are made for them.

This isn’t even the first time that the Oscars has considered not giving out all the awards live. The last time it happened the Academy backpedaled, but with the show less than a month away and no sign that this decision is being reconsidered, it seems like this time it is going to happen. How it will actually impact the broadcast we will learn March 27. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.