The Oscars has been a significant subject of controversy in the last couple of weeks thanks to their revelation about a new category celebrating "popular film." It won't come into play until 2020, and the details about how it will work remain hidden, but still people at large are not super happy. One tactic some have taken to protest the news is suggesting alternate new categories that could be utilized instead - and actor/writer Justin Theroux has a good notion:
I want a comedy category. That's what I want. I want to see someone like Jim Carrey back in the day win an Oscar. I want to see Judd Apatow win an Oscar. Jonah Hill. All the wonderful comedic work they do. I would love a comedy category before a 'Most Popular' category.
Justin Theroux, who has been known to make both dramatic (The Girl On the Train) and funny (Wanderlust) films, has been on a press tour of late because of his new movie The Spy Who Dumped Me, and it was while sitting down with AOL that he offered his two cents on the Oscars controversy. Rather than the broad "popular" angle, he instead suggested that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences find a way to give a specific award to the films created to make us laugh. And he makes a pretty great point.
As has been parodied to death, the kind of movies that Oscar voters really love are big, emotional dramas preferably set in the past and during wartime, with an extra bonus kicked in for a disabled protagonist. What they really don't love are comedies. It's not that they never get recognized (titles like Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, and It Happened One Night all scored Best Picture nominations), but there isn't a long list of examples, and even more rare are actual wins. Comedies will always struggle when competing for the same categories as dramatic titles - literally because they are taken more seriously - so giving them their own category makes a lot of sense.
Frankly, there are a lot of categories that need to be created in recognition of modern cinema's evolution. If there is room for discussion about adding new awards - and adding a "popular film" category opens that door - then that means there should be open consideration for stunts, performance capture, and voice over work. The structure of the broadcast, which has always been overlong and the scapegoat excuse for not changing, can grow, and now is the time.
What do you think would be the best new category for the Academy Awards to add to their line-up? Do you support the "popular film" idea, or would you rather see something similar to Justin Theroux's Best Comedy proposal? Give you answer in the poll below, and hit the comments section at the bottom to leave your thoughts.