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C'mon Hollywood: Separate Oscar category for best comedy?

Feb. 14, 2012by: Chris Bumbray

A few months ago, Judd Apatow, who's produced and/or directed some of the best comedies in recent years, including this years sleeper hit BRIDESMAIDS, suggested that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, overhaul their categories for best picture, by including a new category for best comedy, similar to the Golden Globes, which has a best comedy/musical category. He may have a point, as BRIDESMAIDS was probably one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, and certainly better received that some of the eventual best picture nominees, particularly EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE.


Considering that after two years of expanding the best picture nominations to include ten nominees, before modifying this rule by allowing UP TO ten nominees (with nine nominated this year), something like EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE still gets nominated, while BRIDESMAIDS gets the shaft, maybe he has a point. One way to do it would be to limit each category to five nominees. Some have said that this may result in a bunch of unworthy films being nominated for Oscars, and while this may be true- the category could be broader than one would think. Many of the Golden Globe nominees for best comedy/musical only vaguely fit into that category, and theres no reason the same rule cant be applied to the Oscars.

I say, why not? If there are categories for best documentary, and best animated film, why not a category for best musical or comedy? Perhaps a way to do it would be to allow UP TO five nominees in each category, that way, in a year such as this, something like BRIDESMAIDS could be nominated alongside a film like THE ARTIST or THE DESCENDANTS, both of which would fit nicely into a best comedy category.


Perhaps though, the biggest opposition would be from Hollywood itself, as I imagine a director like Alexander Payne would resent being consigned to the best category ghetto, which, lets face it, would probably be regarded as somewhat less prestigious than the best drama category. Also- would this make the Oscars too much like the Golden Globes? Would all of a sudden we be seeing a whole bunch of unworthy films being touted as Academy Award Nominated? Its certainly a risk, but then again, the cachet of the Oscars is already dwindling. This is a pretty tedious year for Oscar nominees, and for a more interesting selection of nominees, ones better off checking out the Critics Choice Awards (full disclosure- Im a voting member), the AFI top 10, or some of the film critics guild awards.


But enough of my blabbering, what do you think? Is Apatow onto something, or are we better off leaving the Oscars as is- flawed as they may be, but a classic in their own way?

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:32PM on 02/14/2012

Its simple...

Aren't all stories derived from either Tragedy or Comedy? So there should be a Best Comedy Award. Crap like Hangover 2 wouldn't be nominated, but more independent films would have chance at it.
Aren't all stories derived from either Tragedy or Comedy? So there should be a Best Comedy Award. Crap like Hangover 2 wouldn't be nominated, but more independent films would have chance at it.
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5:50PM on 02/14/2012
I agree to a certain extent, but before the Academy adds a 'Best Comedy' category, they need to add "Best Voice Actor" (including Actresses) and "Best Stunt Work", which I feel are far more in need of recognition than adding another "Best Genre X" category.

More importantly, fuck "Bridesmaids" and definitely fuck the Oscars this year.
I agree to a certain extent, but before the Academy adds a 'Best Comedy' category, they need to add "Best Voice Actor" (including Actresses) and "Best Stunt Work", which I feel are far more in need of recognition than adding another "Best Genre X" category.

More importantly, fuck "Bridesmaids" and definitely fuck the Oscars this year.
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+2
12:20PM on 02/14/2012
The problem is that if they make a Best Comedy category, they would fill it with either comedies not worth an Oscar-nomination (outside Bridesmaides, what would it be? Hangover 2? Horrible Bosses?) or a light-drama, like The kids are all right. It won Best Comedy last year at the Globes, yet it was a drama - just "nobody died in it".
The problem is that if they make a Best Comedy category, they would fill it with either comedies not worth an Oscar-nomination (outside Bridesmaides, what would it be? Hangover 2? Horrible Bosses?) or a light-drama, like The kids are all right. It won Best Comedy last year at the Globes, yet it was a drama - just "nobody died in it".
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12:03PM on 02/14/2012
You know, I didn't like BRIDESMAIDS, but seeing how I'm basically the only one, I'm actually sort of pissed that it didn't get a Best Picture nomination when they HAD a damn slot still open (and replace EXTREMELY LOUD... with DRIVE). What the hell, Academy?

Anyway, I agree that the Oscars are broken (mostly in the out-of-touch pretentiousness of the Academy), but I don't think adding a Best Comedy category is the proper fix for that. The Academy should just get over their prejudice towards
You know, I didn't like BRIDESMAIDS, but seeing how I'm basically the only one, I'm actually sort of pissed that it didn't get a Best Picture nomination when they HAD a damn slot still open (and replace EXTREMELY LOUD... with DRIVE). What the hell, Academy?

Anyway, I agree that the Oscars are broken (mostly in the out-of-touch pretentiousness of the Academy), but I don't think adding a Best Comedy category is the proper fix for that. The Academy should just get over their prejudice towards certain genres of films and truly be an assessment of what the best films of the year were, not just the most "important."

Yeah, like that'll ever happen.
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12:43PM on 02/14/2012
Your not the only one who didnt like Bridesmaids, I didnt care for it either. And i also didnt like Drive :)
Your not the only one who didnt like Bridesmaids, I didnt care for it either. And i also didnt like Drive :)
3:13PM on 02/14/2012
I actually disagree with the assertion the Oscars are broken. Out of touch, but not broken. To be broken suggests they're a system like democracy. They are a series of averaged opinions from an elite group of voters. They in no way, shape, or form, are an accurate gauge of the opinions of the masses (though if a film makes a profit it definitely helps).
I actually disagree with the assertion the Oscars are broken. Out of touch, but not broken. To be broken suggests they're a system like democracy. They are a series of averaged opinions from an elite group of voters. They in no way, shape, or form, are an accurate gauge of the opinions of the masses (though if a film makes a profit it definitely helps).
6:25PM on 02/16/2012
HoyleHaw--good point, I actually think "out of touch" would have been a better way for me to say what I meant than "broken" was.
HoyleHaw--good point, I actually think "out of touch" would have been a better way for me to say what I meant than "broken" was.
12:01PM on 02/14/2012

Choices should be hard

Disagree. Choosing what is supposed to be the best movie of the year (wich we know is not always the case) should be hard. We don't need more categories to include movies we kinda of liked
Disagree. Choosing what is supposed to be the best movie of the year (wich we know is not always the case) should be hard. We don't need more categories to include movies we kinda of liked
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11:45AM on 02/14/2012
Melissa McCarthy got nominated. So did the screenplay. That's enough for me. As someone else pointed out, three of the five front-runners are comedies (if you count "The Descendants", otherwise, we still have "Moneyball").
This really all comes down to widespread misconception of what the Oscars is. It's prestigious because it was the first, the statue is iconic, and Academy Award Winner has a different ring to it than Critic's Choice or Golden globe Winner. I think Apatow wants to be an
Melissa McCarthy got nominated. So did the screenplay. That's enough for me. As someone else pointed out, three of the five front-runners are comedies (if you count "The Descendants", otherwise, we still have "Moneyball").
This really all comes down to widespread misconception of what the Oscars is. It's prestigious because it was the first, the statue is iconic, and Academy Award Winner has a different ring to it than Critic's Choice or Golden globe Winner. I think Apatow wants to be an Academy Award nominee. That's what this is about. Well, McCarthy and Kristen Wiig are now, so that's something. Will they win? I think Octavia Spencer's gonna edge out McCarthy, and Wiig and Annie Mumolo will likely lose out to Michael Hazanavicius. But wait, "The Artist" is a comedy too. You may not agree with it, but while I agree that "Bridesmaids" should've got that ninth spot (since "Drive" didn't), I don't believe a new category is necessary.
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10:55AM on 02/14/2012
First off no, and secondly, I don't think The Descendants should even be thought of as a comedy. It had some funny moments, but they were just minor compared to the drama.
First off no, and secondly, I don't think The Descendants should even be thought of as a comedy. It had some funny moments, but they were just minor compared to the drama.
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9:47AM on 02/14/2012

No

I think the Oscars are different than the Golden Globes in that the Oscars are supposed to honor the most elite films and performances. Unfortunately, this year kinda sucks, with stupid films like BRIDESMAIDS nominated for Oscars and terrible films like THE HELP and WAR HORSE nominated.
I think the Oscars are different than the Golden Globes in that the Oscars are supposed to honor the most elite films and performances. Unfortunately, this year kinda sucks, with stupid films like BRIDESMAIDS nominated for Oscars and terrible films like THE HELP and WAR HORSE nominated.
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9:30AM on 02/14/2012
I don't give a shit about the oscars and hopefully the people that deserve it (and get snubbed) don't either.
I don't give a shit about the oscars and hopefully the people that deserve it (and get snubbed) don't either.
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8:32AM on 02/14/2012

I have to disagree

I think the Oscars are the only award show worth having and ONLY because it's standard. A base zero, a discussion starter. The awards have always been hit and miss so its only worth having for the sheer fun of discussing it.
That said, A comedy category is a bad idea. Films nowadays constantly blur the line between comedy and drama that there will always be an issue of which is which. 2 categories would just pander to those who think that there favorite comedy of the year is worth being
I think the Oscars are the only award show worth having and ONLY because it's standard. A base zero, a discussion starter. The awards have always been hit and miss so its only worth having for the sheer fun of discussing it.
That said, A comedy category is a bad idea. Films nowadays constantly blur the line between comedy and drama that there will always be an issue of which is which. 2 categories would just pander to those who think that there favorite comedy of the year is worth being honored. Frankly, only "Midnight in Paris" and "50/50" are the only comedies this year that deserve real recognition.
If a movie is good enough, then it will be honored with the rest of the general films. I'm also started to lean against the animated Category now that we have 3 animated films make it to the top nomination.
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+5
7:46AM on 02/14/2012
There are a bunch of comedies nominated for best picture this year - The Artist, The Descendants & Midnight in Paris. Out of the 3 of them, only 1 actually deserved a nomintation (The Artist). So it's bad enough as it is, we don't need more garbage sneaking in because of a weak category. Good films get overlooked no matter what the categories are, that's just how it is. It has nothing to do with them being comedies.
There are a bunch of comedies nominated for best picture this year - The Artist, The Descendants & Midnight in Paris. Out of the 3 of them, only 1 actually deserved a nomintation (The Artist). So it's bad enough as it is, we don't need more garbage sneaking in because of a weak category. Good films get overlooked no matter what the categories are, that's just how it is. It has nothing to do with them being comedies.
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7:33AM on 02/14/2012
No. This is a bad idea. They did this with animated films, and what happened? You were hard-pressed to see another animated film get nominated for Best Picture until 2009. The Best Animated Feature award shoved animated films into a ghetto, and a Best Comedy award will do the same for comedies.

What you need is to completely change the composition of the people who vote for the Oscars. Bring in people who actually know what makes a good film in this day and age. People who aren't a bunch of
No. This is a bad idea. They did this with animated films, and what happened? You were hard-pressed to see another animated film get nominated for Best Picture until 2009. The Best Animated Feature award shoved animated films into a ghetto, and a Best Comedy award will do the same for comedies.

What you need is to completely change the composition of the people who vote for the Oscars. Bring in people who actually know what makes a good film in this day and age. People who aren't a bunch of old dudes who remember Hollywood's "golden age". This should make it harder for studios and the Weinsteins to make pandering Oscar bait tailored to the tastes of a particular group of people, and force them to take actual creative risks with their prestige pictures.
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+13
6:36AM on 02/14/2012
Hypothetically, if there's Best Comedy, there should also be Best Drama, Best Horror, Best Action and so on. Just to be fair to all genre.
Hypothetically, if there's Best Comedy, there should also be Best Drama, Best Horror, Best Action and so on. Just to be fair to all genre.
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4:42AM on 02/14/2012
Yeah that would be like putting a band aid on a runny asshole.
Someone just has to kill all the members of the Academy (after thanking them of course) and then replace them with people who actually know a thing or 2 about films.
Yeah that would be like putting a band aid on a runny asshole.
Someone just has to kill all the members of the Academy (after thanking them of course) and then replace them with people who actually know a thing or 2 about films.
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+12
4:32AM on 02/14/2012
It wouldn't fix much because comedies are far from being the only genre the academy tends to overlook. If you add Best Comedy, you would also have to add Best Action (for films like The Dark Knight), and possible Best Thriller/Horror. The academy just needs to finally get more diverse with their preferences and just recognize a quality film, regardless of whether or not it stars a man in a bat suit.
It wouldn't fix much because comedies are far from being the only genre the academy tends to overlook. If you add Best Comedy, you would also have to add Best Action (for films like The Dark Knight), and possible Best Thriller/Horror. The academy just needs to finally get more diverse with their preferences and just recognize a quality film, regardless of whether or not it stars a man in a bat suit.
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+4
3:35AM on 02/14/2012
I agree with Terminal_83. Plus there are very rarely any good comedies nowadays, and even of the pretty funny ones, there aren't many I would say should receive an Oscar. It's true the HFPA does it, but even they have trouble coming up with nominees to fill the category, making them resort to films that are neither musical or comedy. This would just be a very bad idea.
I agree with Terminal_83. Plus there are very rarely any good comedies nowadays, and even of the pretty funny ones, there aren't many I would say should receive an Oscar. It's true the HFPA does it, but even they have trouble coming up with nominees to fill the category, making them resort to films that are neither musical or comedy. This would just be a very bad idea.
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2:17AM on 02/14/2012
No, no, no. Absolutely not. You throw in a comedy category and suddenly everyone wants to water down the Oscars with their own categories. Leave it as is.
No, no, no. Absolutely not. You throw in a comedy category and suddenly everyone wants to water down the Oscars with their own categories. Leave it as is.
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2:05AM on 02/14/2012
Kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't predicament.
Kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't predicament.
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