C'mon Hollywood: Separate Oscar category for best comedy?
A few months ago, Judd Apatow, who's produced and/or directed some of the best comedies in recent years, including this yearís 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 thereís no reason the same rule canít 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, letís 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 ďAcademy Award NominatedĒ? Itís 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, oneís better off checking out the Criticís Choice Awards (full disclosure- Iím a voting member), the AFI top 10, or some of the film criticís guild awards.
But enough of my blabbering, what do you think? Is Apatow onto something, or are we better off leaving the Oscarís as is- flawed as they may be, but a classic in their own way?