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The Academy Comes To Their Senses: All 24 Categories Will Be Presented During The Oscars

Yesterday, a welcome bit of sanity entered into this chaotic awards season. After months of speculation about how the Academy Award telecast would be handled, as well as the last few days after hearing which Oscar categories were snubbed from the live show, we have a return to normalcy. AMPAS and Academy President John Bailey caved to the will of those who actually care about the Oscars, reversing the earlier decision and making it so that all 24 categories will be presented live. Though this isn’t a cure all for the issues plaguing the handling of this ceremony, it’s an excellent step in the right direction.

Here is what the statement put out yesterday afternoon by the Academy actually said:

“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling. All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24”

Here is a bit of what I said when this poor decision was made and the four categories were announced:

A bad decision gets worse. Yesterday, in an email to the AMPAS membership, Academy President John Bailey revealed which categories are going to given out during the commercial portion of the Oscar telecast. We’ll tell you what they are next, but in what probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone following this debacle, the choices are terrible. Anyone hoping that this would be just the three Short categories are sorely mistaken. There are four Oscars that won’t be given live, and only one is a Short. In fact, two of the categories now on tape delay are among the biggest of the technical fields. It’s truly a mindbogglingly awful decision. For what it’s worth, they will be streaming these categories online in their live format, but still, that’s very much putting lipstick on a pig.

So, those are the categories getting the shaft. Ridiculous, right? Bailey says these categories will be excluded from consideration next year, as this is going to be done on a rotating basis. Frankly, there’s no reason to assume this will get any better. If you want to delve into conspiracy, the four categories are the only ones that don’t have ABC/Disney content among the nominees. Cinematography likely is going to Cuaron, so there’s also possibly an attempt to eliminate the same recipient giving multiple speeches, though that probably still happens anyway. It’s a mess, plain and simple. There’s a piece coming this week I’ve been working on about how this could be the worst Oscar telecast ever, and this does absolutely nothing to change my mind about that. Sigh…

With the categories back on equal footing, it will be interesting to see if the aim of a hard three hour running time is still feasible. Of course, it can be, especially without a host, but what happens when there’s still three awards to go and it’s two minutes before the allotted time? As much as anything else, Bailey and company have lost any benefit of the doubt, so we’ll be assuming the worst. Maybe it’ll end up being a normal show and the telecast will be what we’ve always been used to? Maybe not having a host will make it go smoother? Anything is possible. If nothing else, this is one step back towards normalcy. We’ll all be watching next Sunday to see what happens, that’s for sure…

Stay tuned to see what the Academy Awards end up looking like on February 24th when every category gets their moment in the sun!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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