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The Trophy Hunter: New Oscar categories

| Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Joseph H

The build-up to last year’s Academy Awards was marked by a truly exemplary string of poor decisions: hiring (and firing) Kevin Hart as host, introducing the now-scrapped Best Popular Film award and attempting to relegate five awards to commercial breaks during the television broadcast. In their failure, the latter two proposals highlighted a mistaken conviction held by Academy President David Rubin and the other people in charge of the Oscars ceremony. The people watching don’t want fewer awards; we want more time with the biggest movie night of the year.

In a humble effort to assist the Academy, I’ve posited a few suggestions for new Oscar categories that would not only recognize undervalued members of the film industry, but also nominate the blockbuster movies and their attendant audiences the awards are so desperately trying to court. Read below for three new proposed Oscar categories, as well as who could expect to be nominated and win these theoretical awards.

 

BEST STUNT COORDINATION

The biggest Oscar snub every year isn’t an individual ignored film or filmmaker. Instead, it’s the annual omission of recognition for stunt work, an essential part of virtually every live-action blockbuster. Whether the award is given to an individual stunt coordinator or to a larger team of artisans, it’s time for the Oscars to award the individuals who play a central part in each year’s biggest movies.

2019 Nominees:

“Avengers: Endgame”

“Captain Marvel”

“Crawl”

“Hobbs and Shaw”

“John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” (WINNER)

The “John Wick” series (directed by one of Keanu Reeves’ former stuntmen in “The Matrix”) has long been home to the best stunts in Hollywood, and the third entry is no different. The manic chase scene that sustains much of the first act rushes from equine-aided headshots to an impromptu knife-throwing contest — and that’s just the warmup.

 

BEST CASTING

Casting directors are the only branch of the Academy listed in a film’s opening credits who do not have their own Oscar. They are an invaluable part of the early stages of film production, and deserve the same recognition that screenwriters and producers do for shepherding a project to completion. Behind every single Oscar-winning performance is a casting director who put that actor in a position to succeed.

2019 Nominees:

“Booksmart” (WINNER)

“Knives Out”

“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”

“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

There are certainly more star-studded ensembles than “Booksmart,” and the young performers at the heart of the movie have virtually no shot at Oscar recognition for their work. That being said, casting director Allison Jones put together a murderer’s row of wickedly talented actors for Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut. With any luck, they’ll be the faces of the next generation of film comedy.

BEST MUSIC SUPERVISION

There are already Oscar awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song; in that same vein, why not recognize films and music supervisors that compile pre-existing songs? There is inarguably a craft to the act of soundtracking, where a scene can live or die on the drop of a needle.

2019 Nominees:

“Booksmart”

“Dolemite Is My Name”

“Hustlers” (WINNER)

“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

“Us”

This category has five worthy nominees, from the predictably eclectic, late-60s soundscape of “Once Upon A Time” to the instantly iconic use of “I Got 5 On It” in “Us.” The final stretch of “Hustlers” is a soundtracking tour de force, however, with a transition from “Night Moves” to “Royals” bringing the crime movie genre from its classic-rock past into its thrilling present.

 

BEST STUNT COORDINATION

The biggest Oscar snub every year isn’t an individual ignored film or filmmaker. Instead, it’s the annual omission of recognition for stunt work, an essential part of virtually every live-action blockbuster. Whether the award is given to an individual stunt coordinator or to a larger team of artisans, it’s time for the Oscars to award the individuals who play a central part in each year’s biggest movies.

2019 Nominees:

“Avengers: Endgame”

“Captain Marvel”

“Crawl”

“Hobbs and Shaw”

“John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” (WINNER)

The “John Wick” series (directed by one of Keanu Reeves’ former stuntmen in “The Matrix”) has long been home to the best stunts in Hollywood, and the third entry is no different. The manic chase scene that sustains much of the first act rushes from equine-aided headshots to an impromptu knife-throwing contest — and that’s just the warmup.

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