The 2017 #AcademyAwards nominations were recently released and we have had all the usual discussions about the nominees — the sure things, the surprises, the controversies, and, of course, who will ultimately win. What may not be discussed is people or great achievements that may not be honored simply because there is not a category in place to honor them.
Here are some Oscar categories that should exist, but don't.
1. Best Blockbuster
The last few years, there has been some debate regarding the relevance of the Oscars to the movie-going public. Most of the debate this year has come from the fact that #Deadpool, despite being nominated at the Golden Globes (usually a sign of a coming Oscar nod), has been denied an Academy Award nomination. Oscars viewing figures have dropped the last few years, and sadly, it is not difficult to see why. Why should viewers care about the Oscars if none of the awards categories reflect their interests?
This is where a "Best Blockbuster" category, or something similar, may help. Including a category that regular audiences are interested in could draw them back to watch the Awards, and make the #Oscars relevant again.
2. Best Performance In A Blockbuster Film
Aside from the very special case of Heath Ledger's #Joker in The Dark Knight, it is unheard of for #superhero films to earn Oscar nods for anything other than visual effects or sometimes costumes. If these films were to be honored with their own category, the actors and actresses who appear in them should have a chance to be recognized as well.
This and the "Best Blockbuster" category could possibly be voted for by select members of the general public rather than the Academy. This would be another way of improving the Oscars' relevance among everyday film buffs.
3. Best Voice Acting Performance
The Academy Award's voting process for animation is questionable enough without ignoring a huge part of what makes animated films what they are. Aladdin would not be half as memorable a film without Robin Williams's iconic turn as Genie. Shrek would not be the same without Mike Myers's portrayal of the titular ogre, or Eddie Murphy as Donkey. This does not just apply to animated films, either. Vin Diesel's work as Groot in Guardians of The Galaxy made the character an instant pop culture legend, while Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley memorably voiced Baloo and Bagheera in last 2016's live action The Jungle Book.
Voice performances can be just as moving or memorable as live action, and they deserve to be acknowledged.
4. Technical Achievement In An Animated Film
In recent years, there has been controversy over the selection of winners in the "Best Animated Feature" category, mostly because the voters are not even required to watch the nominated films. However, it's also due to films potentially winning because of what they have achieved from a technical standpoint — like Big Hero 6's use of the Hyperion engine — rather than the film as a whole.
Therefore, I propose making "Technical Achievement In An Animated Film" a category of its own. This would go a long way to improving how outsiders view the Academy's take on #animation.
5. Best Foreign Animated Film
We really shouldn't need this, but due to the wide range of overseas animations that fail to be recognized, it may be time to consider it. In the 16 years since the "Best Animated Feature" category, only one foreign film — Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away — has won the award. Fan outcry has struck the category again this year with the snubbing of critically praised, record-breaking anime film Your Name.
Animation, like acting, is a universal art form, so it really should not be that hard for a foreign feature to break through and win now and then. However, as so many have been overlooked, perhaps it is best that they receive their own category.
6 Best Remake/Sequel
Historically, aside from a few special cases (True Grit, The Godfather Part II, Toy Story 3), the Academy seems to disregard sequels and remakes come nomination time. This is not necessarily a bad choice. Many remakes are simple cash grabs from an increasingly nostalgic audience. There is the rare sequel, however, that improves upon the original, or at least expands the world created by the films.
At the very least, an Oscars category for these films may inspire studios to try just a little harder.