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7 New Categories The Oscars Need to Add

Ahh, the Oscars. The ultimate celebration of achievement in film. Actors, directors, set designers, sound gurus, editors, and so many more involved in the movie industry vie for the coveted golden statues that are handed out to the best, and only the best. But, in the midst of controversy and scandal, it’s easy to see how the Academy and their awards ceremony might be falling more and more out of touch with mainstream audiences, and could, with enough time and stagnancy, become obscure.

But we don’t want that to happen, right? Racial debates aside, the simple addition of new Oscar categories could, potentially, go a long way in highlighting more of the films that people actually care about. Would you have watched The Revenant if Leo weren’t in it? Not likely. Has anyone gone out of their way to check out Joy or Brooklyn? I would guess that most people haven’t. While these films are, without a doubt, good movies, the general feeling of “Oscar bait” that surrounds them is palpable, as is a major turn off for many moviegoers.

So, Academy. Keep on honoring those films. Please. They are great movies. But maybe a little open-mindedness would help increase viewership on Oscar night when people see that the movies that they love, the movies that are awesome, are nominated in new categories. I’m throwing you a bone here, because here are seven categories, and 2015 films that I would nominate for those categories, that should definitely be added to the roster.

 

Best Ensemble/Group Cast

The Avengers

There are a total of just four Oscars handed out each year for acting accolades. While this helps to make each award feel special, it also overlooks the fact that a movie should not ride solely on the shoulders of the few. The Oscar for Best Ensemble or Group Cast would be awarded to the film that best represents a cast of equals, each doing their part to collectively form a brilliant movie. One star need not, and should not, outshine the others. Movies are a group effort, and this award would reflect that notion.

My 2015 Nominees for the Best Ensemble/Group Cast are:

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander)
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames)

 

Best Trailer

Star Wars The Force Awakens

There is an undeniable art to creating a great movie trailer. And, to be honest, nobody really takes credit for them. I assume it’s the same people who are editing the actual movie that make the trailers, but who knows?

A trailer can undoubtedly make or break a film’s box office performance. And, in some cases, a movie’s trailer can actually be better than the movie itself, which is great for the trailer, but not so for the movie. But when was the last time you went back and watched, for example, the trailer for Alien? Still, to this day, it’s a terrifying two-minute montage of scenes that simply make you want to go and watch the movie again. And that’s the point of a trailer, right? To simply get you into the theatre.

The Oscar for Best Trailer would be awarded to the preview that not only helps fill theaters, but gives an accurate representation of the movie which it is promoting, without spoiling it or misleading audiences.

My 2015 Nominees for Best Trailer are:
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Spectre
The Gift
The Revenant
The Visit

 

Best Series/Sequel Film

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre

There’s no way around it at this point. It doesn’t matter how truly great an original film with an original idea is. For the most part, audiences head to the theater for a two hour visit with the characters that they know and love, in an established series, or, and the very least, a series attempting to establish itself.

Instead of complaining about the lack of original films, the Oscars should embrace those sequels that deliver in a big way, because making a worthy sequel to a successful movie is no small task. The sequel is rarely as good as the predecessor, but in this case, the sequels may even outshine those that came before.

My 2015 Nominees for Best Series/Sequel film are:

Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Spectre
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

 

Best Comedy

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters

A comedy is a hard thing to get right, and this Oscar would go to the movie that delivers gut-aching laughs, but doesn’t sacrifice overall quality to do so. Too many times, a film is top loaded with jokes and hilarious situations, until an hour into the movie, there is a need for plot, so the hilarity gets in the back seat while the story drives the movie on.

That’s not to say that the story is a bad thing, but a great comedy should weave its jokes and its plot together to create a seamless, hysterical experience.

2015 wasn’t an exceptional year for comedies, but my Nominees are:

Sisters
Trainwreck
Ted 2
Spy

 

Best Voice Performance

Disney Pixar Inside Out

In recent years, voice actors have become more and more prolific, and not just through film. Video game actors have received high levels of fame as well. Names like Troy Baker, Joe Dimaggio, and Tom Kenny may not be household names, but you can’t avoid hearing their vocal talent.

It baffles me that this category still hasn’t been made an official Oscar category yet. The Academy already recognizes achievement in animated pictures, but doesn’t shine the spotlight on the voice actors who bring the animated characters to life.

My 2015 Nominees for Best Voice Performance are:

James Spader (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Phyllis Smith (Inside Out)
Andy Serkis (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens)

 

Best Stuntwork

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

There’s a certain level of bragging rights that comes with the phrase “I do all my own stunts.” While this potential Oscar category wouldn’t require the top-billed actors to be putting their bodies on the line at each and every turn, it would reward the films that deliver exceptional, and often dangerous, stuntwork. This Oscar should also go to a film that consistently shows great stunt effects throughout its duration, not just in a single scene.

A great action movie is nothing without epic stunts, and luckily for audiences everywhere, the stunts we see just keep getting bigger and better.

My 2015 Nominees for best stunts are:
Spectre
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
Mad Max: Fury Road
Point Break

 

Best Motion Capture

Maz Kanata

Finally, this last new Oscar category is another one that I feel should have been added a long time ago. The inclusion of a category celebration motion capture performances stems back to a controversy from 2003, which I remember well.

With the release of The Two Towers, speculation ran high that legendary motion capture and voice actor Andy Serkis could potentially receive an Oscar nomination for his stunning performance as Gollum. Unfortunately, when the time came, the Academy was, apparently, not willing to acknowledge Serkis’ performance as genuine acting.

Regarding his role in The Lord of the Rings, Serkis gave the perfect summary of why motion captured actors should still be considered for the Oscars. “People find it hard to get their heads around nominating a computer-generated character, but every time you see Gollum on the screen, that’s me who is acting up there – even if it is behind a mass of pixels – and it’s my voice you hear.”

Although 2015 didn’t feature a large number of mo-capping, my Nominees for Best Motion Capture performance are:

Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
James Spader (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

 
 
Are there any new Oscar categories that you would like to submit for the Academy’s consideration? Chime in below!