movie fans, of course we love the Oscars….the best of the best
competing for the ultimate prize in various categories. For film
fans, it’s our Super Bowl, our World Series, our Daytona 500.
at the same time, how often have we watched the ceremony, having only
seen one or two of the films with the most nominations, simply
because the average filmgoer doesn’t spend most of their spare time
in an art-house? There are a lot of factors which make a great film,
not just those related to the handful of awards given out on Oscar
night. What about a movie with awesome stunt work, or an animated
film featuring an actor whose voice performance rivals anything
they’ve done onscreen?
the annual Academy Awards ceremony is already long enough, but it
still isn’t a comprehensive show giving accolades to everyone who
deserves them. I, for one, would be willing to sit through an extra
hour of the telecast if the following categories were added:
Best Un-billed Performance
unexpected appearance by a big-name actor is usually a gimmick, but
sometimes it's a vital part of the story, like Joe Pesci in JFK,
or Gary Oldman in Hannibal. Actors appearing un-billed in movies
is now commonplace, so why not reward such false humility with a
trophy? Who wouldn’t have awarded this all-elusive award
to Bill Murray for his appearance in Zombieland (especially
since the Academy seems reluctant to give him one for anything else)?
Best Stunt Work
you think about it, it’s amazing (and obscene) that this is already
not already a legitimate category. Think of the all the classic films
with iconic action sequences ...the car chase in The French
Connection, the motorcycle jump in The Great Escape, the opening
foot chase in Casino Royale, the fight choreography in Enter
the Dragon. Do you know how many Oscars these stunt coordinators have
received? None, which is a travesty because, in certain
genres the ability to pull off such scenes is every bit as important
as make-up or costume design.
Best Use of a Classic Song
lots of songs are written specifically for a film (usually Oscar
bait), but just as often, filmmakers like to dip into the past for
one which best fits the tone of a scene. Quentin Tarantino and Martin
Scorsese do this all the time, and sometimes an old classic tune does
more to enhance a movie than anything a current songwriter can dish
up. Think of “Layla” in Goodfellas or Dick Dale’s
“Miserlou” in Pulp Fiction. Finding the perfect old song is
just as vital for some films as hiring a currently popular poptart to
croak yet another power ballad.
Best Sequel or Remake
have been some truly great sequels and remakes, and they are
a huge part of what drives Hollywood as a business, but the
Academy seldom likes to even nominate them
for Best Picture. So why not create a category just for those movies?
God knows there would be enough of them eligible every year, and the
average movie fan who never tunes into the Oscar broadcast every year
might be more inclined to do so if their beloved Harry
Potters or Twilights or Die Hards were up
for at-least some kind
Best Motion Capture Performance
sign of the times. Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Kong in King
Kong, the bear in Ted and Caesar in Rise of the Planet
of the Apes are main characters of the films in which they
appear. Sure, they are special-effects, but they are also
performances, a true collaboration between an actor and the technical
wizards who bring the character to visual life. At this point in
time, is their anyone who can seriously argue that Andy
Serkis isn’t an amazing actor, even though we don’t see
his true face on the screen? He's the De Niro of motion-capture.
Best Gore Make-Up
the Oscar category of Best Make-Up has been reserved for movies where
a character has a physical deformity or is required to age. But
whether the Academy likes it or not (and history has shown it
doesn’t), some of the best make-up ever used in movies has been to
depict graphic violence. If the effects are physically applied to an
actor, it's make-up, and the genre should not matter. For
Christ's sake, Tom Savini has never been nominated for anything!
are the main things which plant butts in theater seats in the first
place. Coaxing moviegoers to part with their hard-earned cash is an
art unto itself, so why not reward the folks who cut these two-minute
epics together? In fact, this would be the one category in which
totally terrible movies could have a legitimate shot at Oscar gold.
It takes a real artist to convince people that a truly crappy film is
going to be great.
Best Voice Actor
there anyone out there who can argue that Robin Williams' work as the
genie in Aladdin wasn’t the primary reason that movie was
so cool? With the increasing number of traditional actors lending
their voices to animated characters in blockbuster films, it seems a
shame the Academy still doesn’t acknowledge their work, simply
because they don’t appear onscreen.