Will Smith did the Academy a big favor by diverting media attention from its downgrade of 8 Oscar categories, but the offending branches haven’t forgotten about it.
This week brought more fallout as the American Cinema Editors (ACE) voiced objections to being bumped to the pre-telecast hour. In a stinging video statement urging the Academy to abandon its new two-tier awards strategy, ACE protested, “This year’s Academy Awards ceremony left film editors and many other essential arts on the cutting room floor of cinematic history. We feel cheated, insulted, and angry by the way our art was deemed superfluous, in favor of bloated performances and spectacle.”
Ironically, for many years a film editing nom was seen as a key way to handicap the best picture race. Not having an editing nom was considered a big disadvantage. It’s a sign of changing Oscar times that 2022’s best picture winner, CODA, wasn’t a film editing nominee while DUNE, which won for editing, lost for best picture.
Despite Oscar’s degrading downgrades, the telecast still ran for nearly four hours! So the Academy accomplished nothing with its new pre-show awards strategy — except alienating members, who now are committed to achieving change.