Oscars 2019: Film academy cuts four categories from televised broadcast

Guillermo del Toro says cinematography and editing are 'the very heart of our craft'

Clémence Michallon
New York
Tuesday 12 February 2019 18:43
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Guillermo del Toro speaks onstage during attends 2018 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Catherine Opie and Guillermo del Toro presented by Gucci at LACMA on 3 November, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Guillermo del Toro speaks onstage during attends 2018 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Catherine Opie and Guillermo del Toro presented by Gucci at LACMA on 3 November, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

The film academy has drawn ire by cutting four Oscar categories from this year’s broadcast – prompting disagreement from both fans and industry insiders.

During the ceremony on 24 February, the Oscars for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short will be presented off the air, during commercial breaks.

The move comes as an attempt to shorten the show to three hours, but many have warned that it does the ceremony a disservice by not staying true to the essence of cinema.

For those four categories, the winning speeches will air later in the broadcast and will also be live-streamed on Oscar.com and the film academy’s social accounts.

Many have voiced their dissent on social media with the hashtag #PresentAll24. The Oscars currently have 24 categories.

Guillermo del Toro, the Oscar-winning director of The Shape of Water, which also took Best Picture in 2018, said on Twitter: “If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but – Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”

Roma director and cinematographer Alfonso Cuaron said at the Directors Guild Awards earlier this month: “This decision has nothing to do with any decision about cinema It’s a broadcast thing decision. It’s about the show, the entertainment. But it should not be part of the discussion of what Academy Awards are about.

“The Academy Awards should be about celebrating the artists in the different categories.”

Cuaron is the only nominee in a cut category who is up for other awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. Those will be presented during the broadcast.

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Vice director Adam McKay said earlier that he was “bummed” by the idea. He had heard whispers that makeup and hairstyling was going to be one of the unlucky categories, which he considered a particular blow for the people who worked so hard to transform Christian Bale into Dick Cheney for his film.

“That crew worked so hard,” McKay said.

Vice is also up for an editing award, which will be presented off air as well.

Last week at the Nominees Luncheon, Bohemian Rhapsody editor John Ottman called the change insulting.

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The film’s sound mixer Paul Massey just worried that he wouldn’t know what to tell friends and family who wanted to watch the show to possibly see him win.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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