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Alfonso Cuarón leads charge against Oscars presenting awards during commercials

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Alfonso Cuarón does not support the academy’s decision to present four awards during commercial breaks.
(Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced the four awards that will not be presented live during the Oscars on Feb. 24, and several Hollywood heavyweights aren’t having it.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, whose “Roma” garnered 10 Oscar nominations including for cinematography, expressed support for all of filmmaking’s elements, noting on Twitter on Tuesday that, “No single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”

Fellow Mexican director Guillermo del Toro also criticized the announcement, tweeting that “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.”

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Del Toro’s 2017 film “The Shape of Water” won the awards for best director and best picture and was nominated for sound mixing and cinematography, among others.

“The L Word” actress Jennifer Beals called the academy’s decision “outrageous.” “We are a community. Each part needs the other. Editors, DPs, hair and makeup artists are cinematic magicians. I want to see them being honored,” she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

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On Instagram, cinematographer Reed Morano, whose work includes “Frozen River” and “Kill Your Darlings,” denounced the academy’s priority for ratings over the value of art.

The backlash comes after academy President John Bailey revealed on Monday four awards that would be omitted from the Academy Awards’ live broadcast and instead be presented during commercial breaks. The awards are cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and styling.

Despite the exclusion from live TV, Bailey asserted the academy is “still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars.”

It’s a decision Bailey argued was necessary to improve ratings, which hit an all-time low last year.


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