However much I moan about the Oscars, and the below things that need reform, I agree with my friend that I would ride the corpse of a previously deceased loved one up to the podium to receive one. However, it would be nice if these reforms were considered, please. Thank you in advance.
Don’t split the actors and actresses
Ok, I will acknowledge that this will mean there will be less prizes on offer, as there will be two winners rather than four. Though, perhaps this could be addressed by categories such as Dramatic and Comedy roles, or even one for Historical Figures so other roles actually get more of a chance. Also, I imagine it could cause issues if, say, only men win for two years running or something, but I think that breaking down that gender divide would be worth it in the long run. This split does not happen in any other category, there is no reason for it to do so in the acting department. Plus, it would solve any potential problems regarding transgender actor nominations in the future.
No foreign language film category
One could say that it gives certain films the spotlight that they would not normally get, however, with this change would also come the lack of US bias in film choices. Ok, the US make a lot of films and the Oscars are also a US-held awards but there is not a US-only rule within the nomination process. Either implement that rule or just look at films from all over the world and give them their deserved equality. Son of Saul and Embrace of the Serpent were the best films of 2016 and only got foreign language nominations; they should have been up for Best Picture and more.
On this same principle as the last point, scrap the animated film category too. If it’s good enough, it can be nominated for Best Picture. Though, to replace that, having a best animation category would be a good idea – as in, the best animation within an animated film.
More diverse film choices
This weird ‘Oscar season’ in the months leading up to the event is silly. Look at all films, from all countries, with all diverse budgets and distributions, from all genres and pick the best ones – not just the so-called Oscar bait. Simple as that. Well, it’ll be difficult, obviously – but worth it and much fairer. This would also, naturally, help the (admittedly overblown) whitewash issue of recent years.
Best Documentary Picture
Flying in the face of reform two and three, I do think the documentary nominations should be kept separate. Dramatised and documentary features are so different, it is worth them having their own categories. However, it should be a more prestigious award – up there with Best Picture. So, yeah, rename it Best Documentary Picture and make it the penultimate award given. There has been a rise in quality and success in documentaries and this has not been matched within its lowly award status.