Laura Dern deserves the credit for killing the “Popular Film” Oscar category. Ms. Dern has been nominated for two Oscars herself and is on the board of directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for the Oscar awards.
The proposed category would have given a fighting chance to popular movies that ordinary audiences go to see instead of just art films. Critics and film fans alike have complained the new category would put popular films into a ghetto by making the awards they receive in this category of questionable value, and correctly point out that a popularity-based film award already exists, and it’s called the Golden Globes.
According to W Magazine, we have Laura Dern to thank for sending the idea to the trim bin of cinematic history:
“This past Tuesday evening, before the Academy announced that it was rethinking the controversial inclusion, the Big Little Lies actress voiced her dissent to the decision. Dern, who is an Academy board member, brought up some of the many criticisms that arose of the category following the. Like, the potential fear that the category would marginalize cultural forces—and historically inclusive films—like Black Panther, which many think deserves a spot in the Best Picture category. Or that it showed just how out of touch the Academy really is, while at the same time diminishing its artistic integrity.”
It is widely believed that Ms. Dern’s commentary was the straw that broke the camel’s back, inspiring the Academy to walk back the new category idea.
Laura Dern played Vice Admiral Holdo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Ms. Dern’s father Bruce Dern starred in the science fiction cult classic Silent Running. Her mother Dianne Ladd starred in the Disney horror film Something Wicked This Way Comes.