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Judd Apatow to AMPAS: Time’s overdue for a Comedy Best Film category

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  • PaulHJR
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    #44588

    The EW.com site published Apatow’s lament earlier tonight:

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/11/21/comedy-oscars-judd-apatow-categories/

    Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow would like to see something new at the Oscars. Seems the Academy’s categorization system is making him somewhat blue (okay, I’ll stop with the wedding puns): At a Los Angeles times forum, the funnyman complained that the Oscars have largely ignored comedies, and would be smart to create a separate category for the entire genre. After all, Apatow argued, animated features have been separated into their own category. “It doesn’t seem like it’s screwing up Schindler’s List for Hangover to have its own category,” he said. “Since comedies are rarely up for Oscars, it does make sense to have a comedy category. It would just add more fun categories.”

    He has a point, from a creative and business perspective. One of the most common – and perhaps flawed – arguments for comedy getting its own Oscars category is that it’s simply more difficult to make a quality comedy. As a young, naive film lover, I used to argue this point almost daily. Why do we give all the accolades to films that predictably demand tears, rather than those that successfully elicit laughter? A comedy is so much more vulnerable and subject to ridicule and biases – shouldn’t we be in awe of one that wins praise from all sorts of critics? (Of course, laughs does not necessarily a good movie make. I’ve laughed harder at Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle than almost any film in the last ten years, but I would never argue it deserved any sort of award recognition.)

    Indeed, the genre is long overdue when it comes to Oscars recognition. Robert Downey Jr. might nab the rare acting nomination for his comedic work in Tropic Thunder, but strongly reviewed features like The HangoverThe 40-Year-Old VirginBorat, and Best In Show never even had a chance. And even though the Best Picture category expanded to 10 pictures in 2009, out of the 20 films nominated in the category thus far, only five could be possibly considered as “comedies,” insofar as they had a large number of scenes designed specifically to make people laugh: A Serious ManUp in the AirThe Kids Are All RightUp, and Toy Story 3, the last two of which already picked up an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category. Would it hurt to give some of the more irreverent comedies a chance? Then again, it is a bit of a slippery slope. If comedy gets its own category, why shouldn’t action films their own categories as well? Pretty soon, we’re awarding Priest for being the Best Picture About Vampire-Hunting Clergy.

    Perhaps the best argument for a comedy category, though, is the quality of the ceremony itself. The Academy opened up its Best Picture category to 10 nominees in part to attract a larger viewing audience. It’s likely a comedy category would attract even more viewers. There’s a reason the Golden Globes are more fun to watch (and not just because of Ricky Gervais). It’s because the Globes are the one awards show that does honor the goofy comedy, freely admitting that It’s Complicated and Hairspray were great, fun films, no matter how frivolous they may be 

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    Anonymous
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    #44590

    No, sorry, things are fine the way they are.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #44591

    Sorry, Apatow — adding another category won’t make your films any more likely to win an Oscar.

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    PaulHJR
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    #44592

    Can’t fault Apatow; he feels he’s got a legit BP, best actress (Kristen Wiig), supporting actress (Melissa McCarthy), director and original screenplay contender which is going to be tidal-wave-punked by the (mostly) little-seen arthouse films that will dominate the Oscar 2011 roster.  

    Or, have a best picture mini-tournament; 5 dramas, 5 comedies.  Best drama and comedy winners then vie later on in the night for best picture.  

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    Andrew Eng
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    #44593

    While (good) comedies deserve to be taken more seriously by the Oscars, I’d be reluctant about giving comedy films their own category. It’s a slippery slope that would probably lead to having to create categories for almost every genre of movie (action, horror, romance). And if all these categories are in place, and there aren’t enough worthy films to fill up each category, the value of the award decreases. Ultimately, this creates a “Everyone gets a trophy” mentality, which I believe is the wrong way to go with awards.  

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    Adam Waldowski
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    #44594

    Yeah. The world needed Knocked Up to get an Oscar nomination. Either Apatow can make less terrible films or he can settle for Golden Globes.

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    Riley
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    #44595

    Comedies do not get enough recognition at the Oscars, but are there even five worthy ones in a given year?  The Golden Globes have a comedy category, but The Hangover is pretty much the only Apatow-genre comedy to break through.  Light dramas like Julie & Julia and The Devil Wears Prada get nominated instead.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #44596

    WHAT ARE THESE–CHOPPED LIVER?

    2003 — Chicago
    1999 — Shakespeare in Love
    1995 — Forrest Gump
    1990 — Driving Miss Daisy
    1984 — Terms of Endearment
    1978 — Annie Hall
    1974 — The Sting
    1970 — Midnight Cowboy
    1966 — The Sound of Music
    1965 — My Fair Lady
    1963 — Tom Jones
    1961 — The Apartment
    1958 — Gigi
    1951 — All About Eve
    Etc., etc.

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    Adam Waldowski
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    #44597

    WHAT ARE THESE–CHOPPED LIVER?

    Apatow cast his dreadful wife and kids in leads in Funny People and then let the film run two-and-a-half hours. We can’t expect him to think. 

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    babypook
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    #44598

    OMG! An Apatow thread!

    I have almost no respect for this guy, and yet he manages to get some terrific people in his films (in cameos). I think his “humour” is crass, not funny, vulgar, and sewer-scraping, and repetitive. ($$$$$) And yet, I have seen all or most of his films, which makes me dislike his brand of films even more.

    So great to say that,

    Also I think his wife STINKS as an actor. She bugs me quite a bit. Actually, I hope his kids arent reading this. His older one is not so annoying anymore. She may have a career as an actor. She’s already better than her mom.
    I remember he who I will not name, thinking these kids deserved an Oscar nomination for their cameos in “Knocked Up”. Such a respectful film title, n’est ce pas?
    The guy opened the Golden Torc and that was the end of any film making, let alone a comedy.

    I guess you can tell I agree with Vampirella and Adam. The last thing I want to see at the Oscars, is a category peopled with the likes of Apatow and Sandler films.

    And I dont mean to insult any of his fans either. If his films make you laugh and you’re entertained, that’s a gift. It’s just not one I wish to open.

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    PaulHJR
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    #44599

    Apatow came through on Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its quasi-sequel, Get Him to the Greek.  For the former, Segel. Bell, Hader, Kunis, Nick Stoller and the screenplay all knocked it outta the park.  For the latter, Russell Brand and Sean Combs deserved to make the final cut of actor and supporting actor.  When he misses, he really misses (Funny People). When he delivers, as he did with these 2 movies, then it’s something to see 🙂

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    iskolar
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    #44600

    For the latter, Russell Brand and Sean Combs deserved to make the final cut of actor and supporting actor.  When he misses, he really misses (Funny People).

    I never thought this day would come, but yeah. It sank an all time low.

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    Anonymous
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    #44601

    Forgetting Saraha Marshall, The 40-Year-old Virgin and now Bridemaids all should have received screenplay nods and maybe a supporting nod somewhere. ‘Sarah Marshall’ is one of the best straight-up comedies of the best decade. The same can be said about Bridemaids. But even if there were a (completely unnecessary) comedy category I doubt any of his films would have won.

    Dude, just say you want the Oscars to show your movies some love. Don’t come up with some silly idea that you know won’t happen. 

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    allabout oscars
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    #44602

    Apatow’s films are NOT worthy of any category, as of yet…Don’t change the academy wards so you can get some recognition that way..you arrogant a…hole….really!!Ive had it with all the academy changes lately…80 plus years of tradition isnt good enough?  Im so sick and tired of rule changes, and this obsession with making the oscars more viable for everyone..well stop..The Oscars are for people who love the movies and the excellence of the few that rate!!  All my opinion of course….

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    JayDF
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    #44603

    I say no to comedy oscars…it lessens the value IMO.  They have already done that by allowing  more than 5 nominees for best picture, no need to tarnish Oscar even more.  The academy members just need to lighten up a bit is all…how can we do that???  

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