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What do you think AMPAS should do to stop category fraud?

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  • SN
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    I know this discussion isn’t frequent these days, since there are no category frauds at this year’s Oscars (no, Rockwell is not lead). But I hate the fact Alicia Vikander won Supp. Actress in 2015 for a lead performance. And what about the recent difficult the awards have to nominate two leading performances from the same film? I think AMPAS need to do something about category fraud, but what?

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    M
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    No one but award obsessives sees this as a problem.

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    pulp50
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    Nothing, it’s not a big deal.

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    I_Tonya
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    #1202486534

    Stop Oscar campaigning

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    Honey
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    #1202486621

    Watch the movies

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    Emmyfan
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    #1202486628

    Maybe a committee that reviews and determines the placement of nominees. It is annoying when someone who is clearly lead in a movie ends up in the supporting category.

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    Malcolm Dunbar
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    There are different definitions of leading and supporting performances so there probably has to be some kind of criteria to go off of first and foremost, be it: screen time, narrative purpose, or billing.

    I personally wouldn’t consider Vikander’s performance leading, in The Danish Girl. She’s a peripheral character, she disappears for large gaps of time, and she is there to produce drama and obstacles for Redmayne’s character. Her character’s journey is firmly attached to that of Redmayne’s character, and his role shapes her characters entire experience and purpose of the character’s message and narrative arc. In other words it’s a supporting performance. In the case of female actresses, we have to stop thinking of wife of the male lead, and main love interest of the male character – as a leading role for women.

    I don’t know if category fraud is a big deal though – usually the front runner winners who are brought up in discussion would most likely win anyway. This kind of conversation is usually brought up to derail someone who is far and away the clear choice regarding performance. It’s almost never truly about the category in question.

    For instance Anthony Hopkins — was most likely going to win for his role in Silence Of The Lambs regardless of his placement.

    Reese Witherspoon’s performance is not a leading one in Walk The Line – but she was going to win even if she was placed in Supporting.

    We found this out more or less with Kate Winslet in The Reader where some people felt she was Supporting and others felt she was Lead, but it didn’t really matter because where ever she was placed she was going to win anyway.

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    Sean Phillips
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    We already have this: it’s called the voter places the prospective nominee on their ballot in the category they feel appropriate regardless of how the person or studio campaigns. That’s how Keisha Castle-Hughes and Kate Winslet ended up in lead despite campaigning for supporting for “Whale Rider” and “The Reader” respectively.

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    Elazul
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    Nothing, it’s not a big deal.

    Agreed. Some people here make a huge deal out of this while in my opinion it’s rarely egregious. I agree with the sentiments above regarding The Danish Girl, never found that an issue. The Hours & Carol are among the very few that were definitely cheating.

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    pulp50
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    I don’t know if category fraud is a big deal though – usually the front runner winners who are brought up in discussion would most likely win anyway.

    I think the problem people have with category fraud is that someone loses that would have otherwise won had the winner been in the “correct” category.

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    Borja Lopez
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    I believe it is a subjective issue. For example, some people think Reese Witherspoon in WTL was lead, others supporting, and I could agree with both. The same goes for Jennifer Lawrence in SLP, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Connelly, Viola Davis…

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    Malcolm Dunbar
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    I don’t know if category fraud is a big deal though – usually the front runner winners who are brought up in discussion would most likely win anyway.

    I think the problem people have with category fraud is that someone loses that would have otherwise won had the winner been in the “correct” category.

    I think we are both saying the same thing, just in different ways. There is always going to be someone adversely impacted with a category shift, but what I think it exposes is just that the placeholder figure was always susceptible to losing their place in the first place. It was a far from wrapped up or decided race. This happens in award races all the time, where at one point there was a favorite but then after a turning point their status is not so certain. When things look settled a stone is thrown, and everything changes. That’s the nature of the award race. I think what this shows more than anything else is that the placeholder in question was always vulnerable in their own respective race if they aren’t on solid ground. They never really were the “favorite” to begin with, they were just placing time until the shake up began.

    The same goes for Jennifer Lawrence in SLP, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Connelly, Viola Davis…

    I think you’ve touched on another major point with this discussion with Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook I would characterize the character of Tiffany, as a romantic lead as I think SLP is supposed to be read as a love story. Even though the main purpose and action of the Tiffany character is to support the Patrizio characters rehabilitation and resulting character development. I would say she has no story of her own outside of him, but you could say the main story is their love story so to speak. The same thing happened with Passengers where she is a romantic lead – but again not really leading. It’s murky. I would also argue that in both cases we only see her through her male lead’s gaze through out the entire film – so again it doesn’t feel like she’s leading. Compare this to say Joy or The Hunger Games and there is a clear difference.

    I would say most likely audiences saw these films and Jennifer Lawrence’s monster performances and felt compelled to place her in lead status, even though from a story perspective she’s more likely supporting in both cases.

    With Viola Davis I think she has been appropriately categorized in all of her performances. She’s supporting in both Doubt and Fences – where her character serves her purpose by fueling the story of both Meryl and Denzel’s leading performances. In Fences Troy is the lead that everything circulates around, and everyone else has to react to the things that he puts in motion, we see all the characters as extension of Troy himself. In Doubt she has one scene and that’s to cause problems and trouble for Sister Aloysius Beauvier.

    The Help is more or less an ensemble piece but without Aibileen the entire story doesn’t happen, and she is clearly the emotional center piece of the film.

    I can’t see Jennifer Connelly as anything else but supporting in A Beautiful Mind. That film is clearly Nash’s journey.

     

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    J H
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    #1202487146

    keisha and kate are basically the only time they felt the need to bump into lead because there was no one else who could conceivably be considered the lead. the latter given the split role of the lead character.
    otherwise they just go with campaign.

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    Alex Meyer
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    #1202487227

    On the list of eligible Best Picture contenders and the elgible actors/actresses involved, divide the list into lead vs. supporting contenders instead of just male vs. female.

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