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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

QOTD: Are the Academy Awards making a good move by rebranding as “the Oscars”?

Oscars Seth MacFarlane poster

Will you watch the Academy Awards this Sunday? No, you won’t, even if you do tune in. You’ll be officially watching “the Oscars.” From Steve Pond at The Wrap:

The upcoming Academy Awards show is the 85th, a significant anniversary that in past years might have brought a reunion of past winners, special film clips or some sort of recognition on the Oscar show.

But this year, the number 85 has been quietly retired, and so has the phrase “Academy Awards.”

Both disappeared from official AMPAS materials about three weeks ago. “We’re rebranding it,” Oscar show co-producer Neil Meron told TheWrap on Monday. “We’re not calling it ‘the 85th annual Academy Awards,’ which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars.'”

“It is right for this show, but we could easily go back to using ‘Academy Awards’ next year,” [Academy spokeswoman Teni Melidonian] said.

What’s behind the move? Pond has a theory:

[The Academy] is consciously (if quietly) looking not to use a big round number when trying to woo viewers closer to the age of Quvenzhane Wallis (9) than Emmanuelle Riva (85), and trying to get less formal by making the show’s nickname its official name.

Less formal? Why would the Academy Awards want to be less formal? Isn’t the formality part of the elegance? (What next? Will they serve booze at the ceremony so that all the winners and presenters are drunk, like at the Golden Globes?) Isn’t the sense of history and longevity part of the appeal of the institution?

There may be some things about the Academy Awards that need fixing, but this didn’t seem to be it.

What do you think? Are the Academy Awards making a good move by rebranding as “the Oscars”?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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