×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscar Categories That Almost Didn’t Make It on TV Get Their Time in Spotlight

In the end, Oscar watchers and industry members all seemed relieved that all the categories were handed out on air, reversing the Academy’s original plan to present some categories during commercials.

Recipients of the Academy Awards for cinematography, editing, make-up and hairstyling, and live-action shorts all got their time in the spotlight on Sunday night’s Oscar broadcast.

Alfonso Cuaron won for cinematography for “Roma”; John Ottman won editing for “Bohemian Rhapsody”; “Skin,” directed by Guy Nattiv, won for live action short and Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney took the make-up and hairstyling trophy for “Vice,” only to be played off the stage when their speech went on too long.

Those four awards categories were left in Oscar limbo when on Feb. 11, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations from the live telecast. The goal — keep the broadcast at its planned three-hour length — but a firestorm of protest erupted and AMPAS relented four days later. Although the Academy tried to explain that winners would still be televised, but in edited form, the outcry was loud and clear.

Tyler Perry addressed the controversy head-on in presenting the cinematography award.

“Community,” he said. “We often use that word to describe who we are and what connects all of us involved in the different elements that bring a film from an idea in the writer’s mind to its premiere on the big screen. Each person, each craft, each discipline is essential to that process. Deep down, we know that. We always have and, in the end, this truly collaborative community comes together on a night like this to celebrate this past year and to look forward to the next. It is a true honor for me to present this next award live on camera, not during the commercial break — thank you, Academy.”

Cuaron, who was nominated for five Oscars for “Roma” and won three, said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you so much. This is an amazing honor. Thank you, Academy. To create a single frame of film, as you well know, requires the work of a lot of people, very hard work. So I want to thank Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira before anybody else. The amazing cast and crew, Gabriela Rodríguez and Nicolás Celis as producers, Participant and Netflix, Technicolor and Arri.”

He then alluded to iconic directors Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch and his usual D.P. Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, who won Oscars for “Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” but was not available during the filming of “Roma.”

“If this film was created by my own memories, the film was crafted through the memories of what this great master of cinematography has given to us,” Cuaron said. “It is well-known that in Billy Wilder’s office there was a sign that said ‘What would Lubitsch have done?” And for me, it was what would ‘Chivo Lubezki would have done?’ So this is for you, too, Chivo. And thank you very much, Mexico.”

Cuaron had joined in the protest soon after the Academy’s decision was announced on Feb. 11, saying, “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”

The American Society of Cinematography issued a blistering open letter on Feb. 12 that was signed by hundreds, including Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Roger Deakins, Damien Chazelle, Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and George Clooney.

Officers of the Academy responded in an explanatory letter on Feb. 13, asserting that the four categories were “volunteered” by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast with the time spent walking to the stage and off being edited out. The letter also attempted to shift the blame from the Academy.

“Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members,” it said.

That assertion was seen by many as high-handed and only fanned the flames of resentment about the exclusions. It also gave journalists another news peg to portray the handling of the situation as another misstep by the Academy.

On Feb. 14, ASC President Van Oostrum and three other ASC members — Hoyte van Hoytema, Rachel Morrison and Lubezki — met with Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy, and Academy president and cinematographer John Bailey.

AMPAS reversed the decision on Feb. 15 with the simple statement: “The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling. All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”

Van Oostrom’s response: “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy. The honor offered by the Academy Awards is vital to validating the claim that everyone contributing to the making of a motion picture is an artist.”

More Film

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Brazil's 'Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão' Wins Cannes Un Certain Regard Award

    Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz emerged triumphant in tonight’s Un Certain Regard awards, as Nadine Labaki’s jury named his period melodrama “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” the best film in the program. Full story to come. List of winners: Un Certain Regard Prize: “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão,” Karim Aïnouz Jury Prize: “Fire Will [...]

  • Dan the Automator

    Heeding the Call of Olivia Wilde, Dan the Automator Scores 'Booksmart'

    Dan The Automator, aka Daniel Nakamura, knows a thing or two about setting a mood. The Bay Area-based producer has worked on projects such as Gorillaz’s debut album, Handsome Boy Modeling School (with Prince Paul) and multiple projects with rapper Kool Keith. Now, Nakamura has set his sights on film scoring, and will make his [...]

  • It Must Be Heaven

    Cannes Film Review: 'It Must Be Heaven'

    Continuing to chart his own path in a Palestinian film landscape generally perceived as monolithic, Elia Suleiman turns his delightfully absurdist, unfailingly generous gaze beyond the physical homeland, where parallels and dissonance abound. By now Suleiman’s distinctive style is not just well-known but eagerly anticipated, his wide-eyed, expressive face forever compared with Buster Keaton as [...]

  • 'Sibyl' Review: Justine Triet's Witty, Slinky

    Cannes Film Review: 'Sibyl'

    How often do we see a movie psychotherapist who’s actually good at their job? Genre film is peppered with on-screen couch doctors whose unorthodox methods or blatant non-professionalism keep the story rolling, whether they’re falling in love with clients or going steadily mad themselves. Played with smart, subtle verve by Virginie Efira, the title character [...]

  • Akira

    Taika Waititi's 'Akira' to Face Off Against 'John Wick 4' in 2021

    Warner Bros. has dated its live-action “Akira” movie, directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, for May 21, 2021, when it will face off against “John Wick 4.” The studio announced the date on Friday, two days after pushing the release of “DC Super Pets” back a year, avoiding opening against “John Wick [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content