In an attempt to boost audience engagement and honor as many movies as possible at this year’s Academy Awards, the Academy has decided to let the fans pick which movie deserves to be recognized on stage.
Twitter users will get to vote on their favorite films that were released in 2021 regardless of whether the film was nominated for an Oscar. You can still vote by tweeting your favorite film of 2021 and using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite. The film that receives the most fan votes by March 3 will be recognized during the award show’s broadcast on March 27. You are allowed to vote 20 times a day until the polls are closed.
You can also go on the Academy's website and vote for your favorite film there.
'Licorice Pizza'Credit: United Artists Releasing
The partnership between the Academy and Twitter will also let users tweet about their favorite scene from 2021 using #OscarsCheerMoment, and the winning scenes will be shown at the ceremony alongside the fans' tweets.
Five fans who participate in the campaign will receive a prize pack that includes a year of free movie tickets to a theater of the winner’s choice, subscriptions to streaming service, and exclusive items from the Academy Museum store.
The campaign is definitely a way to encourage more mainstream moviegoers to watch the ceremony, boosting ratings that have been steadily falling over the past few years. The Academy did attempt something very similar to the Fan Favorite award back in 2019, but scrapped the idea quickly after significant pushback from critics and Academy members.
Many believe the Oscars are a celebration of innovative filmmaking, and anyone who isn’t interested in that celebration won’t watch. It is also possible the critics and members of the Academy were aware of the lawlessness of internet culture.
In a report initially published by Deadline, the widely panned Prime Video musical reimagining of Cinderella is currently favored to win the fan favorite award. Other contenders that have a chance of being recognized include Zack Snyder’sNetflix zombie feature, Army of the Dead or Spider-Man: No Way Home.
'Cinderella'Credit: Prime VideoThe Academy thought this would be a salve against complaints about the lack of popular films being recognized at the Oscars, notably Spider-Man: No Way Home, and attempted to mend the wound by giving the internet the ability to voice its opinion, which was quickly turned into a joke.
Kevin Smith believes the declining viewership of the Oscars is because they refuse to make a populist choice, saying on his podcast, “They got 10 slots, they can’t give one to the biggest fucking movie of like the last three years?”
It’s obvious that members of the Academy thought they knew what the people wanted, but they gave the fans the microphone to shame the Academy for its perception of what films deserve to be recognized as “great.”
So vote each day for your true favorite movie on Twitter or take part in the internet culture and vote for a movie that showcases the Academy’s disconnect from its mainstream audience. Either way, let us know in the comments what movie you’re voting for as your fan favorite!