The nominees and winners for the Oscars are chosen by the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and their tastes do not always line up with that of the moviegoing public. The five highest-grossing movies of 2021, for example, earned a collective two Academy Award nominations between them. Those were the nods for Best Visual Effects for Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As hard as it may be to believe, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Black Widow, and F9: The Fast Saga were all totally snubbed.
A few years ago, the Academy announced plans to change that divide between itself and “average moviegoers” with a new category that would have honored “outstanding achievement in popular film,” but ironically, popular reaction to the news was so negative that the Oscars ditched the idea before they had even implemented it. Clearly, though, they’re still trying to find ways to interject “popular films” into the Oscars broadcast, and now their latest idea to do that is to let Twitter users select one film that will be honored during the show.
What could possibly go wrong?
Per The Hollywood Reporter, starting today and going through March 3, the Oscars will be tracking every movie cited on Twitter with the hashtag “#OscarsFanFavorite.” The movie that gets the most tweets wins and “will be recognized” during the Oscars. (The article notes this is not a “formal Oscars category.”) Plus, three Twitter users who use the hashtag will be selected to win a free trip to the 2023 Oscars where they will also get to present an award at the show. You are allowed to tweet for your favorite movie up to 20 times a day.
The Academy’s vice president of digital marketing gave this statement to THR:
We’re thrilled to partner with Twitter to help build an engaged and excited digital audience leading up to this year’s ceremony. Through these activations, social media users around the world now have more opportunities to engage with the show in real-time, find a community and be a part of the experience in ways they’ve never been able to before.
The Oscars are presumably hoping that something like Spider-Man: No Way Home and its millions upon millions of rabid fans will swarm this thing and win, allowing the show to celebrate 2021’s biggest hit at least once. (The likely winner in Spider-Man’s one category with an actual nomination is Dune, so it’s pretty much this Twitter award or bust.) But just think about this. Any 2021 movie can win this made-up prize if enough people tweet about it. So if we all band together and tweet 20 times every day about Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the Oscars will have no choice but to recognize the true best film of 2021. Let’s do it.
This year’ Academy Awards air live on ABC on Sunday, March 27, 2022.