The last time a comedy won Best Picture at the Oscars was 1978 with "Annie Hall." Why does The Academy seem to snub their nose at things that make the general populace laugh? Countless films with amazing writing like Bridesmaids have been overlooked. My guest co-writer Ken Murray and I will discuss our theories on why comedies get highly ignored, What will it take to reverse the Oscar "comedy curse"?
While it is widely known that there is a certain "formula" on the road to Oscar, at times it seems typical Academy beloved films are far removed from the general populace and can only appeal to a certain Hollywood bubble. While they should, most of the world does not live and breathe film, making them feel removed from the Oscar buzz.
Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, and Melissa McCarthy have all joined the likes of Charlie Chaplin being nominated for an Oscar. McCarthy may have been robbed at a shot with Bridesmaids due to the Academy's dislike of comedies. Most film followers see any Oscar nod associated with a comedy as a nice gesture, but nothing more when it comes to voting. What will it take for a comedy film to wow The Academy? A film with some historical significance, set in Britain is a great place to start.
I think one of the reasons comedies don't get more notice is the lack of respect for them. Most comedies are low brow humor and the Academy would never recognize that. Films like The Hangover and This is the End may be box office gold, but the Academy doesn't look at the actors or the talent involved as their peers. You can have actors or actresses in these films that have been nominated or won an Oscar- Bradley Cooper, Jonah Hill or even Sandra Bullock in the hit The Heat from this summer, but it still comes down to respect and what makes a film "Oscar worthy" in the eyes of The Academy
On the flip side, these instances of humor take thinking outside of the box as a writer and being a damn good comedic actor to execute a funny film. There something to be said for the skill of an actor like Natalie Portman (Black Swan, No Strings Attached) who is able to act in emotionally heavy, Academy loved films, and make us laugh. It shows that the actor is able to do a range of what they're paid to do- act. All in all there's no one reason the Academy can't begin considering comedies more seriously. Like everything else in this world, it takes one person to open their eyes to change, and the doors of possibilities will be wide open.