Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Changes at the Oscars...

Everyone's all abuzz about the fact that starting next year — which is to say, with the films of 2009 — there will be ten nominees in the best picture category instead of five. There used to be ten nominees, but not since 1943.

The idea, as I understand it, is to open up the field, which is all very well and good. But since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is going back to the future, I have to wonder why they don't instead go back to have two best picture categories, one for dramas and one for comedies and musicals. That strikes me as a far better way of spreading the wealth around, because let's face it: It's rare for a comedy to snare a best picture nomination and rarer still for one to win. Dividing the category up would acknowledge the apples and oranges factor: A great movie is a great movie, but when faced with a choice between a soul-searing drama and a bust-a-gut comedy, Academy voters tend to reward seriousness of intent.

Or is that just me?

See The Hollywood Reporter's analysis here.

4 comments:

achyfakey said...

Sounds like a promotional tool for the big studios so there can be more films that get to slap "Nominated for Best Picture" on the DVD box. I'd split it among the two categories as Maitland mentioned but allow only 3 (!) pictures in each category, for a total of 6.

miss flickchick said...

It's totally a promotional tool, but for the awards show. It's been losing viewers for years, and the thinking seems to be that it's because too many indie/highbrow movies get nominated.

Personally, I don't think people ever watched the show for the movies: I think they watched it for the stars and the occasional sheer nutty behavior. Ironically, in the quest to keep the show from running long, they've ironed all the personality out of it. Now there's no chance of a bughouse crazy acceptance speech, so really, why bother?

Brian Whisenant said...

I have to say, I still love the Oscars. I am an aspiring actor, and maybe that's why. I also make it a point to see all the shorts, foreign films and docs...so those categories don't bother me. I have never been one to scoff at smaller categories. I just make it a point to make them relevant to me.

When I first heard about the change, I was shocked. Then I thought it would make the category less meaningful. But then I thought of the movies I really loved that didn't have that Best Picture label. BILLY ELLIOT, DARK KNIGHT, MULHOLLAND DR....I thought...hey, maybe this will work.

If it is a publicity stunt, it won't matter, unless movies like Transformers 2 get nominated.

Wouldn't it be nice for UP to be nominated when unfortunately it would probably come in 6th or 7th simply because it is nominated?

Just a thought.

Brian Whisenant said...

I meant to say animated instead of nominated at the end of my comment about UP. Should seriously read these comments before I send them.