Wednesday, June 24, 2009


They have a hard time coming up with 5 some years

By Edward Copeland
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts of Sciences in its continued quest to move closer to something like the MTV Movie Awards and away from its original mission when it was created to promote the quality of its industry has announced that it is doubling the number of the best picture nominees from five to 10 beginning this year.

Of course, in the early years sometimes the best picture category had as many as 12 nominees, but don't fool yourself into thinking there is some nobility involved in this move. Academy President Sid Ganis said part of the impetus was that ratings were up for the last Oscarcast which included tributes to popular films that weren't nominated. I have to ask though: How did viewers know ahead a time that the show was going to have these things and decide to tune in ahead of time? Let's just go the whole nine yards and have the Max Fischer players re-enact the picture nominees instead of clips.

While we're at it, let's start lobbying for the return of the Artistic Quality of Production category now.

Labels: ,

I hope they bring back the Best Assistant Director and Best Comedy Direction awards too.
This is strange and I can't help feeling that the Academy is making this decision partly based on the financial crisis. They must be thinking that the extra five films will get more business at the box office (good for everyone) if they have received the much coveted Best Picture nod.

However, this promises to be a big mess. Most years, the Academy will try and honor each of the 5 Best Picture films with at least one award (even as minor as Sound Editing or Special Effects). So while "Slumdog" was winning most of the awards, they made sure that "Milk" got a couple, "Button" got a makeup award and "The Reader" was awarded Best Actress. Only "Frost/Nixon" missed out, but they couldn't get every film an award, apparently.

So if this trend continues, voters might want to award virtually each of the 10 Best PIcture nominees some award, meaning a great musical score or editing job or art direction from a non-Best Picture film might get robbed of its just dues.

But then again, every year, a lot of individuals who are nominated get screwed at Oscar time.
I think it's a safe assumption that the decision was made for business, not artistic, reasons. The Oscars were never just about rewarding artistic achievement; they were created to promote the business.

In recent years the top-grossing movies haven't garnered many Best Picture nominations, even movies that were trying for a certain quality. That doesn't sit well with some people in Hollywood. Last year a couple of big hits had a chance for a nom (WALL-E, The Dark Knight), but missed, and that really pissed them off. Hey, this isn't some Film Critics Circle -- this is the ACADEMY AWARDS! We're not gonna stand for that anymore!

So I think there's some pressure within the industry to get the Oscars more in line with where the business is going. And so what if the business is making crappier movies.

They may also be thinking they'll get better ratings for the awards show if people have actually seen some of the movies that get nominated. "Up," e.g., is probably a shoo-in for a nom next year, and that'll probably give a lot of people who might otherwise skip the show a reason to watch.

Then again, the number of people who will go see all the Best Picture nominees will probably drop.
I'm going to repeat verbatim what I said in my e-mail to you so you have it on record: this decision essentially makes the Oscars even more meaningless than they already are. Instead of having Academy members submit ballots for nominations in the Best Picture category, why don't they just automatically nominate the 10 highest grossing films of the year? If The Oscars are nothing more than an industry trade show intended solely for the purpose of promoting the product, then why pretend otherwise?
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Follow edcopeland on Twitter

 Subscribe in a reader