Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More (and Better?) Academy Award Nominees!

Ten pictures released in 2009 will vie for the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture of the year according to a ukaze from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The decision consciously hearkens back to the Golden Age, when ten finalists was the rule for a while. In a year like 1939, of course, you could have ten nominees and still complain that some deserving films were left out. In some recent years, however, whether you could field ten credible nominees was subject to debate.

There are two reasons to make this change. One is to allow studios to promote more films as Academy Award Nominees, whether while still in release or for DVD purposes. The more likely reason, I think, is to boost the ratings of the Oscar telecast by giving more people a rooting interest in the result. The most likely result, I imagine, is the inclusion of more pop films of the kind that get excluded by the annual December rush for prestige. That's more likely than more independent films making the cut. This could be good or bad. A year ago, it might have meant The Dark Knight getting the nomination I thought it deserved. This year, ...what? If the list becomes less "elitist" than it supposedly is already, I tremble at the prospect.

4 comments:

Rev. Phantom said...

My question would be seeing as though there will be 10 movies nominated, would that mean 10 directors will be nominated? Seeing as those two usually go hand in hand.

Samuel Wilson said...

As far as I know, Rev., no. We've had years when the director of a Best Picture nominee doesn't get nominated in his own category, and now we're guaranteed more of the same every year. On the other hand, we're less likely to see someone nominated for Director for something other than a Best Picture nominee, but you never know.

Aaron said...

I think this is a bad idea because it basically cheapens the honor of being nominated, doesn't it? But then again you're right, it could be both good and bad because of well-deserving films that were snubbed in the past in order to make room for other obvious candidates. I don't know. It will definitely be interesting to see how it goes down.

Samuel Wilson said...

Aaron:The honor of being nominated is cheapened only so long as we agree that the quality of movies is already worse than it was back in the 30s and 40s when they used to nominate ten films at a time. But Hollywood also released many more films each year back then, so ten nominees could still be the cream of the crop. You can't necessarliy make that case now.