June 25, 2009

10 Best Picture Nominees

So the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that they're increasing the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 this year. Initially this may seem like a stunt. Then you might think, "Are there really 10 great films in a given year?" But after that you may come around to the idea that it could be pretty interesting.

Limiting the Best Picture group to five has, in my opinion at least, limited the nominees to a pretty narrow band of movie-types: Very serious dramas with famous celebrities in the leading (and usually supporting) roles. It's become really easy to distinguish between normal movies and movies that are trying to emulate that type in an effort to get an Oscar nod (the most obvious to me was Pay It Forward, which didn't get anything despite trying oh so very hard to seem important). Increasing the number of nominees to ten means there's room to nominate a great documentary, foreign film, or pure comedy, none of which ever get that biggest of nods. Will the big self-important dramas still win most of the time? Probably, and don't take this post to mean that I haven't liked most of the nominees in the last few years, but this allows the Academy to recognize that "best" doesn't necessarily mean most heavy, emotional, or serious; at least not for most people. Link.

1 comment:

Drew said...

I think it will be interesting, but that's not to say that it isn't a stunt. It's all about trying to generate greater interest in the awards ceremony in order to boost ratings, and it's as simple as that. If it means that a movie like The Dark Knight would get a nomination, and possibly even win, I can live with that. I'm not sure I would personally consider The Dark Knight a worthy pick for Best Picture, but it was a damn fine film, so I'm okay with that.

But if it means crowd-pleasing junk like Transformers 2 gets recognized, then this move will just further undermine whatever credibility the Oscars has left. We'll have to wait and see how it plays out.