Wednesday June 24, 2009
And the nominees are...doubled
At least according to this Variety report. Beginning next year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will nominate 10 best picture candidates rather than the five they've been nominating since 1944.
Some may applaud the move. It certainly gives the “Dark Knight”s of the world a better chance to show up. But the Academy is messing with tradition, and for a seemingly short-term gain in ratings and relevance.
My immediate reaction? Feels desperate.
UPDATE: It's 10 minutes later and the whole thing smells. The major studios, which can't make best pictures anymore, want their pictures nominated “best” nonetheless. The Academy, which can't seem to nominate popular and critically acclaimed pictures like “Dark Knight” and “WALL-E,” wants relevance and ratings. This is the compromise. But it's a bad one. I remember baseball player Keith Hernandez arguing once that you only mess with tradition if the new rules increase strategy. That's why he was in favor of the three-point play in basketball and against the DH in baseball. The former increased strategy, the latter decreased it. Here? It dilutes it. Ten nominees means there will be more flotsam (“Frost/Nixon”) and jetsam (“The Reader”) in the race; stuff to push aside to get at the real race.
Bottom line: they're fixing something that's not broken (the five nominee slots) because of something that is (the major studios don't make best pictures anymore). What a shame.