So a little over a week ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) decided to double its Best Picture nominees to a whopping ten instead of five. I just wanted to add my two cents on this. I completely understand why they are doing this. It will certainly increase viewers because it will actually include movies that people have seen. But this whole thing annoys me a great deal, so let’s get into it.
First of all, how about the Academy just gets it right with five choices. We need ten now? Come on! So a lot of speculation on why the Academy is doing this in the first place is because they got blasted for ignoring Wall-E and The Dark Knight last year. The Dark Knight absolutely should have been nominated for Best Picture. It was loved by all moviegoers and critically acclaimed, appearing on several 2008 top ten lists, including Richard Roeper, former co-host of At the Movies. It also got nominated at the PGAs, DGAs, and WGAs. So what the hell happened? Everyone knows it’s an instant classic, yet the Academy didn’t have the balls to nominate it because the main character dresses like a bat. If a movie about a pink elephant that plays poker on the weekends happens to be one of the best movies of the year, then it should be nominated, no matter what the context. They should be able to get it right with five picks.
So what do I think some of the factors of a Best Picture should be? Well, I really think financial success should be taken into account somewhat when considering what the best movies of the year are. I’m not saying Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen should be a Best Pic nominee or anything like that, but if a financially successful movie is critically acclaimed and universally loved by all, then it deserves some consideration. I think a movie that is talked about months after its release and gets people to go multiple times is a movie that truly impacts people. Isn’t that what a Best Picture should be? But now they can nominate The Dark Knights of the world because they are expanding to ten, but this leads me to my next complaint.
It’s irritating, because now the Academy has found a cheap loophole and will never have to give movies like The Dark Knight a Best Picture Oscar. By increasing the total nominees to ten, the Academy can say, “We are now recognizing the movies that people actually see, so leave us alone.” The problem is that this is actually a set back for movies like this because now there will never be hope of them actually winning. They will just get tossed aside in the extra slots, but the Academy can say, “Hey, we nominated them.” That’s bull! I’d rather see The Dark Knights of the world get in on one of the five slots rather than one of the ten.
So what movies will suffer from this fate in 2009? Well, it’s too early to tell, but I know of one that could fall into this: Star Trek. Everyone loved it, it’s a fantastic movie, and will certainly go down as one of the years best. But it’s going to get nominated in one of the fake slots with no hope of actually winning. Why do I call it a fake slot, you ask? How come none of the other categories are expanding to ten? This means when the Best Director nominees are released, we’ll be able to decipher what movies actually have a chance of winning the big prize.
I hope I’m completely wrong about all this, believe me. Like I said, it makes sense for the Academy to do this. It’s a smart move, but I’d rather see them get it right with five. Now it will never happen.