Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shocking Oscar News: And Then There Were Ten

In one of the strangest developments in decades of Oscar watching, AMPAS has suddenly decided to change the number of Best Picture nominees back to 10, stating
After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year,” said Ganis. “The final outcome, of course, will be the same – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009.”
Ganis assumes that all ten nominees will be great. What an optimist, he is!


We haven't seen 10 Best Pictures nominess since 1943 (Casablanca won... definitely one of Oscar's smartest moments). They settled on the traditional five for the 1944 film year and it's stayed that way ever since.

This could mean that anything remotely "baity" will get nominated each year. We're in for whole lineups consisting of the Frost/Nixons, Seabiscuits, and Finding Neverlands of the world, whole lineups populated with Doubts: films that inexplicably win favor over superior films or films which aren't really good enough to be in the running but all the prestige elements are in place.

I can only assume the recent snubs for critically beloved and audience supported films like WALL•E and The Dark Knight have finally started embarrassing the Academy. But widening the field doesn't necessarily mean that the quality or box office tallies rise with it. What a pessimist I am.

Last year for example, who knows what it would have looked like. It seems like these eight would have made it...


We don't know for sure. The anti-genre voters are still anti-genre (i.e. they can't take animation, comedy, superheros, horror and sci-fi seriously, always equating "message" and traditional drama with quality) no matter how wide the ballot gets.

But perhaps this does mean that less traditional genre leaning films that got some awards traction like Dancer in the Dark (better than any nominated film in 2000), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (better than any nominated film in 2004), A History of Violence (better than most of the nominated films of 2005) or WALL•E (better than any nominated film in 2008) have a better shot at the big honor? Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. We'll see.

It sure makes predicting things this year suddenly more challenging. We've never seen the outcome of the shotgun approach to Best Picture nominating in our lifetimes. Will this change last longer than their sudden new category for "original comedy score" -- one of their more bizarre decisions -- which lasted from 1995 through 1998?
*

224 comments:

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Eduardo Ferrer said...

That means that finally Foreign, Animated and Documentary Films have the door open.

Derreck said...

I'm oddly excited about this, but i have to wonder what caused the change.

Dame James said...

I thought for a minute this was an April Fools Joke, but then I realized it was June. Sigh. I'm not sure how I feel about this, really. You know they're just going to stuff it with more Slumdogs and Frost/Nixons than to actually nominate foreign or animated films or, heaven forbid, good stuff made in this country.

Anonymous said...

I can't help myself thinking that if they chose to change it this year, we could have had THE DARK KNIGHT and WALL*E in the Best Picture category.

anyway I'm not sure I'm very happy, I was accoustumed to the five shots...

mirko s.

Anonymous said...

it seems like a money decision. Including more films would allow for more big-budget movies to get in. My guess is that they are hoping more movies=more viewers come awards night.

-Catbaskets

John T said...

All right, thinking back on last year, this likely would have included:

WALL-E
The Dark Knight
The Wrestler
Doubt
Gran Torino

All-in-all, I think this is an atrocious idea-it makes the Best Picture list less of an honor, and opens themselves up for having less of a Box Office impact.

E Dot said...

It's obvious. They're doing this purely for viewers. Ratings have been declining, and now that they have more films in the race, more people will tune in to cheer on their favorite films.

adelutza said...

Are you kidding???

Peter said...

This is unbelievable. It does feel like a big hoax somehow.

brianmaru said...

Is it April Fool's Day?! What What?!

18 Year Old Blogger said...

They could have easily went from 5 to 6 or even 7 but 10? That's too much. Imagine 10 Best Nominees from last year...what would have gotten in? Doubt, The Dark Knight and Wall-E...But what about the last 2 spots? The Wrestler? Revolutionary Road? Rachel Getting Married?

The thing that bothers me is that theye are going to have nominees that are nominated a tech or two and then Best Picture. Or have two nominations like Best Actor and Best Picture...

But now I also wonder what's going to stop them in changing the rules in other categories as well...

John T said...

It's the worst idea since they gave Crash Best Picture.

E Dot said...

well i can see why. i mean, the quality of films this summer alone
....wolverine...terminator....transformers....

Kev said...

This is HUGE people! Can you imagine the possibilities? Now the blockbusters have a shot, animated, foreign, documentaries, etc. Will they actually win? Probably not, but still. The ones that get corresponding directing nods will have the best odds of winning BP though, but the exposure alone could be very beneficial to the smaller contenders. Wow. I'm pretty furious that "The Dark Knight" and "WALL-E" couldn't benefit from this change.

NATHANIEL R said...

i fear this makes the December glut problem even worse.

HOW CAN I STOP BEING SUCH A PESSIMIST?

possible silver lining: maybe passionately loved films that only small portions of the audience passionately love (like RACHEL GETTING MARRIED or THE WRESTLER or HAPPY-GO-LUCKY) can have more of a shot?

adelutza said...

Why have nominees at all? Let's just pick a film released in 2009 and be done with. Even better, let's vote on it by phoning in, like in American idol.

18 Year Old Blogger said...

But then you would have had Happy-Go-Lucky and Rachel Getting Married with FYC saying "Nominated for 2 Academy Awards including Best Picture."

Just remember how outraged we were in 2007 when the Golden Globe's had 7 Best Picture Drama Nominees...

Dean said...

I can't form logical expressions of my amazement/outrage right now.

Isn't the biggest problem that 5 of the nominees will practically not have a chance of winning since they won't have director nominations?

Matt said...

This will make the Best Director race all the more intriguing.

Dean said...

Just realized there is now a pretty good shot Star Trek will be a best picture nominee...wow.

Scene-Stealers said...

It’s a little late for “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E,” but at least everyone can stop wondering whether Pixar’s “Up” will get a Best Picture nomination next year, because it’s pretty much guaranteed now. I actually like this idea a lot because it opens the door for a lot of edgier movies (like “The Wrestler,” last year’s best movie) to get the “big guns” nomination that they deserve. On the other hand, this is going to seriously throw off Oscar prediction pools and allow a niche movie to possibly take home the big prize!

Ryan T. said...

My initial reaction is... I don't like it at all. I'm still digesting this initial reaction.

Jack said...

This is such an awful, awful idea. Definitely degrades the value of the nomination, and I can guarantee they change it back to 5 again in a few years.

The Oscars was my one little bit of stability and now it's gone and been ruined, I fear permanently :(

Erin said...

I'm with you on the pessimism. I was just saying on Twitter that if like, Ron Howard and Stephen Daldry found a way to crank out five mediocre "prestige" dramas each by the end of the year AMPAS would just nominate them all.

I think at best they'd nominate one weird/foreign movie and one crowd-pleaser just to shut people up, and it's just gonna become less meaningful.

adelutza said...

I still can't recover. Why do I think it's such a bad decision? I've always said I'm all for change ...

Kyle said...

Star Trek and Up...best picture nominees for sure now...the latter more than the former, but both have a real shot...

Asokan said...

this just made the race a bit more interesting...

I love how this changes the playing field. Consider Nathaniel's remark on the last Best Picture Predictions: "Dear god I'm confused. I totally want to predict 7 movies for the coveted shortlist. I suddenly have faith in 7 movies. That's 2 too many. Argh"

Now you have 3 more slots to fill, my friend! :-D

Bailey said...

I do not think this is a good idea. Yes, it may allow one or two films to be nominated that otherwise wouldn't, but 1) those films still aren't going to win, and 2) more likely than not, we will have 10 bloated, cliche "Oscar bait" noms instead of 5. I don't see the vague possibility of a hint of recognition for more 'dark horse' films as all that worth it. Does anyone ever really think The Academy (so pretentious, lol) gets it right anyway? Nein.

And Wall•E would still not be nominated. The Academy still hates animation, and it just wasn't. that. good. Most overrated of the year, IMO, and I had such high hopes for it, too.

Mammie! said...

I'm disgusted. We're very likely to have 8 so-so nominees and 2 actually good films. It does make the whole thing seem less prestigious...

Billy Held An Oscar said...

Interesting.

Anonymous said...

I'm oddly excited about this, but i have to wonder what caused the change.

The snubs for "The Dark Knight" and "WALL-E" and the public not giving a damn about what was nominated ("The Reader", seriously?)

Ben said...

I don't think it diminishes the prestige of being a Best Picture winner, but for SURE it diminishes the prestige of being a nominee. I agree with those who suggested simply opening it up to 6 or 7 nominees. 10 just seems like such an ungainly bunch. It essentially turns into Oscar's Top 10 list (a la NBR or something), and those of us who put Top 10 lists together know how hard it usually is to fill spots 8, 9, and 10 with something we truly loved from the year. It's not a terrible, terrible thing, but I can only see it being more of a backtrack than a forward-motion thing.

Marsha Mason said...

I think this is probably good on the whole. This might be wishful thinking, but I bet the movies that just miss (the 6-10s) are better on average than the 1-5s. WALL-E, Dark Knight, and The Wrestler all would have made it, and maybe Happy-Go-Lucky and Rachel. I think the fact you only need to make the top ten to qualify for the race would free studios to open in the summer or early fall w/o so much trepidation.

Jeremy Heilman said...

A movie hasn't received *only* a Best Picture nomination since they had the bigger nominees list back in the '40s. At least it will be amusing to see that happen again.

But yeah, the limited number of Director slots will knock out half of the nominees, for sure.

Seeking Amy said...

I don't know what to think. I don't think I would mind that much if there were a few mediocre baity films in the mix if films that won the palm d'or or Golden Lion were also nominated (In 2007 that would have been Lust, Caution and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Would have been a great lineup.)

But...even though I like Star Trek as much as everyone else, if it gets nominated I'm done.

Robert said...

I want to be my natural pessimistic self but honestly I'm kinda excited about this.

I don't The Oscars in such high regard that I worry about something doing damage to them (after all, AMPAS has been doing most of the damage to themselves lately)

And if this rule meant The Dark Knight, WALL-E and possibly The Wrestler last year, then wouldn't that have been a good thing?

Yeah, worst case scenario they nominate 5 more crap movies, but honestly 5 crappy movies or 10 crappy movies doesn't matter much to me. But if one or two good ones sneak in there, it's worth it.

seasondays said...

it is interesting but i have to wonder how will the nomination process will change

will they vote for 5 or for 10?

if they vote for 5 we will have the traditional 5 plus 5 wild cards [small support but number one spots] examples... DARK KNIGHT / WALL*E / WRESTLER
but if they vote for 10 a film that is a safe bet will be snubbed because less people will write it down as number 1, and smaller films will have a bigger chance because with 10 slots people will have more chances and there will be a wider pool to choose from

in summary it won't be 7 films fighting for 5, it will be 20+ films fighting for 10

JA said...

Oh no, how could the awards body responsible for naming masterpieces like Slumdog Millionaire and Chicago and Crash the greatest films of our times go and betray my faith in their true motives like this. The horror. I can never trust them again. Cinema died today.

NATHANIEL R said...

oh, Marsha Mason. You're an optimist too.

I think this doesn't change the release patterns but just makes it even easier to get nominated should you open in December and have prestige elements: See DOUBT.

ugh. and i was so pleased when that failed to be nominated.

anon 2:08 not to open old wounds but people really need to quit with the "the public didn't care about The Reader" thing. It made money than Frost/Nixon OR Milk. People cared. It's just that a lot of people hated it (not reactions tha Frost/Nixon and Milk got exactly)

Kyle I still say Star Trek doesn't make it. In the end they'll still care about the "importance" factor and vote for the message movies and the tony pieces.

I think 2002 is a good year to look at for how 10 nominees could be both good and horrific.

if you expanded it to ten i bet you anything neo classics like FAR FROM HEAVEN and TALK TO HER woulda made it. But I bet MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING would've too... which is just too horrible to contemplate.

Cal said...

I definitely think the snubbing of commercial films Wall-E and Dark Knight has instigated this. We will probably get the baity, end-of-year films taking a few spots but it does open things up so that the films with big support will surely make it.

Rodney said...

I wonder if they are thinking more films (presumably some popular films) will mean bigger ratings?

Alex said...

I actually went to the Academy's website to double check this. I just can't believe it. The part that dissapoints me the most is that there just won't be any competetion. Or maybe there will be, we'll see. Yay for "Up"!

Anonymous said...

anon 2:08 not to open old wounds but people really need to quit with the "the public didn't care about The Reader" thing. It made money than Frost/Nixon OR Milk. People cared. It's just that a lot of people hated it (not reactions tha Frost/Nixon and Milk got exactly)

I don't have to "get over" a damn thing. "The Reader" was garbage, and if you truly think that that film getting into BP over "WALL-E" and "The Dark Knight" and the public reception to that wasn't a factor into this change from happening, then I'd like some of the crack you're smoking, b/c you're seriously wrong and deluded.

Robert said...

One thing is certain...

this is the greatest day of Ed Zwick's life.

James Hansen said...

Retarded. RE-TARDED.

Joe Shetina said...

There is no need for ten nominees, they should just replace their sh*tty nominees with good movies.

James Hansen said...

Do they really think this will appease people? Who cares what the 10 nominees are. All the "what if" scenarios are so insignificant and now random shit will get nominated "just cuz" so people don't jump on them for hating foreign, animated, etc. Its take the accomplishment down a notch if you ask me. Jesus. I really really really hate this idea.

Fernando Moss said...

First nomination for Pixar in the Best Picture is going to UP afterall...

James Hansen said...

And f***ing as if Wall*E, Up, or The Dark Knight would/will win anyways. Everyone knows only two or three movies "have a shot" anyways by the time top tens and critics awards come out. What's the point of expanding something when the smaller number of nominees aren't all competitive to begin with?

NicksFlickPicks said...

Follow the money: a) higher ratings, maybe, but b) more movies that get to have "Best Picture Nominee" on their DVD boxes and posters and iTunes listings, and c) Oscar campaigns cost SO MUCH these days that Variety and Film Comment have reported about several of the few "serious dramas" that would have become profitable were it not for contractually obligated Oscar campaigns that take the movie back into the red. So, with 10, huge moneymakers that miss like WALL•E and Dark Knight get the added dollop that prestige, and small movies that miss like Wrestler and Rev Road and Rachel have a better shot at nabbing the merit-badge they spend so much money hunting down (which hopefully leads to other profits).

I don't know that this will work, but I'm guessing it's the reasoning. How I feel about it, I can't tell yet. This year does seem like bad timing, though: neither the movies we've seen nor what's slated through December quite suggests an embarrassment of riches.

Robert said...

Random shit wasn't getting nominated already? I mean if this were in effect last year and Doubt got nominated... is that really of lesser quality than the crap that did get nominated?

Everyone is talking about how this is going to degrade the quality of the movies or lessen the value of the nomination. As if nominating and awarding tripe like Crash, A Beautiful Mind and Slumdog Millionaire hasn't already done that.

It's not like this means Transformers 2: Megan Fox Boogalo is going to be nominated now.

ZiZo said...

Does this mean that Up is going to be nominated?

It's bad, and good. The door is opened for everybody, the bubble exploded. Welcome blockbusters, animated pictures, documentaries, and foreign pics...

But also mediocre Frostnixons and Goodnightandgoodlucks...

Terence said...

This is the strangest idea. Have there really been 10 OSCAR movies a year? Not 10 movies the general public liked, but OSCAR movies?

The decision truly opens the door for Pixar to finally get a Best Picture nominee, and I would love to see Star Trek get a nom, but realistically it will go to another Frost/Nixon or a Foreign film no one will have seen...

NATHANIEL R said...

anon 2:29 i respect that you're passionate about hating the Reader and we all have our opinions. And you're ABSOLUTELY right that the public meme that went around was that it cost WALL*E or DARK KNIGHT a slot (and it probably did yes)

but i'm just asking the vision to be widened a little because it turns out (and i was surprised by this myself) that the public was more interested in THE READER than in MILK or FROST/NIXON... so i think the "nobody cares" is unfounded. i was surprised by how well it did. but it's a fact. you can look it up. higher gross than MILK or FROST/NIXON

and i'm not suggesting higher gross = quality. But I am suggesting it does = public interest.

nick yeah 2009 seems like a really odd year to test this ;) but maybe the stuff coming down the pike is 10 times better than it sounds?

and maybe this means AVATAR gets a nom?

seasondays said...

NATHANIEL
when can we expext your 10 best picture nominees prediction?

Marsha Mason said...

I think the real question is how much this dilutes the value of the nomination. If, say, The Wrestler had crept into the top five, it would have generated a lot of interest. With ten, it'll be easier to wave off the surprise nominees, and focus on the big movies that make it. The mainstream press already focuses on if the big movies make it or not come nomination day.

The more I think of it, I think five really was the magic number. There are so few Oscar-y pictures, twenty at most, that the half that do make it aren't nearly so noteworthy now.

Pablete said...

This means that entire decades were movies were MOVIES are not fully represented. Most of the 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s have only five best picture nominees.

In addition, I share your fears completely, Nathaniel.

If we were in the time of great Hollywood romances, MGM and Fox musicals, Hitchcockian thrillers, John-Fordian westerns, movies starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable..., everything would be quite another matter.

Tim said...

All I'm saying is, some of the best Best Picture nominees of the '30s were the little comedies and adventures that probably wouldn't have gotten in under a 5-film rule. The winners were still crap like The Struggling To Keep Awake of Emile Zola, but I wouldn't mind if something like Captain Blood or Foreign Correspondent or Stage Door gets nominated once more.

Now, we just have to train Hollywood to start making movies as good as Captain Blood or Foreign Correspondent or Stage Door again.

Anonymous said...

According the imdb.com, "The Reader" grossed 34 million, "Milk" 32 million, and "Frost/Nixon" 19 million. So don't paint the picture as "The Reader" having such a greater public reception than those others, b/c it's not true. Those numbers are about the same in terms of audience reception, meaning ALL of them received lukewarm box office receipts with only "Milk" making a domestic profit. It's sad that "Milk" didn't do better than it did, b/c that was a film that Americans needed to see. And I'll always support "Frost/Nixon". I thought it earned its BP nod, and "Slumdog" earned its BP win. "The Reader"'s still shit.

Robert said...

I guess I just don't get the "dilutes the value of a nomination" argument.

If crappy movies keep getting nominated then what is the value anyway?

Isn't there an argument to be made that this raises the value? If AMPAS doesn't nominate The Dark Knight (for example) it's simply seen as irrelevant. No one watches, who cares? But if it does, then it gains relevance and all the other nominees gain relevance too. Suddenly people see these movie along side their favorites and wonder what they are. Smaller movies get a wider audience.

The only people angry are those Oscar purists who are greatly invested in the integrity of an Awards ceremony that keeps nominating mediocrity.

Jeremy Heilman said...

I can't help but think this will be a positive for the Oscars. We all enjoy the awards, obviously and if it increases ratings and visibility of nominated films, terrific. It's also great news for film magazines / bloggers that accept ads during the awards season, so hurrah for them.

One would have to take the awards mighty seriously to be too bent out of shape about this, I think. The worst possible side-effect I can think of for me personally is that the telecast gets even longer. I am used to being disappointed with many of the Oscar nominees. It can't get much worse in my book, and if I'm lucky an extra film or two I love will sneak in.

It sure as heck makes the Best Picture nomination less of a prize, though. It will be interesting to see if campaigning becomes more intensely focused on securing Director noms (as it was with Scorsese's last few campaigns).

Robert said...

Pablete.. the 30's and 40's are a great argument for why The Oscars don't matter in the long run anyways. History doesn't remember The Life of Emile Zola or Cavalcade and barely Going My Way. Winning Best Picture didn't do them much good. Hitchcock and Welles movies didn't need Oscars to become legendary. But had they been more likely to be nominated at the time (especially Welles) it could have only helped.

The Oscars are unimportant to film history, but they do make film present that much more interesting. And if 10 nominees will do that... hooray. And if they don't, then we're no worse off.

Sorry I'm so verbose.

Agent69 said...

Snubs have always hurt hard, now it will be as if The Academy is pouring salt on our wounds while punching us in the balls - and laughing.

Because, let us be honest, the other five movies would have been (will be) in the Doubt, Changeling, The Duchess and even Mamma Mia! league. Movies like Hunger, Man On Wire, The Class, ... wouldn't stand a chance even with 10 slots.

Jeremy Heilman said...

One more comment... I do have to say I'd much rather have the general 10-best list from Oscar than the Globes setup, artificially separated by genre.

PPO-10 said...

I...hmm.

I don't think I've been more gobsmacked about anything non-sports-related in months.

Well...well. I say let's see how this year goes and what makes it in for those final two or three spots before we solidify an opinion, either yea or nay. Academy, the ball is in your court.

adelutza said...

I don't agree with separate categories. Films are films.
And I know that you'all think that Pixar's films should be on to a BP nomination , but being animated features they are at a big advantage to the other films. With animation you can do things that you can't with real actors . That's why animated films have their own category

Cristhian said...

I don't know. Best Picture is the least exciting category anyways. Most of the time they have it wrong and there's no real merit in most of the ones that get nominated besides how much oscar campaign they've had.
Now that they've felt bad for snubbing Wall-e, they want too ensure a slot for UP, by saying, now you can get in, because anyone can! It's kinda like standing in line at an exclusive club and then when they just let anyone in it's no longer cool.

Simone said...

The initial WTF? shock has worn off. I am now ok with this 10 Nominees change, but dammit, there better be foreign language and/or independent films making the BP cut this year. Otherwise, why bother with this change at all? Same o same o.

Also, should we brace ourselves for a 10 Directors nomination announcement soon? Oscarholics are already stating the if there are 10 BP nominees, but only 5 Best Director nominees, 5 of the BP nominees will immediately be dismissed as legitimate nominees. I think the Academy needs to take this into consideration.

Anonymous said...

So long, "lone director" slot!

Ryan said...

Well I feel they at least have good intentions with this, so we should all wait and see what happens when the nominations are announced...then I will heed all the whining if it doesn't go well.

I was initially excited and optimistic for this, but after reading several comments, it appears that I am in the minority haha. Well hopefully with this they will nominated better movies on the whole (rather than more Crash, The Reader, etc)

Anonymous said...

If you all want so desperately want Pixar to get a Best Picture nomination, perhaps you could start a letter-writing campaign to convince them to actually make a good movie. Sure, they're fun and entertaining, and I have admittedly not seen Up yet, but let's get real. They are lightweight ad of-the-moment in a way that 'Beauty and the Beast' was not. Personally, I don't need to see talking cars making jokes Lindsay Lohan jokes win an Oscar. "Woo-hoo, maybe Toy Story 3 will get nominated!" Ugh. Kill me now.

mrripley said...

wot about 6 best actress candidates then we could be assured of a pfeiffer nom.

Somebody said...

Dumbest decision since "Crash" won Best Picture in 2006

Donnie said...

"WALL-E" was a masterpiece. It deserved not only the BP nomination, but the outright win. If that ridiculous snub helped lead to this 10 nominees thing happening, then that's probably the biggest mea culpa the Academy's ever given out, and for that I can take a bit of comfort in. "Up" is a lesser work than "WALL-E", but if it makes it into this top ten (which is a near certainty), I wouldn't be outraged about it or anything.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I'm guessing the Academy felt a lot of pressure last year with Wall-E and The Dark Knight... And since the Globes also nominate 10 films...

I only hope that they don't think Oscar nominees = GG musical/comedy nominees + GG drama nominees. They aren't the same.

But I do think box office hits, animated films and comedies (!) have a bigger chance to get in.

If only it could have been changed in 08'... We'd have (if they didn't screw up)...

- Slumdog Millionaire
- Milk
- Frost/Nixon
- TCC of Benjamin Button
- The Reader

Then the GG nominees (and GG comedy winner) I believe they'd pick...
- Revolutionary Road
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Then the two box office hits w/ critical acclaim (Iron Man wouldn't be here 'cos TDK had much more buzz and everyone thought it was in)
- Wall-E
- The Dark Knight


With the last spot for either In Bruges, Burn After Reading (GG nominees) or (gasp!) Mamma Mia!? :D

NATHANIEL R said...

i really think 5 is a magic number. let's stick to 5. a 6 widefield doesn't guarantee anyone. i think it's like how much money you make. no matter how much money you make you expand to spend it ;)

i'm sure it's the case with Oscar. after this initial transitional year (i think this year might turn out really weird but it'll find some way to settle down and feel Oscary again even if they keep it this way) it will become a race for 12 to 13 films to get the 10 nominations just like it's now usually a race between 7 or 8 pictures to get the 5 nominations.

if a 10 wide field changes release patterns of films for adults to being all year long i will never complain again (ha ha) but i don't think it's going to do that.

I hereby make a prediction that only 1 or 2 of the 10 nominees will be from a month prior to September.

Glendon said...

This just guarantees more lame Oscar-bait will win. Not because more will get in, though that is certainly a possibility, but because the creative ones will cannibalize each other. Any creative voters who picked Slumdog over Frost/Nixon will now have to split between Slumdog, Rachel, Dark Night against Frost/Nixon.

To use the Canadian political system as a an example (stay with me), 70% of Canada is left-wing, and there are 3 left-wing parties. There's only one right-wing party, the Conservatives. The Conservatives always win the election even though they only have 30% of the vote.

Howler said...

I'm happy for "Up" (I think it's definitely in), but I don't like the idea. Now we are going to see annual Clint Eastwood BP nom and the likes of Aronofsky will be snubbed anyway.
I suppose they've just realised how much they fuc*ed up this year with their shortlist, but this is not a good way to make up for it.

Ana said...

Anonymous: Stop being a fucking troll.
Nathaniel: Please, stop acknowledging his existence.

I was horrified by this until I read Marsha's comment, which to me makes a lot of sense: most of the "other" movies in consideration are better than the ones that eventually make it to the top 5. I mean, I at least hope that something like The Wrestler got shut out for having a bit of an edge which pushed it to place 6, 7 or 8, and not that it was completely ignored by the Academy.

NoNo said...

WHAT! WHAT! WHAT!?!

I go away for a few and come back to this? What the hell? Another point not brought up...the ceremony is going to be so much longer!

NATHANIEL R said...

ana point taken

i hope that's right too but honestly I could totally see the lineup having been the three commonly viewed snubs (doubt, wall-e, dark knight) and the two Eastwood picture since he has such a devoted voting block.

i still think films like the wrestler could be shut out and that this guarantees nothing about quality.

the question i know find myself asking. Will the BFCA have to expand their top 10 to be a top 15 so they can make sure to still be predictive? ;)

Anon 3:26 said...

Ana said...

Anonymous: Stop being a fucking troll
.

Uhh, and which Anon are you talking about? Man, I hate people who just scream "Troll!" at everybody they disagree with. You're such a unique presence on the Internets, Ana. Never change,

NATHANIEL R said...

glendon i think you're right but that's nothing new ;)

the 1999 race is the perfect example of too many challenging creative movies in play making Oscar retreat into the safe and conservative (artistically speaking). it was considered a phenomenal year but the best pic list is 'blech'

Anonymous said...

And you stop being such a bitch Ana just b/c someone thinks differently than you do.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I forgot Doubt. It would surely take the last spot...


The Wrestler... Rachel Getting Married... Happy-Go-Lucky... I don't think they'd have a shot...

pony said...

This is the year the Oscars start morphing into the AVN Awards... how long until we get a "Best Girl on Girl Scene" Oscar handed (which in '08 would've gone to Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johanson)?

Just kidding (obviously). They should just cut the crap and stop letting anyone vote. Just name an annual jury of world renowned professionals from all fields of moviemaking and assign them to decide who actually DESERVES each award, like they do in Cannes... yes, the people that gave Brillante Mendoza the Best Director honor.

Joe Shetina said...

I really think that this is the wrong year to do it. So far, I only see 3 or 4 films that may be worthy of even a nomination.

Anyone else as excited about Nine as I am?

Agustin said...

Robert, i laughed so hard with your comment!
Ed Zwick happiest day of his life for sure!!

Ana said...

Anon 3:26: If you were being a fucking troll, I meant you.

Anonymous (the other one that personally addressed me): I can't help being a bitch, that's just how I'm wired. That's the way I roll. If you wanted to be really offensive you could have used the "c" word (cunt), which is way louder than bitch -a word we've taken back from the Man, and can be no longer used to offend us bitches.

The Reader did suck, I give you that, in every scene that David Kross wasn't nude.

Nathaniel: Sorry about this. I'll take my own advice and stop minding these individuals. Boy, this post sure is getting some passionate responses.

Jacob said...

I'm simply trying to comprehend the effect this will have on the other races. Being an acting nominee in a Best Picture-nominated film help the nominee towards the win, sometimes. If there are ten films, what effect will this have on the other categories. And if blockbusters start getting nominated for Best Pic, will we then actually have to work hard to predict who the nominees/winners will be in categories like Sound Mixing? This is too much for me.

Daniel Armour said...

It's funny because last week I was thinking that a sixth nominee should be added onto every category. I guess I got more than a bargained for. Anyway, I think it's a good idea but Eight nominees might be a better way to go. Also, an increase in other categories is needed.

NATHANIEL R said...

joe shetina one only have to look at the number of comments every time i post about NINE to realize that you are far from alone in that excitement ;)

all of this is making me a bit nostalgic for the early days of Oscar when they were a little looser in what they considered award worthy. They weren't so averse to comedies for one.

if we can get some of that flexibility back it'd be great BUT how do you change taste levels? taste levels is obviously the problem.

i mean RAY and FINDING NEVERLAND better than ETERNAL SUNSHINE? yikes.

and that's just off the top of my head.

NATHANIEL R said...

just a reminder to everyone. i have and always will welcome disagreements and discussion but name calling.

nada. sorry. delete.

keep the language civil.

and when someone disagrees with you feel free to disagree back but try to hear the points they're making.

these are simple rules and i only ever have to bring them up at Oscar time ;)

but i guess we're starting early.

NATHANIEL R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Nikki Finke seems to hate the idea and if her insight is true, then this is far from a good idea. Sure, they could be "edgy" and nominate something groundbreaking like "Children of Men," but something tells me that will not be the case. I'm struggling with optimism too, Nat.

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/but-why-academy-to-now-allow-10-films-in-best-picture-category/

Anon 3:26 said...

NATHANIEL R said...

just a reminder to everyone. i have and always will welcome disagreements and discussion but name calling.

nada. sorry. delete
.

Awesome. I guess "fucking troll" doesn't count as a name. Thanks for not deleting Ana's comment, especially since she was the one so intolerant of others' opinions. I'll be sure to never come back here for such "fair" treatment. Buh-bye.

Enrico said...

Glendon - I actually think it could work the other way around... in fact, I think that with 10 BP noms, Brokeback might have won instead of Crash. The way I see it, with 10 nominees, you need a smaller percentage of total votes to win, which works in favour of films with a perhaps smaller but very passionate following. Brokeback would have received most of the votes it ended up getting, but the people who just didn't want it to win may have ended up splitting their votes between the 4 or 5 other 'baity', traditional films...

Terris said...

OMG!This means that if it's already difficult to choose among 5 films, it will be even more among 10!
At least there will be occasions for Italian movies to be included in the race... hopefully! =)

Marsha Mason said...

The more I think about it, this may turn into more of a non-event, shocking as it all now seems.

-On the quality of nominees, I think the 6-10s may be slightly better on average than the 1-5s, but the joy from this this will be negated by the quantity of nomintees.

-On whether it dilutes the value of a nomination, I do still think a five-field nom carried a lot of power when they got it right, even if we regularly see "Ray"s and "Reader"s. There was something cool about them getting, or seeming to get, "NCFOM" and "TWBB." That's lessened now, but I hold out hope for an occasional straight-from-nowhere nominees. I could totally see something with a small but dedicated fanbase, like "The Class," getting in there now and shocking the hell out of everybody.

-On whether it means a big ole comeback for Marsha Mason, I still say no.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I still say that "Nine" doesn't get nominated...

Cort said...

Its not the number of movies nominated, its their horrible taste what makes me angry, now we`ll have horrible movies called "best picture nominees", i dont care how many movies they want to recognize, but make good choices, like, "Rachel getting married" etc.. (Sorry for my english) And to Ana and Anon, get married.

Cory Rivard said...

Everything being said about possible animated/ foreign films now having a shot does not defeat the fact that they COULDN'T do it with 5 nomination slots.
How could I possibly be excited about Up! getting nominated this year, since it probably wouldn't have been nominated without this idiotic change.
The truly exciting story would have been if it had gotten in without 10 slots as an option.
How can one now say, with pride, that their movie is nominated for best picture. I see about 7 award deserving films a year. SEVEN. This really feels like it will be very generous to the undeserving.
Those commercials touting "Nominated For Best Picture" have now become useless. While they are advertising useless facts like that, they might as well also declare that it was "Filmed On Earth!", or "This Film Has An Opening Credit Sequence!!"
I'm mad. So mad. This truly feels like another nail in the coffin. Let's go be obsessed with The Golden Globes.

Lea said...

That is seriously one of the most stupid ideas I´ve ever heard of.

They manage it to make the Oscars completely irrelevant if they continue doing such things.

In the end there are 10 Actors/Actresses nominated in one category.

Anon 3:26 said...

Cort, you're a FUCKING TROLL!$!$#%@$!#%#@!%#

(It's ok to say that since it's not a name, didn't you know? Heart u Cort! Thanks for playing.)

NATHANIEL R said...

anon 3:26... when people are anonymous i really have no idea who is talking to whom or who is being insulted or who is anything. one anon can continue a conversation that other people started etc.

sorry you were offended but play nice next time. You too Ana

Cory "FILMED ON EARTH" lol.

ha ha. what you have something against outer space location shooting?

Anonymous said...

Bad things:
- It gets vulgar. It's not that special being nominated for Best Picture now. From now on, the surprise is going to be: Who's NOT nominated?!
- Lame ass movies like Rachel Getting Married (sorry, I now you all love those 15 minutes without anything happening scenes) that only a couple of people like will get big honors.

Good things:
- It may increase the interest in Oscars without needing to bring the Disney scum to present awards they'll never win.
- It won't ruin the "box office power" the 5 nominees had so far (look at Frost/Nixon - yeah, that had a real box office impact, didn't it)

Anon 3:26 said...

Uh, fine. I can admit I acted like a baby. I still don't see how you can say "I will delete any posts calling names" and then leave Ana's, where she's clearly calling us names. Which you know is HER, because, you know, she's not anon. And she was obviously one half of the fight. I wasn't offended, just annoyed. And I might be more apt to "play nice" if you weren't clearly playing faves with your steadfast, uh, "rules." Making sense is fun sometimes.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I'm becoming more and more pessimistic.

2008:
- The Reader
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Benjamin Button
- Gran Torino
- Frost/Nixon
- Changeling
- Revolutionary Road
- Doubt

These 8 would be a shoe-in. You have to count with the Eastwood factor.

Now... Milk, The Dark Knight and Wall-E would have to battle it out... And Wall-E would STILL lose because:

1) there's an animated category (damn it!)
2) it was not THE #1 box office hit
3) it's not made with real people


I'm not sure they liked The Wrestler (Springsteen not nominated), Rachel Getting Married (De Witt not nominated) or Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody not nominated)


God! The screenplays will become more interesting to guess than the actual Best Picture race...

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

People don't seem to be talking about how this is going to make the awards bodies prior to the Oscars even worse. They're going to make even less inspired choices now. I think it was Nathaniel (or it might have been someone else) who pointed out in one of the podcasts that these voting bodies vote for films like "Frost/Nixon" in an attempt to influence the Oscars, so much so that it seems like the nominees (and often the winners) are determined by all of these people who aren't even Oscar voters.

The NBR, The BFCA, the HFPA...what will now be their incentive to make inspired, "out of left field" nominations and citations? Nothing, because they are now in a position where they could feasibly predict the entire best picture lineup at the Oscars film for film.

The optimist in me says that more films=a greater variety of films. But more likely than not, I think we're going to see a best picture lineup very much padded with "Frost/Nixons" and "Finding Neverlands" and (shudder) "Chocolats." I certainly hope it doesn't play out that way, but how often does the AMPAS use its powers for good?

Anonymous said...

By the way, Frost/Nixon was easily one of the best films last year. You're all just used to watching films, that you want something oh so different. Every person I talk to enjoyed Frost/Nixon, what's the problem with it there?

NATHANIEL R said...

jorge. i agree. the thing is we don't really know. but yeah, i don't think the wrestler would've gotten the nomination either the more i think about it.

which is so sad.

i'm totally loving all the bizarre claims people are making around the net today though.

jesus. you'd think they had said 100 films will be nominated for best picture.

the reality: this year still has the usual ton o' oscar bait coming up in the fall. top ten lists (which are hardly a new concept) still always leave things out( mean that summer movies get to suddenly be nominated.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Now we'll have AFI and NBR top20s :D

Jim T said...

I have to say, I like the change. For example last year, Frozen River would have probably been nominated. The most important thing is the way the Academy will handle this.

And one negative is that this rule makes the nomination a less important thing. I mean, it's not the same to be in the top 5 and to be in the top 10.

NATHANIEL R said...

the know nothing on the bright side, they were already trying to predict oscars in every way by having MORE nominees than the Oscars do. so i fully expect that within a year or two (if Oscar keeps this up which i kinda doubt) that they'll expand their rosters to be like a BFCA DOZEN! just so they can be sure to go 100%

John D. said...

Don't like the idea. At all.

Cory Rivard said...

Does anyone else wonder if this is Bush-like sabotage on Ganis' part?
I always wonder how strong of an impact the President truly makes with the Academy.
I had high hopes for a new presidency in the Academy. I kept picturing a new President walking in there with a fiery passion and demanding of the Academy to nominate GREAT films. Turning the whole ship around.
I wonder if Ganis is upset at how much backlash he has received over the years and is now trying to further destroy the legacy of our beloved Academy Awards.
I am only half-serious of course... but still. This all just seems silly. Nice final move Ganis! We wont forget you!
Now let's try.

adelutza said...

Interesting how The Reader gets so little love but nobody says anything about the neverending bore named Bejamin....
Sorry. I wasn't arround at Oscar time and finally I get to vent now ;-)

Joe Shetina said...

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the most mediocre films to ever be nominated for Best Picture (among MANY mediocre films nominated in the category).

Ian said...

Well, I dig the change. If it means getting in some films that wouldn't have been nodded otherwise, then I don't see the harm in that. If this doesn't work, then they'll just chance it back to five nominees again next year. I can see that this won't necessarily lead to the outre being nominated (the Academy's tastes still are the same, unfortunately), but if a few awesome films sneak in there somehow, I say go for it. If it gives more credence to the Globes, AFI, NBR, BFCA, etc., then that's just a re-affirmation of what we've always known, that voters are lazy and need guidance in their voting. It doesn't diminish the award for me either. They'll still only be one BP winner, and that will be in the record books for all posterity. 10 nominees didn't diminish my love of "Gone With the Wind"'s win, or "Casablanca"'s. It might not be all that bad.

Jordan Wellin said...

Heck, let the Academy Awards now be called Oscar Idol... all the members will phone in their votes at the beginning of the show, and we'll see all of the percentages and who won!
And I'm sure this year's host will be either Billy Bush or Ryan Seacrest.

Jim T said...

It just occured to me that there will still be 5 nominees practically. The 5 movies that have their directors nominated will be 5 unofficial nominees. Right?

Cort said...

I agree so much with Adelutza and Joe Shetina

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

Ugh. I've just been going over a list of directors in my head whose work I can't stand, who are now sure to get films into the best picture slot sooner or later if they keep up this 10 nominees business.

Julie Taymor
Joel Schumacher
Chris Columbus
Tim Burton (I know this may garner a few flames. With a few very select exceptions, I find Burton to be insufferable.)
Gore Verbinski
The Weitz Brothers (I like "About a Boy" but let's not get it twisted...)
and so forth...and so forth...

MRRIPLEY said...

A RAGING DEBATE IN MY HOUSE DID WINSLET DESERVE IT FOR THE READER OVER REV RD,PLEASE HELP!!!

cinemadventurer said...

The Oscars will now have a Top Ten list. Just like everyone else lol However, I'm being very optimistic about this. I've already accepted the 10 nominees thing and am now considering how it will affect what actually wins.

With 10 nominees, there will be a greater spread of votes from the Academy. The majority of voters may want to get behind 2-4 movies, rather than 1-2 and that could create a lot of variations on who settles on what.

Could this lead to more satisfying and deserving BP winners? Or will it not make any difference at all?

Joe Shetina said...

Kate Winslet was better in The Reader. Case closed. If we're gonna talk who should have won, though, then Sally Hawkins. But that's a whole other story entirely.

Alex said...

Wait, you guys, does this mean that Julie and Julia" has a shot at a BP nom?

Pins&Needles said...

"Revolutionary Road", Mr. Ripley. Always.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Yeah MRRIPLEY, tell your family you should be discussing why Jolie was nominated instead of Sally Hawkins, or why DiCaprio (the best of the two leads in RR) wasn't nominated but Pitt was for Button...

Jorge Rodrigues said...

But if I had to pick Winslet's best performance... I'd say Rev. Road as well.


I don't think she and Meryl worked hard enough is any of their films... But there have been so many acceptable performances as winners that I can live with Winslet's win... And you know, she had to had one Oscar soon...

Mason said...

The Academy's never had 10 directing nominees even when it had 10 best picture nominees. If they managed to avoid the talk of 5 surefires vs. 5 also-rans then, I think the current Academy will be able to do the same. There will be some that will get the "it's an honor just to be nominated" mantle, but that's every year. And you never know, if the groundswell occurs for a film, it could go all the way to the BP win, even without a corresponding directing nod. Anything's possible now. This Oscar season is going to be insane!

Encore Entertainment said...

Oh holy crap. What the F*%)!!!! I was off line for a few hours and when I saw this in my inbox I thought it was a sick joke. This is horrible news. Now the prestige of getting nominated for an Oscar is gone. I mean ten films, TEN FILMS? Are these people serious. Ten? The whole point of the Oscars is to honour the five prestige films. Okay, they're wrong sometimes (a lot of times), but now it's so trivialised. I'm still praying it's not true.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I've already said this at In Contention, but...

Could this mean that we finally won’t have to deal with that pesky “orphan director” slot? So that a movie like, say, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly could actually be a Best Pic nom?

Ron B. said...

Sasha at AwardsDaily loves the change:

Nothing could have breathed more life into a mostly flaccid race than this most unexpected and delightful development. I’m looking forward to seeing how many more films and studios have a shot in this kind of race, with such wide open possibilities.

Jordan Wellin said...

Well, Sasha's wrong, and Nate's right.

Which is why I read The Film Experience, not Awards Daily.

Remember, Sasha also loved Benjamin Button. And we all know that if you love that film, something really is the matter with you.

PQZ said...

Sasha's positive opinion is just as valid as anyone elses. Wait and see what the 10 nominees will be before you piss all over the rules chance. If it ends up being the same old, same old, then by all means, loudly complain away. But if some nominees come out of this that wouldn't have otherwise, I think that's a decent trade-off. Nothing's been diminished for me just b/c 5 has been upped to 10 nominees.

jimmy said...

it's all about $$$$. ratings are way down, year after year. having 10 nominees, will be a way to include box office movies-like dream girls....maybe that will entice people to watch the awards show. majority of people 18-49 could care less about movies like "The Reader".

Jordan Wellin said...

I didn't say Sasha's opinion wasn't valid.

I just said it was wrong.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I know I've been all over the place with my comments here, but one silver lining never occurred to me. Which is that with more nominees to select, and the Academy having a preferential balloting system, we may see some kooky choices show up in best picture. Think about it. Even with the ten nominees thing, it's a weighted balloting system. There are some films (ie "Doubt") which are destined to be slot five or six placements, if not lower, even though in a system that cites ten best picture nominees, everyone would predict "Doubt." This could easily leave the "consensus" picks on the cutting room floor. I am an optimist in that I believe in a preferential balloting system that would nominate ten as opposed to five films, there's no way "The Wrestler" wouldn't have made it. It's the type of film that those who loved it really loved. I would wager it managed a few number one placements, even more number two, a lot of number three...and so forth. This would have been enough for a nomination, I think.

I also think this is good news for "Precious." I was predicting it for a bp nod prior to the big announcement, and given this new development, this makes it easier for a film like that to overcome the hurdles it would typically face. And it's a November theatrical release? I'd be shocked at this point if "Precious" doesn't get in.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least this will cause Academy members to see more movies than the five everyone talks about.

- John

Anonymous said...

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I'd be shocked at this point if "Precious" doesn't get in
.

I wouldn't. The Academy doesn't care about fat black chicks.

adelutza said...

Oh cmon ... If Precious doesn't make it I'd be willing to eat my laptop. It's typical Academy bait, I've seen the film. Would've made it in the top 5, what with Oprah endorsement at all.

Anonymous said...

The day Monique wins an Oscar is the day that Chelsea Handler becomes funny. In short, never.

Anonymous said...

Why all the insanity over the Dark Knight. It was 25 minutes too long and the pacing was off. Have people elevated it to 'classic' status because of Ledger's death?

Just because it made a shitload of cash at the box office doesn't mean it deserved a BP nomination. If that were the case, then I want a retro-nomination for 'Look Who's Talking'.

Howler said...

"I've just been going over a list of directors in my head whose work I can't stand"...
I've been doing the same, and that Comment du Jour thing just tortures me. I hate hate hate Edward Zwick's films. "Defiance" was probably the biggest shit I've seen last year and I would puke if he finally made it to the shortlist with his stupid fairy-tales trying to deal with problems he never seems to get and simplifying them to the point of extreme. Alas, from now on is highly possible.
And sorry, but preferential balloting system didn't save us from terribly boring shortlists in 1999 and 2004. I'm sure there were people in the Academy who loved "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine" passionately, and nothing happened.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Why all the insanity over the Dark Knight. It was 25 minutes too long and the pacing was off. Have people elevated it to 'classic' status because of Ledger's death
?

Yes. Of course. And how many people would have thought his performance deserved an Oscar had he lived? Not nearly as many.

Dean said...

Yes I think Precious could actually be considered a lock now since it will surely have alot of number 1 votes.

Fernando said...

Sasha wasn't wrong. This is the jolt to the system that the Academy's needed for a long time. In fact, they should have taken it a step further and eliminated the preferential voting system in BP too. Yay Sasha!

Sam said...

The day Monique wins an Oscar is the day that Chelsea Handler becomes funny. In short, never.

Mo'Nique's the frontrunner to win the freakin' thing. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. Goodness, the rocks that some people live under up in here.

Anonymous said...

Sassy black woman plays bitchy black woman. Color me not impressed.

(And yes, I saw it. She was fine, but it was not an Oscar-worthy performance.)

Sam said...

Considering the widespread acclaim that Mo'Nique has already received, plus the upcoming critics awards that she'll likely get leading up to the Oscar nod, you being unimpressed doesn't really amount to much.

Alex said...

Did anyone ever imagine that Cher would get an Oscar? She wowed us all with that amazing turn in "Silkwood" and proved everyone who called "Silkwood" a casting stunt with "Moonstruck." I can't say I'd be happy if Mo'Nique wins (especially if that means Meryl loses again) but I don't see it as so far outside the realm of possibility.

Agent69 said...

Oh Jesus, the Meryl talk has begun again.
If the J&J trailer is any indication she will not win a third Oscar this year, and that is a good thing because well, you've seen the trailer. She looks horrendous.

NoNo said...

I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING! OK...bcuz there are now 10 best picture nominees...30 producers will be nominated. That's more than the 20 actors that are nominated. If this thing lasts over time there will be more producers in the Academy then actors which means that producers will have the largest voting block now...

this...scares...me...

Eastwood! Howard! Speilberg! These will more likely to be nominees than auteurs who geniunely have a respect from actors but may not be in the good graces of producers. I think a producer would be more likely to vote with ulterior motives than actor. I think the only way to balance it out is to invite critics into the academy which is never going to happen.

AL said...

Sassy black woman plays bitchy black woman. Color me not impressed.

Which is going under the warped idea that there must be no level of nuance between Mo'Nique the person and the character that she's portraying in "Precious", b/c you know, all black people act and sound in the exact same way. The two aren't even close to being alike in any way that matters. That's not only insulting but racist too.

Meryl is going lead, so how would she be an issue for Mo'Nique's chances in supporting actress?

NATHANIEL R said...

goodness people are this riled up in June? It's going to be a long season :)

as for the comments about THE DARK KNIGHT. i personally agree with every potshot stated but i do think there are exceptions to every "this doesn't deserve it!" argument and i REALLY think it's important for all genres to have a chance at recognition and a high drama with as much praise and audience adulation as The Dark KNight would not only be nominated, it would win.

so yeah i think The Dark Knight in a better world would have probably made the list... even though i think many films last year were better.

but i guess we're dredging up old arguments now.

as for the Sasha stuff. I love Sasha. Let's not make contests where they don't exist. Most of us who write about the Oscars aren't enemies ;) no need to try and pit us against each other.

Fernando i understand the argument that this is a jolt to the system (it is) but why do you think preferential balloting should be eliminated? I don't really understand that argument. If you were voting wouldn't you want your #1 choice to count for more than your #3 choice?

Seeking Amy said...

I'm with AL, I'm not likin what I've seen of Meryl in Julie and Julia either.

Victor S said...

Just imagine the things that could have been Best Picture nominees if this rule was applied since 2000:

Shrek!!!
My Big Fat Greek Wedding!!!
Frida!!!
Memoirs of a Geisha!!!
Walk the Line!!!
Cold Mountain!!!
The Last Samurai!!!
Blood Diamond!!!
Mrs. Henderson Presents!!!

Fernando said...

The preferential voting system is why a film like "The Reader" could get in over "The Dark Knight", b/c a passionate number of Academy voters could place that dreck as their number 1 film and actively snowball the films that they didn't want nominated from being nominated. If the popular ballot were in play where they just checked off the five films that they liked the best unranked, I'm confident that "The Dark Knight" could have made it to the top five. "WALL-E" too possibly. That's why they should have voted to end the preferential voting system too.

Anonymous said...

test

magicub said...

So. the NBR will have 50 pictures!!!

Anonymous said...

Which is going under the warped idea that there must be no level of nuance between Mo'Nique the person and the character that she's portraying in "Precious", b/c you know, all black people act and sound in the exact same way. The two aren't even close to being alike in any way that matters. That's not only insulting but racist too.

----
I completely agree with you. According to anon all Black Women are Bitchy and Sassy (rolleyes). It's racist and ignorant. The bigoted pricks usually come around during Oscar season, I see they came early this year.


Anyway, I kind of like the change and I agree let's wait and see what happens before pitching a hissy fit. And No I didn't like Benjamin Button.


~Kayla

Fausto said...

The other two would be between Changeling, Revolutionary Road, Frozen River and The Wrestler. Now imagine if it was Gran Torino. One single nomination, which happens to be Best Picture. Freaking bizarre.

Derreck said...

Dear Lord, this thread has escalated.

I'll stick on subject and say that 10 is a bit much. i like seven...or for an even number, six. 10 is just begging for more irritating Oscar-bait movies to be made.

and i do agree that the bigger promotion budget deciding the winner is a likely scenario.

and an even longer telecast! Heaven help us. It's already bloated as is.

Erik said...

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. Any way to fight this?

Anonymous said...

AL said...

"Sassy black woman plays bitchy black woman. Color me not impressed."

Which is going under the warped idea that there must be no level of nuance between Mo'Nique the person and the character that she's portraying in "Precious", b/c you know, all black people act and sound in the exact same way. The two aren't even close to being alike in any way that matters. That's not only insulting but racist too
.

Whoa, uh...I didn't mean that at all. I only meant that the character she played is like her persona, only really mean. She was fine, I didn't say she was shitty, I just didn't think it was AMAZING. If the critics' opinions are the ones you're so interested in, why are you so upset about mine?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28

Oh please, how many White actors have been nominated when their "persona" and that of the character are the same.

Amy Adams
Michelle Williams
Jack Nicholson
George Clooney

Should I mention more and don't give me that oh well we don't know their personalities because we sure as hell don't know Mo'nique's.

It's fine if you didn't like it, but don't make that lame excuse for why you didn't. When there have been PLENTY of similar nominees in the past.

Here's another one oh it was so one-note. So was Javier Bardem and Heath Ledger (which I have no problem with). I hate Bigots, but I really hate the hypocritical ones.

`Kayla

Anonymous said...

Well, fine. Did I ever say that any of those nominations was THE MOST DESERVED THING EVER?! Nope. Again, I don't know why you're so mad. I said I didn't think she deserved a nomination, not that she COULDN'T or that it would be the end of the world if she did. Lighten up.

Anonymous said...

PS You might want to learn the meaning of the word "hypocritical." Nothing I said about Monique's performance contradicted anything I said before. Genius. Here's a tip: www.dictionary.com

Juno101 said...

I love this idea. This makes the movies with just a best picture nomination less prestigious but gives the best picture winner much more exposure and makes it that much better that it beat out ten other movies, unless the wrong movie wins then that'll just piss me off that much more. I think that category (or any category) for the oscars shouldn't limit their pickings for who will be nominated. I think any film that's good enough should be nominated even if it means ten movies will be nominated in one category this way no movie will be cheated. I really do think HAPPY-GO-LUCKY should have been nominated especially compared to the films that were nominated. But this does give a better possibility that unworthy movies have a less chance of winning unless there's mostly bad nominated movies. Maybe if it was this way the whole time movies like CRASH wouldn't of won.

Anonymous said...

PS You might want to learn the meaning of the word "hypocritical." Nothing I said about Monique's performance contradicted anything I said before. Genius. Here's a tip: www.dictionary.com

------------------

And you might want to learn to read did I say YOU were being hypocritical. I think not. I called you a bigot not hypocritical.


`Kayla

Wayne B. said...

I can't help but wonder if this is the first step in making more changes.

Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked at this point if "Precious" doesn't get in.

I wouldn't. The Academy doesn't care about fat black chicks.


Jennifer Hudson?

Anonymous said...

Here's another one oh it was so one-note. So was Javier Bardem and Heath Ledger (which I have no problem with). I hate Bigots, but I really hate the hypocritical ones.

`Kayla


The "bigot" you were addressing was me. Do you think we don't have eyes or reading comprehension? Lol, you ain't foolin' anyone, hon.

Anonymous said...

The "bigot" you were addressing was me. Do you think we don't have eyes or reading comprehension? Lol, you ain't foolin' anyone, hon.

Sweetie that was directed at people (on this site) that were complaining about a certain person winning an Oscar because of her one-note performance, but didn't do the same for Javier Bardem and Heath Ledger. Do you want me to name names???

Tyler j. Pratt said...

I think this will make the category even more competitive because more films that would never before have stood a chance at a nomination will be throwing their names into the fold and fighting for a nod. Theres never been any complaining when critics groups put out a top ten and then announce a winner, just think of it the same way.
These ten films are the ten best of the year according to this group the Oscars, and then the members of this group will vote for what they believe to be the best. I guarantee you that with this rule in place, votes will be split and there will be suprising winners as a result. With more possobilities to chose from, the likelyhood that Academy members will vote on their own personal favorite will skyrocket which is a good thing, rather than have members vote on the more popular movie when their favorite is not a choice on the ballot. I guarrantee that had this been in place last year with say The Dark Knight, Wall-e, The Wrestler, Doubt and Gran Torino as the other five, Slumdog Millionaire would not have been as much of a sure thing to win, especially since the older members could have gotten behind Gran Torino, while the Actors may have put their weight behind The Wrestler and all other groups could have came behind Wall-e or The Dark Knight.
With 10 nominees in place, voters would probably be more inclined to vote based on their own oppinion rather than succumb to a Slumdog like sheep mentality. And by doing this, the odds of a better movie or a more unique film winning would be exponentially greater.
Over at my blog The Oscar Hut, the first part of my State of The Race: Best Picture 2009 article is up detailing in alphabetical order the ten movies I think will be nominated, from Avatar to Up. Along with this article there are polls, reviews, predictions, site links and much more. So come check it out and let me know what you think wheter it be a sentence or a three page e-mail positive or negative, whatever it may be, only at The Oscar Hut

www.theoscarhut.blogspot.com
tjpratt@bellsouth.net

Joe Shetina said...

This is the first time I've followed Oscar season on the internet, so I feel I must ask. Is it always like this in June? I can't imagine what it's going to be like in February and March.

Anonymous said...

Well, if that's the case, whatever, how was I supposed to know? She called me a bigot and then ranted about hypocrisy. I also don't really see how Heath Leger's performance really relates to the topic. He was a maniacal Joker crime boss in real life? Um, ok.

Anonymous said...

I also don't really see how Heath Leger's performance really relates to the topic. He was a maniacal Joker crime boss in real life? Um, ok.


Ohmigod, I mentioned him in relation to his one-note performance as the Joker and that was me that responded with the Sweetie. I just threw the one note complaint in yours because I didn't want to open up a new can of worms. So I didn't name any names. Do You understand now????

~Kayla

Anonymous said...

I don't know, are you done with reading the worst into everything and shrieking about "bigots" like an angry harpy?

NoNo said...

This post is a hot mess! Afrika? Are you in here?

Anonymous said...

NoNO

Afrika doesn't like the Academy Award winner I was referring too. So obviously it isn't her.

~Kayla

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:23

Really, I didn't read the worst into the Topic at hand like almost everyone else and I definitely wasn't shrieking. So I don't know what you are getting at. Bigots run rampant on these websites, especially when oscar season comes. A lot of them don't realize that they are doing it. So yes, I like to call them out in hopes that they will be aware when they are being one. I just hate when they have double-standards you say you don't like one thing about a performance (usually about a minority) and then praise another one (White) with similar problems to the high heavens. That is flat out racism and I'm sick of it.


Back to the topic, Like I said I don't mind and let's see how it works. I don't see it being less exclusive I mean 10 out of 400 or so movies. Ummm not that exclusive if you ask me. Plus it's not like WE DON'T get crappy films in the line up each year anyway. So maybe this will be for the better. It'll certainly be harder to win. Maybe we will get more Foreign Langauge films or films like Wall-e. Who Knows.

`Kayla

NoNo said...

I know, I was just trying to lighten up the mood. She terrorizes awardsdaily and this site is friendlier in comparison. I don't know why they don't block her over there.

I hope a podcast/vodcast is done on this topic!

Anonymous said...

NoNo

LOl. She's horrible, she wants to complain about this person and the one she can't stands, but yet she's a huge fan of Beyonce AND HER ACTING.WTF.



`Kayla

Anonymous said...

I meant to say not that inclusive.lol








~Kayla

Anonymous said...

I would posit that Beyonce is a fantastic actress, and most of the criticism about her stems from either jealousy or not understanding the nuances she brings to the craft. Her work in Obsessed is seminal, but she is underrated because she is a strong woman with a big voice who is not afraid to be herself AND her characters as one. JHud stole Bey's Oscar, but that's ok - Ms. Knowles will have her own one day. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

Now that was Afrika. No regulars on this site would ever say something like that. And you are still talking about Jennifer like that you are pathetic.




`Kayla

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not Afrika. I'm just a conscientious movie viewer free of the prejudice many people bring with them to the cinema. Beyonce is a breathtaking beauty, has a captivating screen presence, and is regal and magnanimous like a mighty African queen, yet quiet and nuanced in her indelible performances. I think that a lot of haters get down on her because she is so young, beauteous, rich, and talented. She is all of those things, but at her deepest core she is an artist, truly.

Anonymous said...

I can see "Rabbit Hole" getting its release this year to try to capitalize on this. Who knows if next year will have 10 noms.

Juno101 said...

Um........Beyonce is a horrible actress. As a singer trying to do the actor thing she atleast did it better than some other people but nonetheless she's bad. The day she wins an oscar will be the day that the terrorists have won. Not literally but all hope is lost for the talented to be recognized. Jennifer Hudson is one of the main reasons as to why I lost respect to the oscars. She didnt deserve it, she didnt deserve to be nominated. It wasn't as if that user was full of bad actresses its just that the oscar voters were under the influence when admitting their votes. She just played a woman who was mad. A severe pathetic performance.

NoNo said...

Oh Gosh, why are Beyonce's fans so irritating. Why can't someone not like her because they don't like her? Why must people be jealous, haters, insecure? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

June 101, there were worst winners before Jennifer Hudson came along so I don't know why all of a sudden you lost respect after she won.Anyway harping on something that happened almost three years ago is a mute point ( I have a feeling you're still complaining because she's Black).And I liked her performance it wasn't bad at
all.


~Zee~

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is only a few minorities have been nominated over 80 years of Oscars Ceremony and only a few have won. Now you can feel that some of them were undeserved that is fine. But there are far more undeserved overrated wins from Whites and I don't see people still complaining about it.
I can see five years from now people will still be complaining about Slumdog Millionaire and Jhud, but seem to forget about Million Dollar Baby and Hilary Swank.

Nate
SO BACK THE FUCK UP!

Arkaan said...

Prediction One: The BFCA's will say they predicted this at their next awards show.

Prediction Two: AMPAS will still find a way to snub Pixar, just for the fun of it.

Prediction Three: This means that in previous years, Memoirs of a Geisha, Blood Diamond, Road to Perdition, Frida, March of the Goddamn Penguins, Bobby, Revolutionary Road, Cold Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Shipping News, Passion of the Christ, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Phantom of the Opera would be best picture nominees.

So would Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, WALL.E, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Rachel Getting Married, Happy-Go-Lucky, Talk to Her, Before Sunset, Bowling for Columbine, A History of Violence, Match Point and Children of Men.

And guess what? Films like I'm Not There, The Class, Zodiac, Marie-Antoinette, Lust/Caution, Assassination of Jesse James..., The Corporation, Infernal Affairs, Capturing the Friedmans, X2: X-Men United, The Company, Bloody Sunday, Summer Hours, The Royal Tenenbaums, Dogville, The 25th Hour, I Heart Huckabees, Raising Victor Vargas, 28 Days Later and The New World are still going to be ignored.

So which end of the seesaw do you end up on? Frankly, as much as I love many of those films, don't they seem more special because the oscars snubbed them? In what universe can these two groups be adequately stated as ... equal (which to be reductive, is what a best picture nomination would do).

I would rather keep it at five, but I'm willing to be wrong.

Arkaan said...

Anon @ 11:36 pm.

Yeah, no one complains about Al Pacino winning in 1992. Or Kate Winslet in 2008. Or Marion Cotillard in 2007. Or Nicole Kidman winning in 2002. Or Mary Goddamn Pickford in 1929. Seriously.

You know what. Never mind.

And my earlier post should read "the first two groups."

paco said...

i think people seem to be complaining a bit more because 2008 was a bit of a weak year

but can you imagine this in 2007, zodiac, the assasination, sweeney, 4 months, lust caution all those and others could have been best picture nominees and that doesnt seem too bad to me

Anonymous said...

Arkaan

Oh Please,it is NO WHERE NEAR as much as an outcry as when a minority wins. Trust me hardly any one mentions Marion a lot of people are happy that she won. Come next year hardly anyone will complain about Kate. So don't give me that fucking bullshit. More people harp on Denzel's Win than Al Pacino. Stay deluded if you want.


Nate

ringssinger said...

Good heavens! You're right Nathaniel, people are getting riled up awfully early this year. When did this blog turn into a rant about bigotry, hypocrisy and Beyonce's "acting talent"? I thought the Oscar Best Picture debate was a lot more stimulating. Oh well, this shocking decision is definitely going to make for an interesting season... Have fun, N!

Anonymous said...

When there are a bunch of bigots that read and comment on your site. Someone is bound to notice.







Nate

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