For months now, people have been reciting various reasons why the 10-Wide Best Picture field is a bad idea. For all the chatter no one has yet talked about the most harmful effect of this decision: armchair and professional punditry has slipped, perhaps irrevocably, into insanity. The world has entirely forgotten what the Oscars are like or, rather, what they like. In the summer everyone seemed convinced that totally atypical films like Star Trek (X), The Hangover and District 9 were Best Picture likely. The new 'Best Pic Nominee To Be' is This Is It, the Michael Jackson documentary. [I've tried not to mention this article for well over 48ish hours but I've finally caved because it's been haunting my thoughts ever since. Share in the daymares with me!] That prediction comes despite the fact that Michael Jackson has never even been so much as a songwriting Oscar nominee and no documentary has ever performed that trick. In fact, I'm not sure you'd even be able to find a documentary that has managed more than 2 nominations -- on extremely rare occasions they'll cross over into the song field (An Inconvenient Truth) or maybe editing (Hoop Dreams). Unless Elizabeth Taylor gets 1000 ballots, I don't see this happening for Best Picture.
On a less provocative note, I told ya so on the animated nominees. I knew there'd be five. There's always more contenders than we're aware of... and it's always from the foreign cartoons as I've been saying all year. Why does no one listen to me? I need a new publicist. I'm smart about these things*.
*most of the time at least. if i'm wrong about any of those four pictures above... I will definitely say my mea culpas in February.