Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oscar Policy Change Discussion

Ten Best Picture Nominees? What is this, 1943? As Sam and Jordan discuss the new Oscar policy, we would like it stated that we are both anti-Nazi. Here's looking at you, kids!


  1. Well, for starters, I would like to say that I am a fan of the idea of 10 best picture nominees. While I don't honestly think it will change the winners (as the old guard that is the Academy's voting block will likely just overlook the 5 additional nominees anyway), I do think this will give some movies that deserve nomination a shot. For example, I thought it was a travesty last year that The Dark Knight and Wall-E weren't nominated for Best Picture (SPOILER ALERT, they came in at #1 and #3 on my top ten of last year respectively) and I can say with some certainty both would have made the list had their been 10 nominees. I also recognize this as a pretty clear bid for ratings by the academy, as the oscars have plummeted ratings wise over the last several years (mostly because the show has sucked. I mean Hugh Jackman mocking poverty?). Throwing in movies that more Americans actually see will undoubtedly boost the ratings, but I wonder if it might also compromise the Academy's integrity (or what little it has. I learned in 1997 when Titanic won Best Picture that I couldn't rely on the Academy as a bastion of merit). For example, Transformers 2 just broke some records at the box office. It may have been critically reviled, but if the Oscars want to boost their ratings badly enough, will we be seeing unjust nominations just because the films are popular? Coming next year: Best Picture nominated film Date Movie 2! While I doubt it will go anywhere near that far, I sort of like the Academy as an elitist ivory tower of entertainment. However I also think that there is such a thing as a comic book movie or a comedy that is worthy of AT LEAST a Best Picture nomination (I have said time and time again that The 40-Year-Old Virgin could easily have been nominated for Best Picture). So, to reiterate, I am in favor of the new policy, though I fear the Academy's motivations were less than pure.-Jordan

  2. Pros-

    -UP will get nominated for Best Picture- UP is the best movie I’ve seen this other and is almost a lock for my top ten movies of the year. I understand there is the Best Animated Feature which Pixar has been cleaning up but now’s their chance to take home the top prize.

    -Animated movies and comedies will have a shot in hell at taking home the big prize- As mentioned above, excellent animated pics like UP will be recognized for their achievement and the often underappreciated genre of comedy will definitely have a better showing at the Oscars this year. No, The Hangover will not be nominated, but I’m reminded of movies like Knocked Up that were truly great comedies that were immediately dismissed because they were comedies. Now there’s some space for them to get some recognition.

    -It will be easier to make a list of movies I need to see- I always use the best picture nominees to kind of guide me to movies that I should see if I hadn’t already seen them by Oscar time. Movies like Milk and Frost/Nixon from last year would have likely been skipped over by me if they had not been nominated


    -Movies that have no business being nominated will be forever labeled as “Best Picture Nominee”- While more movies get a shot at being recognized for their greatness, there will be some movies that will be nominated that have no business being up there. Think about it, should the 10th best movie of the year even deserve to be forever enshrined as a nominee?

    -This will make the Oscars longer- Sigh. That’s usually how I sound watching the Oscars broadcast (especially last year’s) because it is so goddamn long. Hopefully the Oscars will simply just say the nominees and then hand the statue to someone but I fear that there will be a three minute intro to each nominee then a two minute montage of the nominated film. That adds up to about an extra hour. No one needs that.

  3. Jordan, I almost completely agree with your evaluation. I think we generally see eye to eye on this one. Last year was a great example of movies being left off for their genre (Wall-E, Dark Knight). I don't think it will get as bad as the MTV movie awards as you allude to (but quickly deny thinking it will ever happen, thank god). I actually think we may see more of the opposite. We may be seeing more unknown movies that made zero dollars at the box office. I think popularity has effected past awards (Titanic) but for the most part i think the academy will try to keep out the real shit.

  4. Sam,
    My first thought reading this news was, "yay! Up will get nominated now!" Also, since we're speculating, I would say there is almost no doubt in my mind that Up will make my top ten of 2009. Another thing I didn't remember to point out in my post that I think is relevant: I find it interesting that they decided to up the nominee count in such a decidedly mediocre year for movies. Had they upped it in 2007, when we had one of the best years for movies in our lifetimes, I would have understood more. I didn't even think about the lengthening of the ceremony...son of a bitch. Guess I'll just have to drink my way through this year's. Hopefully they don't bring the "Ghosts of Nominees Past" feature back. That took forever, and when Adrien Brody didn't know eho Richard Jenkins was, it was just awkward (plus, Richard Jenkins is AMAZING, and was great in The Visitor!). Do you think adding more movies, and thus, theoretically at least, including animation and comedy as potential nominees will widen the field in other areas? I would love to see more great comedic performances recognized (Steve Coogan in Hamlet 2, for example).-Jordan

  5. I think they will try to keep out the real shit as well, but let's see this for what it is--a ratings grab. And some shitty movies make a ton of money because a ton of people go to see them. I worry that the Academy may have trouble telling the difference between The Dark Knight and Transformers 2 because they're too busy snobbily dismissing both as summer blockbusters.-Jordan

  6. Jordan, first they will not expand other categories or the oscars will last two days like the NFL fucking draft. I think you may be jumping the gun on how good or bad the year is. The summer has been weak but I am holding out hope for some movies (Public Enemies may be an Oscar contender now). I think The Road may be better than preivously thought. Where the Wild Things Are has great potential. I'm sure there are some unknowns. Who knows, maybe Terry will get a Nom?

  7. I don't mean that the other areas will have more nominees, just that other performances might get consideration. For example, if a comedy gets a Best Picture nomiation, do you think the star has a better chance at nabbing a Best Actor or Actress nomination? I LOVED The Road when it was a book, but the movie has been delayed so many times I'm worried it may suck. Hoping for the best though. I'm excited for Public Enemies, dying to see Where The Wild Things Are, and willing to kill to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, but I certainly hope the fall has more than two movies I want to see. Its true that most prestige movies don't get publicized until the fall though, so I may be jumping the gun calling this year mediocre.-Jordan

  8. interesting point concerning the road that my brother made was that while the movie got delayed till after oscar season last year (which to some made people think it was not an oscar caliber movie) a possibility was that it was not FINISHED. What gives me hope is that the release date is set for fall of this year meaning they think it is a good movie. if it truly was bad they would release it now or a bit earlier this year (much like the soloist which made the move from fall release to early '09 release b/c it was not supposed to be best picture material)

  9. Needless to say, we'll be reviewing The Road upon its release. And in the name of shameless self promotion (and by way of shoving my foot into my own mouth as I get pretty excited about some of the movies on this line-up) here are the movies we intend to review for the month of July:

    Public Enemies
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    Funny People

    For better or worse, the next month should be interesting...-Jordan