Academy Trims Fat on Best Picture Category

This morning, reported an interesting change to how the Academy Awards will be done this year. Rather than having 10 nominees for the Best Picture category, it will now be anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees. The way this works is that if a film gets 5% or more of the first place votes by the Academy it will be nominated for the category. This will result in less films getting nominated in most cases, unless they are really deserving by the Academy’s standards.

This is a great idea. Prior to 2009, there were only 5 nominees and some audience favorites were left out every year so that the Academy could nominate the more artsy films. The best example of this was in 2008. Slumdog Millionaire won best picture, which it mostly deserved. What other movies are memorable that were nominated that year? Okay The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but is anyone really still talking about the other three nominees? To remind you they were Frost/Nixon, Milk, and The Reader. They were all good movies but there were three other great movies that failed to get nominations: The Dark Knight, Wall-E, and The Wrestler. These three films are still frequently talked about today. The new process that the Academy is taking will allow films like these, that do not necessarily appeal to Academy voters as much as they do to audiences, to get nominations.

After an outcry after 2008’s snubs, the Academy decided to upgrade the number of nominations to 10. This proved to be too many as smaller films that did not even receive that much success got Best Picture nominations. Sandra Bullock was amazing in The Blind Side, but the movie itself was not that great. Also, how many people actually saw An Education? Yet, great movies like District 9 and Up got the light of day with this new nomination process. It was still too much though. Last year, the Academy nominated another 10 films and I thought that the films chosen were fair, but it still could have been narrowed down a bit further.

This new process seems to be foolproof in making sure that the best films get nominated while pleasing audiences. I am looking forward to see how this works out come next years nomination period.

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~ by mattsmoviethoughts on June 15, 2011.

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