June 24, 2009

My take on the Best Picture Nomination Field expanding to 10 films...

Right now, I am as shocked as everyone else is about this announcement, as we really didn't see it coming (much as we might have been hoping for some kind of reform, to some degree) or expect this big a change. The question now is the quality of the change. I for one think it could go either way. It's the proverbial double edged sword.
-On the one hand, the Academy now has the opportunity to recognize and nominate (and potentially award) films that are far more diverse, daring, and frankly...better. The days of mediocre dramas that fit the bill of being Best Picture nominees but aren't actually good enough getting nominated might be over. We could see action films, comedies, cartoon, documentaries, and any other out of the norm film grab a nomination.
-On the other hand though, there are no promises that this will happen. The Academy only has the opportunity to make better choices. We don't know that they will. They could pick 10 mediocre movies instead of 5 just as easily as they could shake things up.
-Look at it this way, if last year we had 10 nominees, the extra five could have been:
The Dark Knight
WALL-E
The Wrestler
Iron Man
Rachel Getting Married
-However, the other five could have easily been:
Changeling
Gran Torino
Doubt
The Dutchess
Defiance
-One equals change, one doesn't. This makes for a very interesting Oscar year, but we won't know yet if it's a better one or not. What do you think?

38 comments:

  1. i think this is a very well written response, so thanks Joey...i agree and hope for the best, but will be preparing for the worst...

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  2. Yeah, I agree with your points, as I think it represents the general consensus. The decision, however perplexing, has been made, so now all that's left is to sit back and see what happens.

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  3. couldn't agree more...sigh

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  4. With 5 or 10 choices, the power still rest in the hands of the Academy members. We don't know how they will vote in any given year, so your criticism is spot on. It's my fear, and probably the fear of most people who follow the awards circuit. I hope the change was implemented to not only expand the nominees, but the type of nominees. With 10 spots, it should include the best movies from different genres. But, if they could not get it right with five, who's to say they'll get it right with 10. Maybe they need 15 nominees.

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  5. I'm still stunned, but I appreciate the fine coverage you Joey have given, along with Keith's earlier post (which i'm about to comment on)
    -Matt

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  6. agreed Keith
    -Matt

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  7. very apt guesses on what the 10 slots might have looked like last year

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  8. thanks guys, and yes...this is going to be interesting, if nothing else

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  9. im pretty sure i just did this with the previous blog.

    Kai

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  10. pretty much, but it's good to hear from more than one person

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  11. ...since i had been wondering what Joey had to say (same poster as above)

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  12. wonder what they'll end up picking to frustrate us now

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  13. i've been hoping for this for a long time...now, not so sure i want it

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  14. indeed, obviously we're sort of all on the same page at this point

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  15. true, i imagine that will change soon enough

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  16. I'm glad I got to hear your take on this Joey, I read your work enough that I was curious

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  17. imagine if TDK or any of the other examples we've been given weren't anywhere in the top 10? how scary is that?
    -Jeff

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  18. Thanks anonymous, and Jeff...yea, that does bug me a little....also, it's odd to think that there might never again be a Lone Director nod

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  19. once we gain some distance, i wonder if we'll be happier with this or not?

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  20. I'm a bit cynical and think they've probably only done it to get extra ratings - imagine what their ratings might have been if TDK had been nominated for Picture last year?

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  21. i think it changes nothing, we'll just have moe interesting losers

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  22. it's for ratings, get over it and move on!!!!

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  23. From now on, studios can make movies almost assured to get nominated...

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  24. From now on, studios can make movies almost assured to get nominated...

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  25. who said it was from now on...it might just be for this one year, maybe a couple, wouldnt surprise me if they go back to 5 before 2020.

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  26. I think it just means a little less predictability at the oscar, more surprise is always good. No matter how much I loved Slumdog it was kind of boring by the end and lets face it the academy has ruined the idea of being nominated as some sort of honor, so the more the merrier, for me at least.

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  27. Everybody is missing the point with the expansion. The problem is not with what gets nominated but with choosing the actual Best Picture. There aren't all that many Acaademy voters in the first place. With ten films in contention the split will all over the place. This allows for much smaller "voting blocks" within the academy to influence the outcome of the night. Look back at those old lists in the 30's and early 40's and see the films that DIDN'T win. We would have never had a film like "No Country for Old Men" win if there were ten nominees.

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  28. To the most recent Anonymous-
    I don't really agree there...since we don't know the margin of victory for any film, there's no real way of knowing how things would change...I'm of the contention that the winner will still be the same, the only difference here is more (interesting?) losers

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  29. agreed Joey...no one knows how close these races are, a movie could win by 1 vote or by an absolute landslide!

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  30. wonder how this affects foreign films...

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  31. good point
    -Matt

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  32. imagine if this year all 5 director slots are women!

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  33. Doubtful...3 at most, and even that is pushing it
    -Matt

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  34. Agreed Joey. I don't think it's going to alter the outcomes, as such.

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  35. indeed Matthew...mostly, predicting has changed, the ratings will likely go up, and more films we like (hopefully) will have a shot, though they same movies will still win...I don't see the vote split being severe enough to give a dark horse a win

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  36. glad to see the sidebar predix on the blog expanded to 10...will the main page follow?

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  37. i think we all need to let this one go now...

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