Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Academy Rules Allow 10 Best Picture Nominees

"The 82nd Academy Awards, which will be presented on March 7, 2010, will have 10 feature films vying in the Best Picture category, Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis announced today (June 24) at a press conference in Beverly Hills."
Last year there was a brush up regarding the omissions of Wall-E and The Dark Knight. Many thought that The Reader unjustly took the spot owed to the Batman blockbuster. I did not hold that view since The Reader fit the mold of usual Academy honored films. Also, it was a very good film from a director with an excellent track record.

The 10 nominated films in 1939 mentioned in the press release pose a hefty - impossible - feat to duplicate. Eight of the 10 are well known classics today. Many will also call at least one film from this nominated group as one of their all-time favorites. Also, there were more than five nominees in other technical and artistic categories then too. The situation may arise were several films will only have one nomination (Best Picture) under the current voting rules.
1939 Nominees

Dark Victory -- Warner Bros.-First National
Gone with the Wind -- Selznick International Pictures
Goodbye, Mr. Chips -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Love Affair -- RKO Radio
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- Columbia
Ninotchka -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Of Mice and Men -- Hal Roach (production company)
Stagecoach -- Walter Wanger (production company)
The Wizard of Oz -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Wuthering Heights -- Samuel Goldwyn Productions

I don't blame them for wanting to invite more people to the party. With this many nominees, you may actually see a Best Picture producer coming down from the balcony of the Kodak Theater to accept the trophy. However, in recent years the audience for the ABC broadcast of the annual awards show has shrunk in size. The exceptions for the recent trend were years when blockbusters like Titanic or Return of the King were front runners for trophies. ABC pays a hefty licencing fee to the Academy for the exclusive rights to the show. I feel the reason for the change has as much to do with the money the Academy counts on for operating income as it does for the need for added inclusion. The Golden Globes already nominates 10 films (5 Drama, 5 Musical/Comedy) per year. The pressure is now on for the fall to put out some stellar films.

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