Saturday, July 4, 2009
Ten is the New Five
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made news last week with their announcement that they were widening the Best Picture race from five to ten nominees. Wide uproar spread across the internet from countless cinephiles. While I do think the new rule is simply a gimmick and I'm not entirely sold on how much of a difference it truly is going to make, I noticed that no one is looking at the positives of such a change, they're simply looking at the negatives.
Last year many fans and critics alike were outraged when the Academy opted for films such as The Reader and Doubt rather than critical and commercial hits like Wall-E and The Dark Knight (two far better films in my own opinion). Was this the reason as to why they instituted this new rule? Part of me thinks this is, and while it's a shame that those films didn't get nominated, this new rule will most likely ensure that this will never happen again. This rule makes entirely possible for big films like Star Trek, Up, Where the Wild Things Are, Avatar, and possibly even Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I hope), to potentially break into the Oscar race and wind up with a Best Picture nom. Hey, with ten nominees they have to fill it with something and why not give a shout out to something like Harry Potter, it could happen.
As well this new rule will most likely spice up an event that has been getting fairly stagnant the past few years. By widening the race it may make it harder for little indie films such as Little Miss Sunshine and Juno to fight their way into the competition, making more of a testament of their storytelling if they manage to come up with a nomination rather than just giving them a nom for the sake of it.
I am entirely behind this new move, I think it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. While it does have its drawbacks, people need to simply look at its positives to see all of the exciting potential that this move can have.
P.S. Stay tuned in the coming days cause I will soon be starting a series of retrospectives looking back a the first five films in the Harry Potter franchise in celebration for the July 15th release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, culminating in my pre and then post-movie thoughts on the latest Potter adventure.