Hey, good news! There’s now a chance TRANSFORMERS II can be nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of the Year! Same for LAND OF THE LOST. There will now be ten nominees for Best Picture instead of five. Hollywood is still reeling from this “bombshell” (as Academy President Sid Ganis put it).
Why the change?
Ratings for the Oscarcast suck. The all-important young people aren’t watching. So the Academy is changing their long-standing policy to be more like the MTV Movie Awards.
The argument of course, is moviegoers don’t care about the Oscars because the nominees are all art films, usually depressing, and co-star Judi Dench in at least four of them. Films like YEAR ONE get passed over whenever there’s a Holocaust entry. So to increase desired-demographic interest the Academy will now cast a wider net allowing summer popcorn fare to join the Oscar party.
The big question of course is – are there even ten good movies a year? Will GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST actually receive consideration?
The truth is these mainstream movies for the most part will just become schmuck bait. The SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRES and dreary Paul Thomas Anderson films will still be the main contenders. STAR TREK and G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA may now get nominations but who are we kidding?
You’d think Hollywood would be thrilled by this announcement but they're not. This just means they have to spend more money on Oscar campaigns, money they can now ill afford to waste. “For Your Consideration: DANCE FLICK”. Might as well make paper hats with that campaign allotment.
The studios have been scaling back their Oscar campaigns, not only because of the economy but because Oscar nominations don’t bring people into the Cineplex like they once did. And now they’re going to have to fend off the producers of IMAGINE THAT who feel they deserve some love?
This also may backfire for the Academy because it means the Oscarcast will be that much longer. We’ll have to see clips from CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE. The show’s too long by several hours as it is.
But members of the Academy must be thrilled. More nominees mean MORE SCREENER DVDS!! Why rent ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS for the kids when you can get a copy for free? The housekeepers of L.A. will be able to see all their favorite movies now, not just Sean Penn fare.
I’m just glad there weren’t ten nominees in 1985. I’d hate to think VOLUNTEERS would be shut out while PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE got a Best Picture nod.
Monday, June 29, 2009
By Ken Levine at 8:50 PM