' ' Cinema Romantico: Much Ado About Nothing

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

Yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in all its infinite wisdom, announced it will be increasing the number of Best Picture nominees each year from five to ten, causing quite the uproar. You'd think the Academy had decided to remake "Bonnie and Clyde" or something.

(Wait, that's already happening. Why did I remind myself of that?!)

What does this mean? Theoretically it means the Academy yearns to recognize more quality film. In the words of Bruce Davis, the Academy's executive director, "the show's producers, Larry Mark and Bill Condon, expressed a regret that the (Best Picture) nominations couldn't provide a better indication of the whole range of a year's best work."

Really? "The whole range of a year's best work", you say? Not sure I believe you 100% there, Bruce. Oh, perhaps "The Dark Knight" would have been nominated last year in a field of ten but do I really think "Rachel Getting Married" would have received a nod over, say, "Revolutionary Road"? Or forget my favorite movie last year, readers, and think about your favorite movie from last year. Do you really think that in a field of ten your favorite movie would have received a nod over "Revolutionary Road"?

Would "Once" have been nominated back in 2007 for Best Picture?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Hold it...I'm still laughing.

....Still laughing.

Okay. I'm good now. My favorite part, though, is Academy President Sid Ganis who, in relation to this event, declared, "Everybody says the academy will never nominate a comedy. Well, maybe we will."

As they say, Sid, I'll believe it when I see it.

Basically, my point is this: next year when they reveal the Oscar nominations I guarantee you the first comment of critics across the country will go something like "You know, the Academy said it wanted to give a better indication of the year's best work so why is (this) nominated and why is (that) nominated instead of (this) and (that)?" You know it. I know it. We all know it.

The Academy is an exclusive country club that has done a better job in recent years admitting some more motley members so long as those motley members have had box office success (see: "Slumdog Millionaire", "Little Miss Sunshine"). But the major players in Hollywood take care of one another. They will continue to take care of one another. Five, ten, fifteen, forty nominees, doesn't matter. All that changes is the amount of time it will take the presenter to read them.

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