Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Best Pictures

From Tinseltown comes word that the Academy Awards are turning back the clock and allowing 10 pictures to contend for Best Picture, rather than five, which is how it's been since 1944. This means that audience favorites like The Dark Knight will get a shot, and pictures like WALL-E, scrap-heaped to the so-called "animation ghetto," may crawl their way out. Which will of course goose ratings.

On the plus side, it may also give well-regarded indies and movies that just missed it (like Revolutionary Road) a chance in the limelight. On the downside, it diminishes the prestige of the nomination, and has the potential to add God knows how many more minutes to the telecast. In an off year will there be a top 10 to nominate? (In an on year these days are there really five? 2009 isn't shaping up to be another 1939.) I assume that one reason the number was halved originally was to prevent the less-than-immortal One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) and One Foot in Heaven (1941) from getting one foot in the door toward Oscar gold.

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