For Your Consideration: ‘The Hangover'?!

When I was six, I played soccer. My team stunk, but we always got a trophy just for participating. That's where the Academy is headed now that it has announced that 10 movies will be in competition for best picture. Don't like that analogy? OK, how's this — the Academy is officially going the way […]

When I was six, I played soccer. My team stunk, but we always got a trophy just for participating.

That's where the Academy is headed now that it has announced that 10 movies will be in competition for best picture.

Don't like that analogy? OK, how's this — the Academy is officially going the way of the Golden Globes. And that used to be blasphemy, heresy, whatever.

But by inviting more people to the party, AMPAS has diluted the value of getting a nomination, which is everything in Hollywood.

Ten movies? Are there really 10 movies every year that should get a best picture nomination?

Think about it … For Your Consideration: "The Hangover."

Let's take 2008. The overall consensus is that "The Dark Knight" and "Wall-E" were reasonable contenders that missed the cut. So that takes the total to seven, along with "The Reader," "Benjamin Button," "Milk," "Frost/Nixon" and eventual winner "Slumdog Millionaire."

But really now, were there tons of people who were shocked, upset or angry over "The Visitor" not getting a nom? Or "The Wrestler"?

Over the years, the one constant at the Academy was its prestige and its appropriate arrogance. Five nominees in every category meant the contenders had be really good. That doesn't mean I liked them all, but five is a small lot.

Nominating everyone really waters that down.

There's no argument that the reasons seem like good ones on paper.

 

Why not make the industry happy? It would be wonderful to have the Pixar team in the mix for best picture … as well as critically lauded tentpoles like "Star Trek" or a "Harry Potter" installment.

 

And the biggest reason of all is a valid one, since this is a business: Ratings have stunk, and this is a way to get more eyeballs.

But, mixing my years here, can you imagine a year in which "Schindler's List" goes up against "Knocked Up"?

That's not an unlikely possibility. A 10-movie list means well-reviewed things like "Wedding Crashers" could be a contender for Best Picture.

Say that out loud.

Look, isn't snubbing part of the fun? When "Dreamgirls" was "supposed" to be a guaranteed winner — but didn't even get a nomination — wasn't that part of the whole process?

Now the only thing to ponder will be … who was number 11.

Ugh. 

  • danny boy

    Why is it such a bad idea – you assume that it would be more commercial or non-worthy films sharing the limelight. There are 100s of films each year, not just from the US that are worthy of recognition – and a great comedy should be able to get in there if it is truly a great piece of cinema, not just because it is popular. (In fact i think you would see more comedies at the Oscars with more screenplay and actor nominations rather than best picture nominations)

    One thing to remember is that the way the initial voting goes to get the nominations, the top five may have only got a small percentage of the overall Academy voters as it is split over so many titles – well every title that year. With 10 titles we might actually get a better view of not more commercial films, but of many films that narrowly miss the cut.

  • The Business

    10 isn't that much less exclusive as 5. And, once nominated, winning the grand prize is even more valuable because the film was the best of ten and it's far less likely for an obvious winner.

    Look at some of the classic movies that have have been nominated for best picture in the past: 1982 Tootsie, 1976 Rocky, 1965 The Sound of Music, 1977 Star Wars, 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc… – these films would have never had a chance with today's Academy only selecting 5 films.

    Broadening the nominated slate of films benefits everyone.

  • Film Snob

    You've got it exactly right. If everyone is special, then no one is. 2009 isn't 1939 and there is hardly a surfeit of award-worthy film out there. Box Office does not equal achievement, no matter how much cellar-dwelling fanboys want to make it so. Today's LA Times actually held out the possibility of a nom for Tropic Thunder. Gah!

    The decline of the Academy Awards and loss of prestige accelerated when Crash won Best Picture. Whatta piece o’ crap!!

  • bazz

    A mini-series is in the works for sure: “Join us tomorrow night for the third and final installment of the 82nd Academy Awards.”

  • Ben Bochner

    The Oscars is already a marketing device. It's like complaining that Burger King was diluting the allure of the Whopper by introducing the Junior Whopper.

  • Emily Steinman

    You rock, everything you say is gospel. You are da man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!