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.