Sunday, July 5, 2009

5 reasons why I MIGHT like the Oscars again!

Recently the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they are expanding the Best Picture field from five nominees to ten. This announcement couldn’t make me happier and here’s why…

5. THINGS ARE GOING TO GET A LOT MORE INTERESTING: Look, very rarely do I agree with what wins the Best Picture Oscar. To make matters worse pretty early on I can get a good bead on what’s going to win. As such watching the Oscar telecast becomes almost academic, there are very few surprises and I spend over three hours just waiting for the inevitable. Ten nominee’s means there’s twice as many ways the vote could split. As such I’m hoping that adds some much needed drama to the increasingly stale telecast.

4. DIVERSITY: Speaking of diversity the expansion of the Best Picture field could very well lead to a bit more diversity and originality in the other categories. Most of the time the five Best Picture nominees also tend to get the lion’s share of the nominees in all the other major categories. With ten films now vying for the top spot this should throw a little more attention towards the kind of films that are far too often completely overlooked. If there had been ten nominees last year I can’t help but think that IRON MAN might have been one of them. As such maybe the Academy could have thrown a little love towards Robert Downey Jr.’s Oscar caliber performance as Tony Stark. It will be more than a bit refreshing to not have to see the same people and the same kind of roles get nominated over and over again.

3. THE OSCARS WILL BECOME RELEVANT AND FUN ONCE MORE: The Academy can make all the excuses it wants but they dropped the ball big time last year and they know it. People used to actually care about the Oscars because it wasn’t a stuck-up affair, rewarding good, but ultimately not very far-reaching films. At one point it didn’t matter WHAT kind of film it was, it just had to be good and as such films like STAR WARS, ALIENS, JAWS and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK were nominated. These were movies that people LOVED because they were good and thrillingly entertaining. Now a-days the Oscars look like nothing more than a bigger budget version of the Independent Spirit Awards and the show’s ratings reflect it. If this rule had been put into place last year films like THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE WRESTLER, TROPIC THUNDER, IN BRUGES, and GRAN TORINO might have made the cut. Each of these was a spectacular film and intrinsically unique. The giant blockbusters would have brought viewers to the TV sets and films like RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE WRESTLER and IN BRUGES would have added some spice to the predictable spate of biopics, tear-jerkers and Oscar bait. I and I think almost everyone else in America is tired of seeing the same sorts of films get nominated year after year and I can’t help but think this decision will assist in changing that.

2. MORE GOOD MOVIES WILL GET MADE: OK, here’s the big one. Whether we all like it or not Hollywood is primarily driven by one thing and one thing only; MONEY! The reason studios make movies is because they think said films will bring them a nice bit of coin. It is this very thinking that may make the Academy’s decision one of the best in recent memory. Save for most of the films that were nominated last year a Best Picture nomination almost always means money for the studio releasing the film. Almost every film that gets nominated for Best Picture gets a pretty nice bump at the box office because people want to rush out and see what all the fuss is about. Now that studios know their chances of getting this very lucrative financial bonus have doubled if they make a good enough movie I think we’ll see a lot more people in Hollywood swinging for the fences. I wish I could say this was all going to happen because of a devotion to artistic integrity and wanting to raise the standards by which the art from is judged, but we all know that’s a load of bull. This decision means twice as many films can make quite a bit more money and as such I think you’ll start seeing filmmakers and studios putting a little extra effort into their craft. Most of them know they probably won’t win but if they can get a better return on their investment I can’t help but think they might start trying just a little harder. People can bitch and moan all they want about how this dulls the meaning of the Best Picture nominee but I don’t think they’re seeing the big picture. People may actually begin caring about the Oscars again and because of that we may actually start to see a better crop of pretty spectacular films come out each year. Bottom line, I think this move means we’re going to be blessed with better movies in the years to come and if you’re a fan of cinema I don’t see how you can not like that.

1. BEAM ME UP OSCAR: And finally, perhaps best of all, if the year continues like it has this move means there’s a pretty good chance STAR TREK will get nominated for Best Picture! I highly doubt it’ll win but I can’t think of a film more deserving of the honor. I mean after all, it’s only… logical.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Almost Oscar time now!