Oscars Best Picture token gesture?
The news is that the Academy Awards is upping the number of nominees from five to ten for the Best Picture category, and my initial thought that this was a mere token gesture to the film fans who were more than outraged that The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) never got nominated, and that's something that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors admitted to.
So we're going to see another five films nominated, but if we were to look at last year, we'd probably still see the same winners and the same amount of winners, so token gesture it is, or perhaps there's something more to it?
The story from The Hollywood Reporter tells us that the increase is happening and that the Academy president Sid Ganis suggested that sometimes it could be even more.
This isn't new though, this is what used to happen some time back, 1943 was the last time in fact, and that the all important Dark Knight conversation came up when they were discussing this return to more than just five nominees.
Let's look at the bad side first. If we took the example of last year we would see The Dark Knight get a mention but the same winners would most likely have won. Some would say that if The Dark Knight had been nominated then the film might have had a chance, but let's stop to think that they didn't nominate it in the first place, I don't believe for a second that even in a field of ten it would have been any more than in the bottom five nominations. That's not my personal opinion of the film, that's just what most likely would have happened.
There's also something else to this, it's to give films more publicity and to allow more films to carry those words "Oscar nominated". That will help marketing a little and also help promote the careers of those involved in the film, so it means more box office returns.
That's where the good side comes in too, more films will get better exposure and be seen by more people, but again it comes down to the ten films that the board decide to choose for the nominees.
You know I'd rather there was no number limit on any of the nominations, you can't decide before the films are made for the year that there are going to be ten good ones, no more, no less. I think what they should do is not have a number limit on any of the categories, and they should decide which are the best films to go into the nominations come the time, not before the films are made.
I like the idea that they open it up from five nominations, in fact from any pre-numbered amount, but just saying five more for every year to come isn't a good decision for me. What do you think? Is it a token gesture, or something better?