A Continuation of My Praise of the Oscars’ New “Best Picture” Voting Process

The 2010 Oscar Nominees were announced today and I seek to defend my previous praise of the expansion of the “Best Picture” category to include ten nominees instead of the usual five. Without further ado, the ten nominees are:
Academy Awards Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Based on Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominees/winners and general Oscar “buzz,” Avatar, Up in the Air, and The Hurt Locker were shoo-ins to be nominated and Precious was pretty close to one. If we’re in the five-nominee system that leaves one more nomination and two NPI favorites: Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man. One of those movies would most likely not have been nominated and would have no chance at winning “Best Picture.” Yes, with the expansion to ten nominees we get the inclusion of the undeserving The Blind Side and the filth known as Up*.

*Admittedly, I wasn’t this negative in my review of “Up.” For dramatic effect, I plan on escalating my dislike of the film until the Academy Awards at which point I will likely exclaim that “Up” is “arguably the worst film of all time.

But, films like Avatar and Up in the Air—which are by no means in the highest class of films this year—would have been nominated anyway. Does including other subpar films dilute the nominee list? Sure. But, the harm that flows from a film that deserves to win not even getting nominated is far worse than the harm that flows from a few extra films being nominated. So, while we should shake our heads at a film like Up being nominated, we should simultaneously sigh in relief that Inglourious Basterds and  A Serious Man made the cut and actually have a chance to win it all.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dan on February 2, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    And we should shake our heads extra hard at Avatar being nominated. To further my point from before, if Avatar was a book, nobody would make the mistake of including it on a list of best long novels.*

    *Also, if Avatar was a book, absolutely nobody would like it since especially no aspect of it would be interesting in book form.


  2. I am always disappointed that they only include American films. Still “Avatar” is a great movie, and not as simple as all the critics are (rather stupidly) saying.


  3. Posted by doc on February 2, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    I just saw Avatar this weekend at an IMAX 3D theater – starts out very strong in its storyline and animation and peters out by the middle with a predictable and simple story. But, I had the same feeling when I saw Star Wars and it has received much acclaim over the years. Much like Star Wars, Avatar has changed the face of the cinema. Here’s a sports (NBA) analogy – Pistol Pete Maravich was one of the great one on one offensive players, but he sucked at everything else. Maravich could pass and shoot outside better than anyone I have ever seen. He could not play defense, but changed the NBA game to what it is today (shitty one on one). And he is now considered “One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History “.


    p.s. it’s going to be one long ass Academy Awards show.


  4. Posted by Douglas on February 2, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Is Avatar really the most objectionable film on that list? I mean, for Christ’s sake, The Hurt Locker was directed by a woman! What the fuck is that about? What, did they have to shoot it the same weekend as the Super Bowl? Hell, I would have directed the damn thing if I had known they were resorting to a woman. And if I had directed it, it would have been sweet and about football, not about some guy who gets off on adrenaline…I mean The Hurt Locker? More like Crank 3, am I right?


  5. Posted by Wey on February 3, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    So Kathryn Bigelow (somewhat foxy for 58 btw) gets nominated for The Hurt Locker but we get ne’er a peep from the academy after K-19: The Widowmaker…

    Am I the only one who thinks this is beyond hypocritical???


  6. Posted by Tim on February 4, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    I’m not totally against expansion–contrary to my thoughts on the NCAA Tournament–but was 10 at all necessary? A simple move to six would have seemed to suffice; how many years have people been outraged of the exclusion of three or four films from the list? (It seems akin to people complaining Saint Mary’s and Penn State didn’t make the NCAA Tournament last year and the Committee coming back with, “True, we’ll make room for them…and 29 other teams.”)


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