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buckyboy28's avatar

TEN Best Picture nominations?! What are they trying to prove?

Asked by buckyboy28 (4925 points ) February 3rd, 2010

I thought that the whole point of the Academy Awards was to pick out the cream of the crop, not just every movie that got 4 star ratings by Ebert.

Is this going to be every year now, or do you think it is just a one year thing?

on a side note, I really hope that Avatar doesn’t win Best Picture

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14 Answers

trumi's avatar

And most of them weren’t that great! I mean, Up in the Air and A Serious Man were good, but by no means “The Best Film of the Year”, and District 9 sucked! It seems like they’re nominating movies just to nominate, not because they were real contenders.

I have no interest in seeing The Blind Side, and after reading Anthony Lane’s description of Precious I don’t want to see that either. I still need to see Avatar and An Education, but for the most part I’ve been disappointed by the Oscar picks.

Best film of the year was Inglourious Basterds, followed by The Hurt Locker. I’m a big fan of Fantastic Mr. Fox as well.

erichw1504's avatar

It’s going to be The Hurt Locker. I don’t get the whole 10 nomination thing either.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah that’s strange. On the radio they even said that some Mary J. Blige song wouldn’t be nominated because it wasn’t “mainstream enough”. It’s just a big popularity contest I guess for this one too. I do think Avatar had a predictable plot, but it had a good message so I hope it’s being nominated for that instead of the plot and graphics.

buckyboy28's avatar

I’m convinced that part of Avatar’s $300,000,000 budget was to hire a personal butler for each of the voters in the Academy.

njnyjobs's avatar

Duh . . . voting is a popularity contest . . . Members of the academy vote on their favorites….and what’s popular is probably positively liked, hence the nominations.

Likeradar's avatar

I think it might have to do with economics. The theater business is suffering, and people tend to go see movies that have been nominated. Maybe it was just an attempt to get people to spend their money in the theater.

aprilsimnel's avatar

There’s been complaints over the years that the Academy only votes for film wankery and ignores the films the public actually pays to see. Nobody went to see The Piano, even after it won Best Picture, for example.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

10 Best Picture Nominations and not a single one for Shaving Ryan’s Privates. Oh, maybe that came out last year.

andrew's avatar

The reason they have 10 films this year is to increase the likelihood that you have seen one of the films, and thus, are more likely to watch the awards ceremony.

It’s a ratings thing.

efritz's avatar

The Academy’s trying to spread the love around, by giving some lesser-known films a boost, and at the same time getting more people to watch the awards ceremony by nominating popular movies. Not all mainstream is bad, only most.

There was also the whole uproar over The Dark Knight getting shafted last year, so I think this is their idea of a solution.

Oh, and I hope Inglourious Basterds wins. And Avatar loses everything, except maybe some technology awards that nobody cares about.

filmfann's avatar

@andrew is right. Usually it’s 5 films you haven’t seen. Now, it’s 8 or 9 you haven’t seen.
I know I will end up seeing more movies because they were nominated. They know people do that.

Adagio's avatar

In my estimation Film Festival prizes are far more indicative of a film’s worthiness

Jeruba's avatar

My vote’s with @andrew‘s explanation.

Awards events are huge moneymakers. Increasing the number of contenders for prizes will theoretically increase viewership, and increased viewership translates into increased advertising revenues. In other words, it’s simply about greed. Surprise!

crazyivan's avatar

I think it’s important to add that this isn’t unprecedented. When the Academy awards began in 1928 there were 5 nominations for “Best Picture” and 5 more for something akin to “Best Artistic Achievement in Film” or something along those lines. In other words, best artsy flick. Over the first few years these categories bled together until, by 1933 they had 10 nominations for Best Picture (or whatever they were calling it at the time). This was in a time when there were far fewer movies to select from and that led to similar complaints that unworthy films were being selected.

They paired it back to 5 pretty quickly. By 1944 (the year after they got it right for the 1st time) they were back to 5 films and that’s where it’s been ever since.

That caveat aside, it is clearly an attempt to gain ratings. Nobody in the know had any illusions that Avatar or District 9 were going to win (thank God), but a lot of people who might not otherwise have followed the Oscars tuned in convinced that somehow one of these crapfests would be the first sci-fi to ever win Best Picture.

Apparently it worked because ratings were far higher. It probably helped that they took the whole “get somebody to host the show that doesn’t suck morbidly” thing seriously. It pissed me off when I first heard about it, but anybody who follows the Oscars could have paired it down to the five that were the “real” nominations (Inglorious Basterds, Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, Precious and An Education) and which were the fluff to attract viewers. If it works, power to them. Ratings on the Oscars had been in free-fall leading up to this and it doesn’t cost any more to nominate a few more flicks.

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