Hollywood Parties Like It's 1939
But I do know something about movies--I've even seen some--so let's talk about those. Today the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (or AMPAS, which only sounds like it should be pronounced Ample Ass) announced it's going to have 10 films nominated for Best Picture starting next year. Surely that means even better best films will win the Oscar; after all, 11 Republicans ran for President in 2008 and look how that turned out. Plus, that means the cinematic equivalent of Duncan Hunter can soon say "Oscar nominated." Basically, I think this change means the Razzies are out of business.
Of course Hollywood sees this as a win-win-winfinitum. More films get to brag. More ad campaigns get to be run. (Yes, this might mean that someday soon all that will be left of the LA Times is the Envelope tab. Joe Pulitzer is more-or-less on permanent rotisserie in his grave.) More big studio films will get nom nods, including genre step-children from comedies to Michael Bay-blow-shit-up-fests. It will be easier to deny how middlebrow Oscar is when pictures like The Reader (Kate Winslet as your favorite naked Nazi!) can be diluted in a pool of, well, all the spit Harvey Weinstein can fleck. Pixar will never longer have to be piqued. There will be no more dark (k)nights for Christopher Nolan. TV will be happy, as the Oscar telecast will now have to be a miniseries. They'll have to get Richard Chamberlain to host.
AMPAS is trying to suggest this is simply a return to tradition, as even 12 films were nominated in Oscar's early years. But to pretend that the state of filmaking today is what it was in 1939 is historically hysterical. There is no studio system now that give a moderately talented hack like Victor Flemming the opportunity to make a Wizard of Oz. There was no TV, then, let alone computers etc. to distract everyone from the distractions that Hollywood wanted us to be distracted by.
Plus, ten 1939 nominees still didn't do the trick--where was Midnight or Only Angels Have Wings or Gunga Din or The Women? And if you want to dump on that last one as simply a stagy campfest, then please tell me, would you rather have the George Cukor version or the Diane English? And we need more films nominated why? Just to keep Meg Ryan in botox?