How Many Movies Deserve To Win Best Picture Oscars?

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Green Lantern handily won the weekend box office shootout with $52 million (give or take) and since the thing cost about six times that to make, the filmmakers are sitting tight. They’re happy, but reportedly nobody at Warner Brothers has been told to put a brand new pool in the backyard yet. (Notice I said “new” – this is Hollywood, after all). I caught a couple of movies myself – one of them a fabulous little indie flick  called Natural Selection starring Rachael Harris and Matt O’Leary. The movie’s awesome; the only hitch being that it’s part of the Los Angeles Film Festival which means that audiences will have to wait a little bit to see it in a theater near you. Do not fear however, this will absolutely happen and when it does it’s a must see –  great plot and superb acting.

Today I want to address some Oscar news, in preparation for their Feb. 26th broadcast.  You’ll recall last year’s Oscars were sort of messy and all over the map, with Anne Hathaway gamely chirping in order to overcompensate for the laconic and oddly  distant James Franco. Plus, this was the second time they’d expanded the Best Picture category to ten films instead of just five. Going to ten seemed like a good idea because it drew that many more movie fans in and made them care about the Oscars, which has been very tough to do of late. It also meant that lesser known films like District 9,  Inglourious Basterds,  Winter’s Bone, and An Education got nominated, as did crowd faves (but rarely Best Pic stuff) like Up and Toy Story 3.

But, as with so many other “good ideas” the ten-picture Best Picture race didn’t work. So they’re changing it. Again. Here’s why:

Not because it didn’t bring more viewers into the Best Picture fold; not because it didn’t bring exposure to twice as many films and improve the US entertainment economy (an Academy Award nomination can really do great things for your film – whether you win or not). But as usual, they nixed it because of cash. Because those extra nominations force those extra films (who, let’s face it, wouldn’t have won anyway) to spend more money on advertising which the filmmakers won’t do.

So what are they going to do instead? Well, according to the Academy they’re going to have five films nominated for Best Picture and they will add additional nominees if and when any movies get over 5% of the nomination votes. Which means we won’t know until the last second (which might be sort of cool) and then there might be just five nominations, and then again there might be eight or nine. It’ll just depend on what the voters think. Do you care? Would you be more likely to watch an awards show with more nominees? Personally, I liked the bigger field of nominees (although I thought it should have been eight, tops). And I liked the inclusiveness thing too. But maybe this move is smart because of the added suspense and perhaps even just one or two additional films will help. Something’s gotta get people jazzed for the Academy Awards (would it kill them to bring Billy Crystal and Hugh Jackman back, together? I think that would solve a raft of problems). Meanwhile, for today’s poll, let’s look at the Daytime Emmy Awards, which were yesterday.

Today’s poll:

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which big winner at the Daytime Emmy Awards is your favorite:

1)    Laura Wright  (General Hospital)

2)   Michael Park (As The World Turns)

3)    Heather Tom  (Bold & the Beautiful)

4)   Jonathan Jackson  (General Hospital)

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