Media Analyis: Oscar’s “Best Picture”

Tonight I hope to be tuned into the Oscars if homework permits. I have heard talk about how this year is different because there will be 10 nominees for best picture, instead of 5 like it has been for many years. I was interested in why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to make this change, so I looked it up on the Internet and found an old LA Times article explaining the sudden change.

One of the main reasons for the increase in nominees is to give more movies a chance at winning the top award. This is a pretty obvious answer, but it surprised me what types of movies the Academy had in mind. Apparently, the more spaces give a better opportunity to the blockbuster hits that are very popular and make a lot of money. I have always noticed that movies nominated for best picture aren’t necessarily the most popular. While they may have a more compelling plot and better cinematography, there is obviously something interesting about the large blockbuster hits that are so popular. I am glad that they are being recognized because there is something to say about their popularity. Every year there are movies that I fall in love with, but they are never nominated for an Oscar. Best picture nominees always have a different feel and vibe from blockbuster hits. I don’t want to say that there is a best picture stereotype, but they all seem to have a unique aspect that brings them together. I think allowing 10 nominees will help break this kind of mold the award has made.

However, even though there are 10 nominees this year, it seems only a select few have a chance of winning the award. The Hurt Locker, Precious, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, and The Blind Side have been the main focus surrounding the best picture buzz. It is nice to know that 5 other movies are being recognized for their excellence, but it seems that they are kind of sympathy votes. It is as if saying your movie is good, but it’s not that good. It will be interesting to see how this new format works, and if an underdog has the chance of winning.

Come eight o’clock I will be waiting in front of the TV to see if the deserving movie in my opinion wins the award.

About Susie Bartel

I am a Senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism (magazine) and minoring in multimedia.
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