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Richard Roeper Blog

We’ll be back with the rest of the nominees, after this commercial break.

If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was hoping to make a big splash with the announcement that the Best Picture category would be expanded to 10 nominees, congratulations, it worked.

Too bad the splash was a belly flop.

Reaction to the announcement has been almost universally negative. Every year, the telecast drags on, attracting a smaller and smaller audience, and every year everyone talks about how to fix it —- and the answer is to add even MORE movies to the mix? Are you kidding me???

Are they going to show clips from all 10 nominated films? Will the animated category be cannibalized by this decision? Can “Up” be nominated for Best Picture AND Best Animated Feature?

It would have made much more sense for the Academy to announce they were adding the category of Best Comedy. Over the last 30-plus years, the only “pure” comedy to win Best Picture was “Annie Hall.” (Some would argue “Shakespeare in Love” was a comedy, or at least a cheeky romp. And there’s no category for Cheeky Romp.) If we’d had a Best Comedy category all these years, films such as”Young Frankenstein,” “Airplane!’, “Groundhog Day,” “When Harry Met Sally…” “Tropic Thunder,” “Animal House,” “Beverly Hills Cop,”  ”Being There,” “Big” and “Lost in America” might have gotten their due.

animal_house117710

What would be more exciting next year: a list of 10 Best Picture nominees, including several that have no chance, or separate categories of Best Drama and Best Comedy? Nearly every year, the five Best Picture nominees would all have been in the Best Drama category anyway; now you’d have a fresh new category that would appeal to that much-desired younger demographic. It wouldn’t cheapen the Oscars any more than the Best Animated category did.

What a dumb, dumb move  by the Academy. They finally make a big move—-and it’s the wrong move.

 
 
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