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Oscar Rule Change Follow-ups

Oscar Rule Change Follow-ups

The changing Oscar rules are still a hot topic these days. At an Academy screening of Cheri last weekend (more on that anon), some members wanted to be consulted, while others feel that the Board of Governors did its job. One member who sees everything and votes with the foreign branch doesn’t care at all. Just who are the folks who vote for these crucial decisions? The Academy’s official governors list is on the jump.

Variety editor-in-chief Tim Gray weighs in. So does the LAT’s Patrick Goldstein, twice, the NYT’s David Carr, Time’s Richard Corliss, and In Contention’s Kris Tapley. UPDATE: Here’s The Envelope’s Tom O’Neil.

A friend sent me this list of ten films from 1999:

All About My Mother

Being John Malkovich

Boys Don’t Cry


Eyes Wide Shut

Fight Club


The Matrix

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Topsy Turvy

Here are the five best picture candidates that year:

American Beauty

The Cider House Rules

The Green Mile

The Insider

The Sixth Sense

That year, the Academy voted for mainstream soft lobs down the middle over higher brow fare. Some of the movies on the long 1999 list (Fight Club, Eyes Wide Shut) were tainted by failure at the time (and look better in hindsight), while others came from directors who hadn’t yet earned admission into the Academy insiders club. Boys Don’t Cry earned a deserved Best Actress win for Hilary Swank. Others landed nominations in other categories.

What makes so many people uncomfortable is the unknown. How will it work? Were these monumental changes made for the right reasons (commerce, or art)? And will the changes achieve the desired goals? I totally approve of moving the honorary Oscars to a separate awards show, where everyone will get more time. And I will have to deal, I admit, with no longer being an Oscar expert. Ten movies vying for best picture levels the Oscar prognosticator playing field: now everybody knows nothing.

Home : Meet the Academy : History & Organization : Board of Governors

Board of Governors 2008–2009

The Board of Governors consists of representatives from each of the 15 Academy branches. All branches are represented on the Board by three governors except the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Branch, created in 2006, which has one representative.

The Board of Governors is responsible for corporate management, control and general policies. The Board of Governors also appoints an executive director to supervise the administrative activities of the Academy. Executive Director Bruce Davis and his staff of over 200 conduct the Academy’s day-to-day business.


President – Sid Ganis, Public Relations Branch
Prior to establishing his production company, Out of the Blue… Entertainment, Mr. Ganis served terms as a marketing executive at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd.

First Vice President – Robert Rehme, Executives Branch
A former president of Universal Pictures and CEO of New World, Mr. Rehme has served two separate terms as president of the Academy. His producing credits include “Patriot Games” and “Flight of the Intruder.”

Vice President – Kathleen Kennedy, Producers Branch
Ms. Kennedy has received six Best Picture nominations as producer. Her credits include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Munich.”

Vice President – Hawk Koch, Producers Branch
The only second-generation Academy governor, Mr. Koch’s producing credits include “Gorky Park” and “Losing Isaiah.”

Treasurer – Tom Sherak, Executives Branch
Mr. Sherak is the former chairman of the 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group and was a partner at Revolution Studios.

Secretary – Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Public Relations Branch
Ms. Isaacs is a public relations executive and the former head of publicity at Paramount Pictures. She also served as president of theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema.

Executive Director – Bruce Davis
Board of Governors

Dede Allen
Film Editors Branch

Michael Apted
Documentary Branch

Craig Barron
Visual Effects Branch

Ed Begley Jr.
Actors Branch

Curt Behlmer
Sound Branch

Carl Bell
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch

Annette Bening
Actors Branch

Jon Bloom
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch

Rosemary Brandenburg
Art Directors Branch

James L. Brooks
Writers Branch

Bruce Broughton
Music Branch

Donn Cambern
Film Editors Branch

Martha Coolidge
Directors Branch

Caleb Deschanel
Cinematographers Branch

Richard Edlund
Visual Effects Branch

Leonard Engelman
Makeup Branch

Robert Epstein
Documentary Branch

Charles Fox
Music Branch

Jim Gianopulos
Executives Branch

Mark Goldblatt
Film Editors Branch

Don Hall
Sound Branch

Arthur Hamilton
Music Branch

Curtis Hanson
Directors Branch

Mark Johnson
Producers Branch

Jeffrey Kurland
Art Directors Branch

John Lasseter
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch

Marvin Levy
Public Relations Branch

Paul Mazursky
Directors Branch

Kevin O’Connell
Sound Branch

Jeannine Oppewall
Art Directors Branch

Richard Pearce
Documentary Branch

Frank Pierson
Writers Branch

Phil Robinson
Writers Branch

Owen Roizman
Cinematographers Branch

Bill Taylor
Visual Effects Branch

Henry Winkler
Actors Branch

Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographers Branch

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