So I went on a road trip today from Edinburgh to Nairn, aka where Tilda Swinton lives. I arrive in Tildaland, check into a creepy bed and breakfast, and low and behold: The world’s gone nuts. I see an email with the heading “Oscars expand the best-picture race to 10 films.” At first it doesn’t even register and I keep scrolling down, and then I do my first of seventy-seven double takes: What. The. Fuck. Ten best picture nominees?!? Have the Oscars suddenly become the Emmy’s… willing to just make up the rules as they go along.
At first I had trouble negotiating the idea of fucking with this seventy-year old tradition (the last time they did this was 1943). And for what? To seem “with the times”? To boost viewership? To boost the economy via what I can only imagine will be some upped ad campaigns now that there’s double the potential?
But I’ll warming. After the shock of change wore off.. I thought: Maybe this is double the potential is double the pleasure. Maybe now the films we bitch about year after year as never getting nominated finally will. At this point, I’ll bet you anything Up is getting nominated for best picture this year.
And I can’t stop thinking about fantastic possibilities from the past. The past decade alone, Almost Famous, Requiem For A Dream, City of God, Talk To Her Finding Nemo, Mulholland Drive, Far From Heaven, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, A History of Violence, Ratatouille, United 93… All of them would have likely been best picture nominees. But then, so would have Flags of Our Fathers, Blood Diamond, and The Last Samurai… and it wouldn’t have stopped the Crash‘s and Reader‘s from being there.
This is making me super tempted to go all list-o-mania and do the last 10 or whatever years and suggest what would have been if the Oscars chose to do this at some point in the past. I’ll at least do last year, then get back to this whole Scottish vacation thing.
For sure we’d have The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire and WALL-E. Then I suspect The Wrestler would have slid in, and I have a serious fear that Changeling and Doubt would have managed the final slots in the expense of Frozen River or Happy-Go-Lucky or Rachel Getting Married…
Would that really have been that much better? At the very least, this is the most interesting thing the Oscars have done since, well, giving Tilda Swinton an Oscar.